Values Education for Children and Young Adults
www.livingvalues.net

Living Values e-News
Living Values Education Newsletter
In This Issue August 2009
Issue Number Thirty Five

From the Editor's Desk

International Calendar of Training Events

  • Australia: 23 – 25 October 2009 – LVE Program
  • Australia: 26 – 27 October 2009 – LVE Train the Trainer
  • Australia: 2 – 10 May 2010 – Living Values Heart Centre Retreat
  • Dominican Republic: 10 – 13 August 2009 – LVE Workshop for Facilitators
  • Indonesia: 15 – 17 Aug 2009 LVE Educator Workshop
  • Paraguay: March through October 2009 LVE Workshop
  • Paraguay: 16 October 2009 IV Encuentro Nacional de Educadores del Programa VpV

News and Success Stories from Around the World

  • ALIVE President’s Message Reflections on the ALIVE International Meeting in the United Kingdom
  • Byron Bay, Australia Community Members React to LVE
  • Gold Coast Facilitators and Participants Discover Beauty and Ease of LVE Structure
  • Brazil University Peace Pilgrims Project Utilizes LVE
  • Gambia LVE Team and Students from the Living Values Club do a workshop at Kunkujang School
  • Japan Are we having success? Absolutely! LVE at Aoba-Japanese International School
  • Thailand Burmese Refugees Explore Their Personal Values at Light School
  • U.S.A. Children Make the World Go Around - they really do!

Articles

What’s New?

  • Cooperative Link: A peace opportunity for schools – “Just This Day, One Stillness”, 25 November 2009 www.justthisday.org
  • Coming Soon to the Web site: Downloadable songs from LV Songs for Children Ages 3 – 7 and songs from Michael Turner of Australia!

Subscribe and Submit News

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To Our Readers
news@livingvalues.net
Welcome to the thirty-fifth issue of Living Values e-News, the electronic newsletter of the Association for Living Values Education International. 


President’s Message: Reflections on the LVE International Community Meeting in Oxford, United Kingdom, May 2009, by Pilar Quera Colomina, President, Association for Living Values Education International.

Dear Community,

One of the most striking aspects we have witnessed is the diversity of ways human beings view themselves, respond to each other and the world, live together and at the same time approach the challenges and potential of life. It is a wonderful kaleidoscope that contrasts with the essential uniqueness of the human race. It is something that lies in the heart of our collective heritage, not just as a priceless treasure from the past but also as a window to the future. It is a golden opportunity to celebrate human greatness. It is an invitation to find out the meaning of our interactions in order to understand and communicate and live with others in a better way and also be an example for the children of the world.

We witnessed the extent of our experience after all these years as well as the extent of our progress and impact. It was a time when we had the chance to actually realise that the programme was “ALIVE”, thanks to the experience of its leaders in more than 30 countries. It was the time for all of us to ask ourselves what part education should play in reflecting and shaping the diverse world of today and tomorrow.

More than 50 people were involved in dialogues, sharing their wisdom through discussions full of meaning, experience and success. We have learned from the failures and have opted for a clearer future. The values of life and education should help us use our collective wisdom, nourish the best in each other, and banish the multitude of threads and obstacles that obstruct this process. To Live the Values means to chart a way forward, to respect, include and to create harmony as we engage in a productive dialogue and exchange between and across cultures, generations and individuals.

Given the scale of situations we have challenged, it is time to embark on a collective re-discovery of what it means to be a person and how to live with others. This process of learning will help us re-find and connect with ourselves and others. It is an important contribution that provides us with the concept of a worldwide culture that includes the reality of a diverse world, and being able, as required, to transcend the particular and reach the universal.

We discovered that it is not so much about what should be done but how to keep on putting it into practice. We can experience our own personal growth and see our dreams come true thanks to values. As important as the task itself is how we explore, learn and share these values. This means that we should provide an appropriate environment and recreate situations from everyday life in order to learn, acquire and express values that give meaning to what all we do, think and communicate. These aspects are necessary to reinforce the corresponding attitudes, habits and conduct of a culture of well-being.

