The educative task facing institutions, like universities, that are committed to integral education is to create situations and promote experiences which lead to specific learning outcomes and to identify and generate the conditions which guarantee the development of values geared towards the improvement of the individual both personally and socially (Martínez, Buxarrais and Esteban, 2002; Elexpuru and Bolivar, 2004).
However, it is especially difficult in a university to find a place within the teaching and learning processes to put into practice schemes for value formation and to incorporate them into the different professional profiles. We need to investigate ways that will illuminate and indicate how to achieve these goals practically and efficiently.
Values comprise of ideals, interests, motivations and those needs that determine a person’s conduct. There are always some values operating in person’s life. If we can identify what they are, we can then intervene educationally in their development. We can generate practical schemes to make them an integral part of our teaching and so promote an integral development of university students.
In this project we approach values from the perspective of human development, focussing on their psycho-pedagogical aspect. The goals which act as elements that motivate, dynamise or lead the conduct of each person or group, indicate what is really valued by these people and what their effective values are. Similarly, the means they use to achieve such goals illustrate what are the real values that determine their lives.
In order for people to be motivated by a superior order of values in their professional and civil lives, they have to follow a specific trajectory in which the values of an earlier stage need to be present.
Our aim in this research is to look more deeply at the development of essential values in the professional and civil profile which the European university system aims to foster (autonomy, collaboration, entrepreneurship, social commitment and knowledge orientation). People achieve these values at different stages, according to their maturity and state of development. In this research project we aim to validate the value trajectories for autonomy, collaboration, entrepreneurship, social commitment and knowledge orientation. Our intention is to establish, in short, what the intermediate values are which promote the development of these goals.
Furthermore, the very way that learning processes are managed is a fundamental variable that forms part of professional training and promotes the possibility of life-long learning (Masui and De Corte, 2005). Selfmanagement of learning requires establishing goals and planning a conscious strategy for realising them. The autonomous self-management of learning implies the development of a series of skills and competencies (Monereo and Pozo, 2003): thinking, cooperating, communicating, empathising, being critical and having self-initiative.
Given that these elements are fundamental for the development of autonomy, collaboration, entrepreneurship, social commitment and knowledge orientation, the starting hypothesis for our research is that the self-management of learning is a specific, multidimensional element and that its development has a positive impact on the development of such values.

Paper based on project “Value development via the self-management of learning in higher education” (Ref. EDU2009-12883 EDUC) Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación