|In This Issue – September 2014||
Issue Number Fifty
News and Success Stories
Dear ALIVE Colleagues,
The inspiration for these few words comes from the Greek Island of Zakynthos where 80 living values educators from Greece, Europe, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean gathered, in July, to share their best practices and to explore ancient wisdoms for modern times. As with all Living Values Educators and training programs around the world, the living values educators who attended the conference were truly inspirational and modeled their values. Yet, it wasn’t those beautiful people alone who inspired me. It was the generous nature of the people of the island and in particular the hotel owner’s comment after the 3 day program who said: ‘This group of people is so peaceful and each one is full of peace. What’s your secret?’
All of us know that deep within the Living Values Education program is a deep secret of peace, goodness and kindness that resonates around the globe in many languages, in many different ways, within many different cultures and throughout the living of many personal values. Drawing out this treasure, I believe, is a gift we all give by sharing that love, faith, trust and collective goodness that lives in us all.
It is, therefore, to us all, each and every one of us, that we owe a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for simply being who we are, giving from our hearts and living our values through our very presence and expressed through the gifts we have to share.
As the world reaches out for peace, many individuals are attracted to values education and are seeking our help. As deeply valued and trusted Living Values Education educators, please continue to reach out in the confident knowing that Living Values Education is reaching the hearts and souls of so many as witnessed by the many heartwarming stories and photographs from around the world that continue to show the positive difference that a values approach to learning and living can bring to us all.
Chamroeun Chim, an LVE trainer from Cambodia, shared the following: “An LVE Workshop was held for 25 first-year university students of PEPY Cambodia, an organisation working with youth empowerment and education on May 15th, 2014. The one-day workshop on Peace, Respect, and Love was conducted in Siem Reap province. The students were involved in a variety of activities, such as values awareness, mind-maps on respect and the tunnel of love. Participants expressed positive feelings towards values reflection and the positive messages by their peers.
Eighteen teachers from different schools and kindergartens of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, united under the idea of how to help children be more open, express love and warmth, show respect each other and stay peaceful inside. We formed a club called “Teachers for values education” and have met from April every Thursday evening to do workshops at the Education and Management Team office. Participants have the opportunity to take part in LVE activities, games and songs, and discuss how they are implementing LVE in their own classes and involving children in LVE activities.
Teachers say that LVE Workshops help them be themselves in the classroom and help them and their children be happy. They are pleased to know how to work with kids on values and how to use text, stories, role playing, songs and discussions to focus on values.
One teacher said: “My students (5 to 6 years of age) were happy. We drew a big heart on the board as a symbol of love and they named the kind of hearts they know and shared why they have their hearts full with love. They made a “book of love” with pictures, drawings, words, stickers and organized a nice presentation. The children prepared postcards for their parents expressing their love and care and took them at home as a surprise for mommy and daddy.” She shared pictures she took during the LVE activities. “You can easily see how happy and motivated the children are and how they express love, care and respect to each other.”Tea Lobjanidze
In Tuticorin, 30 educators from ten schools participated with great enthusiasm during a two-day LVE workshop, 23 and 24 August. They were open to learning and contributed with their experience. Inspiring stories were shared and the teachers were highly motivated to bring about positive changes in their classrooms.
Uma Sridhar, the Focal Point for LVE in India, reported, “We tried out the Forum Theater from Theater of the Oppressed for the first time to address the issue of bullying in schools and found it to be very effective. Many teachers are seeing it in their schools and were eager to try it out in their respective schools. The LVE skill-building segments were found to be very useful and were much appreciated. The rekindling the dream exercise was a lot of fun for the participants who turned child-like to draw and color.”
A Living Values Education Workshop was organized by the Campuhan Life Long Learning (CL3) team between August 22 and 24, 2014 at Campuhan College. The workshop facilitators were Made Perdana Skolastika and Philipus Yusenda. The participants came from Bali and Jakarta. Twelve were teachers and the others were from the EduCare team (EduCare Batch 13).
Living Values education is a method of creating a values-based environment either at school, in the home or workplace. It departs from the assumption that values cannot be taught but only modeled, so adults living or working with children are expected to recognize the values within themselves and consciously change them.