Newness helps us understand the process of learning through life projects in which education in all of its variations plays a leading role.

Our commitment, the commitment of the people who directly participated, is to keep on sharing with all communities – the communities that were there and those that were with us in spirit. This commitment should be our route from now on, it should give voice, it should give life everyday, and it should be our future!

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News and Success Stories From Around the World

BYRON BAY, AUSTRALIA: Community Members React to LVE
australia@livingvalues.net

Raj Miles became a LVE Trainer a few months ago and is now leading an active LVE Team in Australia. The team is reaching out not only to educators but to the community. Their experience is that LVE touches lives in deep and meaningful ways. Some heartfelt comments from attendees of the LVE workshop in Byron Bay:

The enormous shift within my very being when a value has been explored and related to my real life experience, made this one of the most valuable workshops I have done. ~ Cheryl

Since I did the workshop in Byron, I have been having a very profound experience; there are no words to explain.   I feel very peaceful and free - like a child playing in kindergarten with no-expectations or judgments. It is what it is.  Love always ~ Harmony

Words fall short of sharing the utter value of what Living Values does!  Profound, positive, peaceful, fun, growth and change. Thank you! ~ Eoin

The simplicity of Living Values is just incredible.  It allowed me to go to a greater depth in my own awareness and to be able to see and move through the blocks which have prevented me from really living. ~ Deb

I enjoyed rating the values spontaneously, then redoing them with a lot more consideration and then noticing the changes.  It made me very grateful for everything to realise how highly they all rated. The facilitators where wonderful and created a very loving and joyful atmosphere which allowed me to discover and open up more about myself. ~ Pixie

You enabled me to reach levels within that I have never previously had any awareness of.  It was your unnervingly wise guidance that led me to the point of true understanding of the root of some of my habitual patterning. ~ Robin

Poem from one of the Value exercises, Byron Bay, April 2009, “The Connection”.

T’was a pretty tangle before Me that I saw,
that morning as my Angels brought me to the door.
A group affixed by hands entwined, laughter expressed yet concern I did find.
Interwoven and interlocked they didn’t seem to have much chance,
circling and clambering as if doing a dance.
Then I noticed a deeper mystery coming forth that day,
as many of my Values were brought into play.
Co-operation was easily perceived and Unity too,
while no one took the lead, yet all had a part to do.
Humility and Patience waited their turn,
while Respect and Tolerance were fully earned.
Trust and Faith, my pillars of old upheld the sway,
when confusion and doubt sought to challenge the play.
Joy besieged their moments as openness unfolded,
and Love was fully present when nobody scolded.
I witnessed Compassion that knew no bounds,
as Simplicity herself made everyone clowns.
It was a lesson well learned that Game I beheld,
when all of My Values are embraced and upheld.
I smiled and I loved my children at play, as Father to all, I had only one thing to say….
That Intention and Allowance as Keys to My Kingdom,
guarantee Happiness and infinite Freedom.
Thank you … for your Integrity, your Honesty too,
nothing was missing and …
I really Love you!


GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA: Facilitators and Participants Discover Beauty and Ease of LVE Structure
australia@livingvalues.net

Anna Aranci and Raj Miles, LVE Trainers, reported that the three-day LVE workshop they held in May at Paradise Kids Foundation complex on Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia was extremely successful. One difference they noted was in themselves! They report: “Facilitator Raj found an overwhelming sense of love throughout the experience, opening doorways within him.  He feels the LIVING VALUES to be like points of light that on connection to those inside, illuminating a pathway of clearing and cleansing.

Facilitator Anna noticed a palpable difference in the participants from the first Saturday to the second with the week in between having provided time for embodiment and awareness. Core values had been well established for the participants’ immersion into how to create a values-based atmosphere. In herself, Anna noticed a great ease and joy with no hesitation or anxiety arising at the prospect of facilitating the Program, quite different from other activities and workshops she has facilitated in the past.

