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How is LVE different from other character-education programs?
Living Values Educational Program is unusually comprehensive. It offers both methodology and content. Educators teach values through modeling and facilitating a values-exploration process. LVE provides educator training and hundreds of lessons that build skills sequentially. Its multi-modality approach contributes to impacting both left- and right-brain thinkers. Not just a “values awareness” approach, LVE educators and activities encourage students to reflect and think deeply in order to engage the heart as well as the mind.
LVE educators reinforce positive character traits and emotional intelligence in all students. One key to LVEP effectiveness is the lack of moralizing. “Resistant” students or marginalized youth turn away from a moralizing approach to character education.
What types of activities are included in LVE?
LVE provides a broad range of activities to encourage the development of both cognitive and affective skills. Students are engaged in conflict-resolution exercises, discussions, artistic activities (art, dramas, song, dance, and storytelling), games, com-munication exercises, role-playing, mind-mapping, creative writing, imagining and relaxation/focusing exercises. For older students, some activities foster awareness of social justice and responsibility. Each site implementing LVEP is encouraged to include stories, songs and activities from the culture of the students with whom they work.
How is Living Values Education funded?
Internationally, the funding varies from country to country. In many countries, LVE is supported by private grants and donations. Volunteer work by dedicated professionals defrays costs. In some countries, ministries of education, national offices of UNESCO and other child-centered non-governmental organizations have contributed to training costs, including translation of the materials. Agencies and organizations requesting training host trainings or contribute to expenses.
Why “living” values?
History is built around the gap between what people say and what they do. LVE believes that adults are important role models. We encourage school development plans that identify values held in common.
What specific values are you looking to promote?
LVE helps people explore and choose their own personal values as well as develop intrapersonal and interpersonal skills to “live” those values. The purpose of this education is to awaken what already exists and provide tools to understand the ramifications of actions for the self, others and society and increase values-based decision-making ability. LVE activities elicit from students ideas about what they would value in their ideal world, and students explore the things they feel give meaning to their lives.
The initial twelve values explored by LVE have been articulated and widely endorsed around the world at conferences such as the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 1992 Aspen Conference.
Tell me some success stories.
In Iceland, a veteran first-grade teacher reported seeing surprising and dramatic improvements in caring, respect, cooperation, concentration, and learning to read. In Lebanon, second-graders in a classroom at ACS have learned conflict resolution so well that they solve all peer conflicts themselves; the teacher reports she is free to teach. For the last two years in Thailand, the schools winning the country’s award for the best school in the country, the Royal Reward, were schools implementing LVEP. Eighty percent drops in school disciplinary referrals were reported by three primary schools within their first year of implementing LVEP as whole schools in Bermuda. A K-8 LVEP school in the USA is now rated as the top seventh school in Florida. The principal stated, “There simply is no bullying.” In Australia, a secondary-level nine student reported, “It’s not just that I like values classes, I really enjoy them. At the start I was dead against values, I didn’t feel like I got anything out of the class… Then I thought for one lesson I would really contribute. That lesson changed the way I felt about values. I can relate to everything that we talk about. I find myself discovering things about myself that I never knew. Values class is really worthwhile.” In South Africa, formerly violent secondary students led LVE workshops for their peers.
There are many wonderful results with LVE’s at-risk materials. In Thailand, one year after implementing LVEP, nine out of 24 refugee-camp teachers working with children and youth reported 100-percent improvement in violent behavior; the others cited an 80-percent reduction in aggressiveness. With children in difficult circumstances, street educators using Living Values Activities for Street Children in Vietnam reported considerable decreases in aggression and at-risk behaviors. They noted, “Now they are confident and friendly with adults and their peers. There is almost no conflict in the classes and they now do not get into trouble after school either. The students have also developed many skits on how to keep safe from dangerous adults and really enjoy performing them. Now when they are on the streets and see children that are new to the streets they give support and advice to the new children and invite them to meet their teacher and join their classes.” The Ministry of Labor in Vietnam reported in March of 2008 that LVE’s program for Drug Rehabilitation was the most successful program in government drug rehabilitation clinics.
Where can I obtain the LVE books?
The five books in LVE’s current Living Values Series are available through www.amazon.com internationally. The five books are:
- Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3–7
- Living Values Activities for Children Ages 8–14
- Living Values Activities for Young Adults
- LVEP Educator Training Guide
- Living Values Parent Groups: Facilitator Guide
This Living Values Series of five books received Learning Magazine’s Teachers’ Choice Award 2002. All or some of these books are published in 15 languages. Translation is ongoing in an additional 17 languages.
The distribution of LVE materials for children at-risk is restricted to educators who attend special LVEP training for these modules.
Can I implement LVE without training?
You can implement Living Values Activities for regular students without training. However, LVEP Educator Workshops are recommended for the most effective implementation. The programs for children-at-risk require training.
LVE Distance programs for the Individual, Families, Classroom, Study Groups and Facilitator Training for those unable to attend worshops are now available. LVE Distance programs and materials are free and available for download from the website.
What do you do during LVE Workshops?
During LVE workshops, educators participate in values-awareness sessions. They are asked to reflect on their own values, imagine an optimal learning environment, and brainstorm best teaching practices that would create a values-based atmosphere. LVE’s theoretical model and a schematic of how values are developed are shared. This is followed by sessions engaged in Living Values Activities. The workshop then turns to skills for creating a values-based environment: acknowledgment, encouragement, and positively building behaviors; active listening; conflict resolution; collaborative rule making, and values-based discipline.
Educators who work with children at risk undergo additional training as do facilitators for Living Values Parent Groups.
When is your next training?
The calendar of events is available at on our website: livingvalues.net.
How much does this cost?
Almost all presenters at LVEP training workshops volunteer their time. However, fees are charged to cover the costs of materials and expenses. Every effort is made to make sure cost is not a barrier to participation in this program.