Living Values Education began formally in Belgium with the launching of the LVE series of books on 13 December 2006 under the direction of Bond zonder Naam. BZN created a LVE Team within its organization. They are now actively involved with values education in eight whole schools – and more! For example, in May of 2007, they created a Values Week, holding trainings for educators, a workshop for parents, a lecture for people in higher education and an interactive talk for a broad partnership in values education.
BZN wants to empower people through its Living Values Education project by placing values at the heart of education. Studies conducted by Terry Lovat and Ron Toomey (AUS), which are discussed in "Values Education and Quality Teaching: The Double Helix Effect", show that working on values improves the atmosphere and mutual relations at school, and consequently improves the students' results as well as their development in general. Educators play a central role in this process. "Educators influence the minds of our children and thus the future of our society" (Prof Bart McGetrick). Therefore, BZN wants to provide school boards, teachers, educators and parents with the necessary means to achieve the following:
"How can we evolve towards a values-based school?"
Values education in itself is an age-old concept but what BZN wants to do, is to help the education system overcome the challenges it is currently confronted with, through an innovative approach and by means of specific tools. Within the framework of the Living Values Education project, BZN chooses to be a "field worker" and opts for an integral approach. This entails involving the whole of the school community – students, parents and the entire school staff – as much as possible. The main goal is to have everyone put values into practice in daily life!
Or in other words, to make talk walk!
9 x yes or no
Are you ready to consciously work on values?
Do you dare to make the difference you want see?
Are you prepared to assess your values and those of your environment?
Does your school pay attention to what parents, students and school staff members truly value?
Does your school provide enough room for dialog in order for everyone concerned to discuss this?
Is all this put into practice in daily school life?
Is this values-based approach sustained on all levels?
Can you recognize yourself in the school's values-based atmosphere?
Does this focus on values reflect to the outside world?
Did you answer most of the questions above affirmatively?
Or should you continue reading?
For elementary and high school education
Our training program consists of a 24-hour basic course for all school staff members. It is a unique experience, both personally as well as professionally. During this training course the following questions are tackled:
What are my personal values?
How do I put them into practice in daily life?
How can I integrate values in my classes?
How can I put values at the heart of education?"
To sign up for this program, visit our website: www.livingvalues.be
A few reactions from participants:
"I would recommend this training to anyone. The more people experience this, the better!"
"This program should be turned into a teacher training day. That way, the entire school staff can experience the effectiveness of these tools and methods."
"90% of this training is based on experiencing. That's why the exercises are so efficient, which makes you want to use them in your classes!"
"Through this project I especially want to teach my students that they can really make a difference. I want to inspire them to be self-confident and self-reliant."
(Annemiet, science teacher)
BZN offers three formulas to evolve towards a values-based school:
1 Innovative roadmap
Step 1: Values survey
as an online listening exercise, using the internationally acknowledged Cultural
Transformation Tool (CTT) to map the values parents, students and school staff members feel strongly about. (www.valuescentre.com)
Step 2: World Café
where all parties concerned can have creative, dynamic conversations with one another, in order to come to a deeper understanding of core values and what they really mean. (www.theworldcafe.com)
Step 3: Walk your talk
to turn ideas into an integral action plan, based on the schools' best practice examples.
2 Open program
• the basic course
• a biannual open teacher forum
• reading groups for supervisory staff
• inspirational online tools
• a bimonthly newsletter
3 Tailor-made training
with teacher training days, staff meetings and parents' evenings.