Both facilitators discovered a depth of vulnerability offered by participants which opened for a deeper level of healing to be available than the facilitators expected on the following two days. “We both noticed how beautiful and effortless it was to allow the structure of LIVING VALUES to cradle us all – facilitators and participants – as we explored, rested, played and enquired into the Living Values Education.”

Ana and Raj also noted, “All the participants came to the awareness of the Values in themselves that were easily attained and recognized those that were hidden or appeared to be less prominent in their day to day lives. All components were met with full enthusiasm by participants several of whom were already working in the field of therapy and personal development. And, all indicated a desire to continue the workshops leading up to Train the Trainer.”


BRAZIL: University Peace Pilgrim Project Utilizes LVE
brazil@livingvalues.net

Professor Kátia Mendonça, the Peace Pilgrims Project Coordinator with the Federal University of Pará, reported the following: “Federal University of Pará students are part of the Peace Pilgrim Project where they are engaged in activities related to the culture of peace. The Project, started in 2006, foments a permanent study in philosophies for peace and from February 2007 has been applied, as a pedagogic resource for the involved youths, in partnership with Living Values Education. For our project, LVE is the best and more appropriate pedagogic methodology, complementing in a wonderful way our theoretical work. Currently, Peace Pilgrims is being applied in two schools, one in the capital, Belém, and the other in the city of Abaetetuba. 

For us, LVE is a resource of extraordinary quality and has allowed progress in children and youth education; the majority of those with whom we work come from poor and violent homes. The work produced by the students is an important result of LVE (see www.peregrinosdapaz.ufpa.br). In addition, the Peace Pilgrim students, trained by Prof. Paulo Barros, are already working as monitors as part of the Child and Adolescent Foundation of Pará. There, LVE was used with major incarcerated young offenders (stealing, murder, etc.) with excellent results. Additionally, some of the work of UFPA´s bachelor degrees is being developed under the impact of the schools assisted by LVE.”


GAMBIA: LVE Team and Students from the Living Values Club do a workshop at Kunkujang School  westafrica@livingvalues.net

Usually, LVE Teams around the world offer resource materials and LVE workshops to educators and other adults.  But, in this newsletter, LVE Teams in Gambia and the USA offered direct service to students and families. In Gambia, the LVE Team did a one-day workshop assisted by students from the Living Values Club at Kunkujang School. In attendance was the school Principal, Paul K Mendi. Mr Abdulai Bobb, a teacher at the school and the Kunkujang Living Values Club Leader, introduced the members of the team. He said he hoped that through this workshop more young people in the school would be inspired to practice Living Values both within the school and in the wider community of Kunkujang Village and be an example to others.

The workshop started with a participatory greeting activity led by facilitators Fabiana and family and a few songs of welcome. Mr Camera then introduced the 12 core Values - Peace, Love, Respect, Happiness, Cooperation, Humility, Simplicity, Responsibility, Honesty, Tolerance, Freedom and Unity – before using examples from the students’ own experiences to demonstrate the meaning and relevance of each one. He emphasised the importance of Respect – which was the value to be focused on in this workshop and went on to outline how all the other values are interrelated.

He was followed by facilitator Abdulrahman Kamera, who held a short values awareness exercise in which participants were asked to recognise the different positive qualities they see in each other and themselves. He followed this with a gentle imagination exercise. Next came the turn of the Kunkujang Living Values Club to entertain and inform us with a drama about a young girl not being allowed to attend school by her father. Although the message was definitely an important one - the point was made that the various members of the family could only achieved reconciliation and unity by showing respect and tolerance to each other and a happy outcome was reached using values to bring about understanding. The group members then danced and sang about love, peace and happiness followed by the Living Values song, led by GLV facilitator Adama Njie.

