This paper considers some empirical research into moral values in schools which highlights the hidden impact of working environments on classroom relationships and the modelling of moral values in education. Using grounded theory methodology, a range of primary, secondary and student teachers selected for their empathy, were interviewed and observed in order to understand the impact of different environments in different educational phases. The findings revealed four particular types of empathy used in learning relationships, fundamental, functional, profound and feigned. Of these functional was the most common and is an essential adaptation required when working with large classes but has considerable negative implications for the moral model education can offer. Profound empathy, developed through close and frequent interaction holds the most beneficial consequences for moral modelling in schools and was at the heart of high quality learning relationships. However the economic values embedded in the structures and systems of the state sector, limit the conditions which profound empathy requires to flouris
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