Using English language classroom in the 21st century to teach the values of responsibility and cooperation to grade 7 students in a private school in Karachi, Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Values are ideas, behaviors, and attitudes that have long been endorsed and accepted by society as what is good (Brood, 2019). In the broadest sense, they are the virtues that a person possesses in his or her life (Turkkahraman, 2013). People do not live their lives in moral or ethical isolation; rather, they are raised within certain moral traditions (Reiss, 2019). “Values of responsibility and cooperation are viewed as an important component of organizational, academic and culture of society and are frequently characterized as the principles responsible for the society's effective management” (Gamage, Dehideniya & Ekanayake, 2021, p.22). Teaching of values of cooperation and responsibility in English Language Teaching (ELT) involves navigating the complicated and often conflicting moral territory of the language classroom where teaching is not a question of clear-cut choices, but of grappling with challenges and making tough judgments in situations filled with conflict (Johnston, 2013). If you want your students to be kind and respectful, you must set a good example in your ELT classes (Wiseman & Joanna, 2019). Values can be vague and difficult to grasp for young students.
The current study is an action research study. It attempted to investigate the relationship between teaching values of cooperation and responsibility and the use of the 21st century English language classroom, by carrying out an intervention designed to enable study participants (n= 6) to gain awareness of and understanding about the values of cooperation and responsibility. The study was structured to follow the three phases of action research: doing a reconnaissance, carrying out the intervention and then completing the after-intervention phase. Data collection tools included use of non-participatory classroom observations, focus group discussions with participants, individual semi-structured interviews with the teacher who also contributed as a critical friend (CF) and reflections generated by both the researcher and the CF.
Study findings indicate that the intervention did appear to have improved students' understanding of values such as responsibility and cooperation as relates to its immediate relevance for their academic life and possibly as relates to their lives overall in terms of being contributing members of society. Additionally, the study found that cooperative learning strategies can affect students' willingness to cooperate outside of the classroom when used in 21st century English language classes. Motivation, cooperation among each other’s, supporting, and taking responsibility towards others are always dependent upon repeated bolstering to the students in ELT classrooms. Use of value-oriented teaching strategies and tasks during the intervention also appeared to increase learners' interest in grasping the values of responsibility and cooperation while working in group and pairs.

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