After this students were asked to divide into groups and reflect on creating a value-based atmosphere. Their ideas of how they would like their students to behave if they were the teachers of the school were noted down. The interesting outcome was presented by the group leaders to the rest of the assembly and was of particular interest to the Principal.

Facilitator Patrick Campbell then narrated a short story about a young man called Tomi, who lost his way in life because of a series of sad circumstances. Students identified with Tomi and were asked to work out what were the contributory factors for his downfall. It was pointed out however that whatever reasons people may have for doing the wrong thing – it is actually no excuse and will not gain any benefit in the long-term. We all have the choice to behave well or badly regardless of what people around us do to us.

After lunch was a Treasure Hunt designed by Mr Bobb and another Kunkujang teacher, Mr Victor. This was held between 3 teams, who had to demonstrate complete unity in order to win and then respect for the losers by sharing the prize!

The last item on the programme was another activity, which was carried out in pairs called “Leading the Blind”. In this students had to silently lead each other back into the classroom using caring skills and cooperation. They were then asked by facilitators, Akim and Fabiana, what it felt like to be responsible for someone’s welfare and equally what it felt like to be so dependent on someone else. They were encouraged to take it upon themselves to lead other students, whom they encountered going astray, to the Living Values way of life in the same manner. Sandy Martin from the Gambia Living Values Committee summarised the event and expressed their appreciation for being invited. The proceedings were closed by Mr Bobb, who asked for suggestions as to how they could all go from here with their Values development in the school, the community, the environment and eventually in the world. The head girl, Elizabeth Foss, gave a message of thanks to the Gambia Living Values Team and everyone joined in the “Alive, Awake and Enthusiastic Dance”.


JAPAN: Are we having success? Absolutely! LVE at Aoba-Japanese International School
japan@livingvalues.net

Kristine Bordner, the Values/ Ethics Coordinator, at Aoba-Japanese International School in Tokyo wrote about her experience prior to LVE and with LVE. Before, she often heard children say, “I don't have anyone to play with.” She noted, “I heard this repeatedly as I observed and talked to children who seemed sad or lonely on the playground – they were all saying the same thing, ‘I feel bad.’  Whether they were feeling left out due to their own behavior, or that of others, these children were feeling lonely and hurt. And let's face it, most of us have felt these feelings as a child (and as adults), and it's just not pleasant.

Although I understood that children's social behavior changed daily, and kids not playing one day may be the most popular children the next, I felt there was something missing at our school.  I had a vision of all children being happy and empathetic with one another, with no one feeling excluded.  What could I do as a staff member, and did anyone else share this vision?

As the Elementary Principal and I sat down to look at the current values program at our school we decided to take a survey from teachers and students. We asked teachers to list what values resources they were using, what were some of the social/ emotional needs of their students and how teachers were addressing those needs. The student questionnaire was confidential and requested students to answer questions based on what they felt their social/ emotional needs were. Our findings were as suspected. Students needed help making/ maintaining friends and accepting/ tolerating others. Several students reported bullying; either they had been bullied or admitted to being the bully.  The staff needed assistance on how to help the students become more cooperative, respectful and empathetic and requested a cohesive program addressing simple core values that we could all work together to exemplify.

The Values Focus Group (VFG) was formed, and we were on our way. We had a dream, a vision and a mission to make our school a better place. We divided the tasks and researched what resources we had at the school, what was available outside of the school, and what different programs existed. We decided I would attend the LVEP training in New York in July of 2008.

After completing the training, I took the resources, information, and my training certificate and discussed the LVE program with the Headmistress of the school. She had already been adjusting the middle school ethics program and felt that using similar resources for the elementary and middle school students would make a more cohesive program. She was sold! Upon presenting the information to the VFG, they too felt that the LVE program would benefit the school, the students and themselves. We held an initial training for staff, and school began.

