Values-based Education is an approach to teaching that works with values. It creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic attainment, and develops students’ social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives.
The positive learning environment is achieved through the positive values modelled by staff throughout the school. It quickly liberates teachers and students from the stress of confrontational relationships, which frees up substantial teaching and learning time.
It also provides social capacity to students, equipping them with social and relationship skills, intelligences and attitudes to succeed at school and throughout their lives.
The school is a microcosm of the world. Value based Education is an approach that nourishes, and enables learners to flourish, making a difference to the world through who and how they are.
When we actively engage with values we start to understand their implications for making choices about our attitudes and responses. A Values-based approach encourages reflective and aspirational attributes and attitudes. These can be nurtured to help people discover the very best of themselves, which enables them to be good citizens and prepare them for the life of work.
Value based education creates a better learning environment, in which students are able to attain better academic results. It creates a better teaching environment, in which staff are more fulfilled and significantly less stressed. It equips students with social capacities that help them work with, and relate to others effectively. It provides them with the self-esteem and confidence to explore and develop their full potential. It leaves no student behind, irrespective of their background.
Values work in a dynamic way through developing aspects as diverse as leadership focus, positive role modelling and community values.
Schools become a place where students experience positive values in context. They learn how to apply and talk about values appropriately. They become self-motivated, and their behaviour becomes calm and purposeful. Division in schools reduces, collaboration between students increases and values underpin a sense of unity and positive direction.
Values-based Education offers:
•A fundamental approach to high quality schooling, influencing and enabling students to develop fully as individuals and creating connectedness to parents and the wider community.
•A philosophy of being and living that permeates organizational policy and day-to-day practice and supports students to develop reflective practices and self-responsibility for behaviour and actions.
•A practical and transformative tool which enables students to shape their future and gives meaning and purpose to their lives.
•The development of an integrated and aspirational community ethos that can help to redress the effects of disadvantage through securing and enabling the agreed values to remain powerful, effective and salient across the organization
In a Values-based school, children develop a secure sense of self. The become more empowered to take responsibility for their own learning. Research shows that children develop academic diligence when they are involved with a Values-based school. They develop relational trust. They become articulate and able to talk freely and well. Through silence, quietness and reflectional techniques of the Values-based framework, children can understand much more deeply their work and their lives.
From the social perspective, Values-based Education promotes effective learning and underpins the continuous improvement of personal, social, moral and economic wellbeing. It is an investment in individual capability and self-responsibility and its product, therefore, promises significant value to society.
What Values Are
Values are principles that drive behaviour. They influence our actions and attitudes, and become our framework for living. They influence our relationship with ourselves and others.
The wide range of positive human values encouraged in schools include patience, respect, fairness, tolerance, respect, compassion and collaboration.
Like riding a bike, values are learned through a combination of practice and instruction. Students learn what values are, how to recognise them, and how people react to them, equipping them with invaluable social skills and emotional intelligence.
What Values Are Not
Values education is not additional curriculum. It is not something teachers have to bolt on to an already full agenda. It is an approach that makes teaching the very full agenda easier.
It is not a quick fix solution. Many people perceive values to be liberal and soft. In reality, they are exactly the opposite. They provide a clear awareness of acceptable behaviour, against which staff and students choices of behaviour are evaluated. Values help reduce the options for inappropriate behaviour.
It is not something expected only of students. Effective teaching of values is measured not by students’ ability to define values, by its impact on their behaviour. For teaching of values to be effective, positive values need to be modelled by staff. A values-driven environment applies equally to staff and students alike.
L. Wagisha Rao
MBA II Semester