Are we having success? Absolutely! The VFG meets regularly to reflect on the progress of the program, make any adjustments, give suggestions and share values lessons.  The elementary division of the school celebrates with values assemblies once a month where two classes represent the core value, and student work, posters and values boards are hung throughout the school that reflect the core values of the program. The middle school staff who teach Values/ Ethics meet monthly to discuss ideas and reflect on the progress of the program and the students. I've heard some wonderful stories and seen some amazing work. We have incorporated values quotes and reflection points into our daily bulletin; have had small skits over the announcements that reflect the value of the month, and staff use the same vocabulary used in the program to have consistency on expectations for behavior. To inform the families, there are monthly parent newsletters discussing the core value of the month and tips on creating a more peaceful and harmonious household. The ideas on how to incorporate the core values throughout the school and curriculum continue to grow.

How are we measuring success of the program with the students? We realize this will be an ongoing process and will be not only seen but felt throughout the school. We will compile data from mid/ post year evaluations of the program, but realize that is only one component to measuring success. The real success is what is reflected in the students' behavior.

We have an idea of what we want our school to look and feel like. That every child feels valued. That every student feels responsible for their own behavior. A place where students are tolerant and accepting of one another, where they feel safe and can take chances, empathy is shown in the good deeds of one student to another. We realize we have some fine tuning and alterations to the program to increase the possibility of success for all, and this is an ongoing, evolving project that will never be stagnant. We are on our way, and with the help of LVE resources and the continued support available, our school feels we have made many steps in the right direction.
 
Thank you LVE!


THAILAND: Burmese Refugees Explore Their Personal Values at Light School
thailand@livingvalues.net

Light School Thailand

Dr. Patcharaporn Panyawuthikrai shared her experience at Light School during a LVE Workshop with refugees from Myanmar. “This is the first time I’ve seen the real life of ‘illegal’ people, both adults and children from Burma who are actually living, studying and working in Thailand. They are unofficial refugees from Burma living in makeshift villages on the Thai/ Burmese border near Mae Sot. There is almost no support for the refugees. The UN's ability to provide support is limited because the states have not officially defined the conflict in Burma as war.

My first Living Values Education workshop took place at Light School with Thailand’s Focal Point for LVE, Ms. Prapa Rungrangsri, in June, 2009. An American volunteer for the Peoples Partner for Development and Democracy (PPDD), a non-profit organization that operates and supports the Light School in a Burmese migrant village in Mae Sot, had been asked to create a course of values for migrant children. She contacted LVE. The Light School caters to 136 migrant students from Burma from different ethnic backgrounds. PPDD provides them with meals, health and medical assistance, and anything related to their educational and psycho-social needs. There are 60 boarding children and most of them come from inside Burma. Their parents sent them to the school to study and to get away from the conflict.

Volunteers from Bangkok, Chiangmai, Lampang and a New Zealand trainer, Ms.Trish Summerfield, the Focal Point for LVE in Vietnam, met and ran a three-day LVE workshop for eight Burmese teachers. With three languages, English, Burmese and Thai communication, the workshop was a fun and challenging time to participate in processes and discussions designed to bring clarity to Living Values Education concepts and benefits. Talking with the Burmese teachers after the sessions, they reflected that it was a great time for them to discover their own values, experience real peace, and practice LVE techniques and activities to integrate the learning into their daily lives and to explore how to do this for students in the school.

It is my great experience to work cooperatively with this non-profit organization in an area of limited support to serve the needs of the migrants, and encourage them to develop a sense of personal values, worth, responsibility, and peace in lives. Moreover, we are part of the Thai/ Burmese border school team to enlighten migrant kids and unofficial refugees about the opportunity and obligation of sharing equally all the benefits and warmth of community life in Thailand.”


U.S.A.: Children Make the World Go Around – They really do!
usa@livingvalues.net

“What could I say that would possibly convey the excitement of the "Children Make the World Go Around" Retreat at Peace Village?” asked Dr. Kathleen Shea, the President of LVEP, Inc., the national LVE association for the USA.  She reported, “We had approximately 130 participants plus 17 facilitators and loads of fun! There were many highlights, but I want to share those things that the participants felt best about!  The Values Scavenger Hunt was a big hit.  Children worked in mixed-age groups to find the values and solve a puzzle at the end.  Following the scavenger hunt, children participated in values activities ranging from storytelling, to discussions, artwork, and other activities focusing on the values of Peace and Respect.

Bedtime Stories were a last minute addition to the program, but were very popular.  Children very much wanted us to visit them in their rooms, but it had the unintended effect of waking kids up rather than winding them down!

Kid-Friendly Meals and Snacks made everyone happy!  Cheerios, soups, watermelon, popcorn, cookies, sandwiches, salads all were made with children in mind.  A special dessert provided on Saturday night was the HIGHLIGHT!  Chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas and vegan marshmallows was the hit of the day.  Kids (and adults) could dip their own...and plates were piled high!  One child told me this was her "favorite thing in the whole world."  Another child wrote in an evaluation that the best part of the retreat was the food, because "...I could taste the love in it."

The Values Fair was an enormous undertaking, and needs further refinement.  Since the weather was not cooperating, everything was inside requiring big adjustments to the original program.  We also had to adjust our plans when several new facilitators stepped in to cover for those facilitators who had to withdraw at the last moment due to illness or family problems.  Nevertheless, we had some delightful programming that the kids enjoyed!

Parent Workshops: Elahe wowed the parents who wanted much more than she was able to give in this short weekend.  It was interesting that there were probably more men than women in the workshop!  They participated in two special sessions: one on (per the LV Parent Guide) values awareness and the other on Active Listening, in preparation for the intergenerational dialogue later in the afternoon.  

"Holding Powerful Family Conversations:  An Intergenerational Dialogue" was well received by parents and children alike.  The goal of the activity was to provide an opportunity for both children and adults to experience rich connections through the process of an intergenerational conversation using Appreciative Inquiry.  The activity was designed to foster trust, strengthen relationships, improve communication, and unleash hopes and dreams of young and old alike. The sharing was deep and animated.  Groups were formed in a surprise fashion so that families did not sit together.  Our facilitator for this conversation navigated a debate that ensued about exactly WHO made the world go around? … parents or children.  Another question got participants thinking about the contributions of elders:  What important lesson(s) have you learned from your grandparents or other elders in your family?  Finally, participants shared ideas about strengthening the lines of communication within their families.

Reflections were held throughout the program and were well attended and well received!  Some wanted MORE!  Children and adults loved the moving meditations!

The Father's Day celebration included a cake that the children helped to decorate in the kitchen, (They did a great job.), and a special photo montage of the weekend, Father's Day Cards, and a facilitated discussion about the qualities of fathers and some memories the children shared.  We concluded the program with a closing ceremony that included a guided reflection, certificates, gifts and goodbyes.

Each of us has our own special stories, but I've concluded that the children's program was successful because 1) they felt SAFE, 2) they felt SPECIAL and 3) they made FRIENDS.  For the adults, it was successful because of the parent workshops and the fact that their children were cared for.  The team was extraordinary, and we did a good job of managing and mixing those sessions that were "children only" with those intended for the whole group. The program was supported with incredible meals, and an environment of Peace and Happiness created by the Peace Village residents.  The residents marveled at how the atmosphere was maintained even with such of large number of active children throughout the building!

It was our original intent to give participants the EXPERIENCE of the Living Values Education Program, and I believe we accomplished our main goal.  Everyone knows what it's like to live and learn in a values-based atmosphere!”


FEATURE ARTICLE:  Leadership and Living Values, Part II

Peter Williams, one of the LVE international trainers and the former Principal of the Kuwait American School, wrote an article to present to education leaders from the Institute of Private Education who attended a special LVE one-day awareness training with Helen Sayers and the Kuwait LVE team on 15 June 2008. Part of that article is below.  He begins this section with two questions: What are the issues faced by education leaders? Is it time to create a curriculum that educates universal values supported by curriculum knowledge and skills and not vice versa?

Curriculum Demands
Which is better? Subject by subject linear learning or holistic and global learning? Where do values enter learning – as a ‘bolt on’ or as an integral part?

Recent scientific evidence is helping to support decision making.

  • In 1993, the first English National Curriculum for 5 to 13 year-old students contained statements of attainment that measured learning success. 80% of statements of attainment were left brained –‘tell me, show and demonstrate’ statements and 20% were right brained that invited creativity, ‘what would happen if’ and caring statements. Do we value only that which we can measure or is there another way?
  • DNA is influenced by our thoughts and feelings. Dr. David Hamilton and Rein and McCarthy noted that when you speak positively to someone, their DNA grows to its full length, is at ease with itself and dis-ease does not set in. Speak harshly to someone or show no appreciation, DNA does not grow to full length, is not at ease with itself and disease sets in. DNA that is appreciated brings a ‘glow’ to the person. Be positive, and students and ourselves ‘glow’ with learning, be negative or exercise ‘proud control’ and the glow lessens. Happy schools are schools where the balance of ‘fixed’ learning and ‘creativity’ is in harmony. Happy schools are places where appreciation is given and received at all levels. Living Values schools offer a positive atmosphere, harmony, balance in learning opportunities and recognition of equality of contribution.
  • The Institute of Heartmath has noted that five minutes of positive thinking boosts a person with positive energy for five hours whereas five minutes of ‘telling off’ depletes energy for 5 hours. In 1995, an article in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that when we think appreciation or are appreciated, our hearts beat smoothly and when anger sets in – our hearts beat irregularly. Which is better?
  • Learning accelerates when suppressed emotions are removed. The Living Values model and schemata that promotes quality learning and well-being with love, values, respect, understanding and security boosts learning success.

What does this look like in reality in an authentic and hard working school? Consider evidence from the Living Values based Kuwait American School:

    • non-verbal standardised scores for 250+ students from grades 2 to 7 increased by 5.2 points over a period of three years from a school average of 107.2 to 112.4.
    • end of year standardised assessments in Math and Language rose from 106.3 to 109.2 and 105.1 to 109.7 respectively.
    • the % of excellent grades significantly improved particularly in the early years.
    • the parents of two Grade 7 students, whose children joined the school as Kindergarten students, did not believe the high scores that were achieved by their children and had their children assessed independently. On the independent assessment, they were each achieving Grade 11 in Math and Grade 12 in language.
    • Serial and Unitive thinking is built into the curriculum to support both linear and creative learning.
    • Learning quietness builds reflection and accommodation.

As education leaders – we can each recognise these examples in our own practices – the secret is how to maximise potential for an ever changing world. What is education for? As education leaders – what do we choose? A values-based approach or a set curriculum approach?

Learning Vitality
Learning comes alive when our contributions are valued. Appreciating the equality of contribution of each student and our colleagues adds to their worth. Appreciation has no space for ‘put downs’ – just ‘build ups’.

As our DNA glows with appreciation, so too, does learning in an atmosphere that values contribution and positivity.

It was Sisk and Torrance who cited from ‘Elegant Universe’, the significance of atoms and quarks. Each atom is made up of 4 quarks and a quark has consciousness. What do quarks do? A positive quark is attracted to a positive and builds more positivity, a negative quark is attracted to a positive and favours positivity and, where no positive exists, a negative quark will be attracted to a negative thus strengthening negativity. The metaphor and scientific evidence suggests that positivity builds positivity – so why not apply it all the time? Living Values Education schools are built on shared positivity.

Positivity brings the ‘Tingle Effect’ – the good feeling factor to learning – a glow – a smile at the start and end of each day. Atmospheres and vibrational energies create worlds.

What do we prefer and choose? – A valued atmosphere with a foundation of values first with knowledge, skills and a learning curriculum or vice versa. As educational leaders – what do we choose?

Part III will be published in the next issue.


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