There were many sessions in this workshop. The first session on the initial day was What is the Living Values Education Program (LVEP), a session telling the participants about the vision and mission, and why LVE is important for us to know. Then we continued with Values Awareness. We invited the participants to tap into and acknowledge their inner values and to live those values and apply them to their daily lives. The next session was Create a Value-based Atmosphere (Rekindle the Dream). We invited the participants to imagine their dream school. What did the school look like and how did the students and the teachers behave? We also told them to observe the values that were implemented in their dream school.
We started the second day with a Value Activity (Past, Present and Future Values). We invited them to write down one of their values which deeply influences their lives, and then to share it with other participants who had the same value. The next session was The Components of Living Values Education. We told the participants about the components of Living Values Education and held a discussion about them. We continued with Create a Value-based Atmosphere Skills (Revive the Positive Attitude). It is essential to revive a positive attitude as an example to the children. In this session we thought about what we should do to fulfill children’s five basic needs: to feel loved, safe, valued, appreciated and understood. After that we continued with Create a Value-based Atmosphere Skills, Active Listening, inviting them to respect other people through listening. We don't just need to listen to others, but to respond when someone talks to us. Many people don’t realize how important listening is, which often leads to misunderstandings. The next session was Create a Value-based Atmosphere Skills, Conflict Resolution. In this session, we gave an example of how to resolve conflict using the mediation method. The issues became real for them when we demonstrated them through drama, an effective tool to make the participants interested and help them understand.
The last day was really unforgettable. We begin with Transition to Value-based Discipline. We invited the participants to realize that we need values in our activities, and that we apply those values in our activities through our discipline. We continued with Evaluation of Living Values Education Workshop. We invited all the participants to give their impressions (approval and recommendations) during the workshop. Then we introduced the Action Plan. In this session they created their own plan after learning about and understanding Living Values Education. We ended the day with Values Activity 'Creating From Nothing'. All the participants loved this session because they produced a performance with their group. They sang songs together and read poetry. It was lots of fun. Although the participants came from different places and were of different ages, they came together in this workshop and enjoyed it regardless of their ages. When they discussed things they may have had different opinions, but when they sang and played games together they were really cohesive.
One of the participants said that he felt very lucky to attend the LVE workshop. His name was Ngakan Wardana and he was a teacher at SD1 (Elementary School) Number 1 in Tampak Siring, Gianyar. He attended the workshop because he was invited by the EduCare team. He never imagined he would take part in a workshop about living values. “At first, I thought I would be bored, but early on the first day I really began to enjoy the workshop and was eager for the second and third days,” he said during the final sharing process. He gained a great deal of knowledge from the workshop and now knows that the five basic needs of children are to feel loved, safe, valued, appreciated and understood.
Although the workshop was short, the values will remain in the hearts of the participants. We hope that all of them will continue to share these values with the people around them, and help create a better world.
Karuna Bali Team
The Kuwait American School (KAS) was founded on the Living Values Education Program in 1999. Many of the graduating students from Grade 12 have benefited from the school's Living Values Education program for 15 years – from their early childhood days to young adult maturity. They are now entering the world as global citizens.
Rawan Koujah spoke on behalf of her classmates during her Graduation with Honors acceptance speech in June 2014. Rawan is now studying Medicine at the University of Dublin.
An excerpt from her Acceptance Speech:
“With doors opening of various beginnings – rich with fascinating opportunities – we are gathered here to celebrate the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one with pure independence, responsibility and courage.
Our school has the dream of influencing and awakening the utmost capabilities of a person's positive powers and to educate and enlighten its students and staff through its core base: living values. The vision is to graduate you all – not only with high academic knowledge – but of high moral standards that depends on a person's ethics, values, goodness and attitude towards life itself.
For us all, the process was not easy to carry out. Expecting responses to these teachings required patience and a strong source of belief. Sometimes we did not understand for in the end we are human.
As time went by, we began to unravel the secrets behind such values: respect, tolerance, honesty and other values. The walls around us were disassembling – slowly fading away – creating a family of our own, a family of students and teachers. What others called school, we called family. And travelling deep into the family, lied our class; a family within a family.
Many of you may ponder as to what makes our bond so special? No, our relationships were not flawless. As a class we had our ups and downs. However, with faith and determination, and acceptance, we managed to overcome various obstacles. When our paths seemed to diverge, the paths always managed to meet again. We traveled together, as a pack, never leaving a person behind, constantly encouraging the next step to be taken. When others feared, the rest would assure. When some fell, the rest lifted. Together we grew. Together we flourished. We saw through the flaws of each and every classmate and discovered the beauty within. We had many unforgettable moments.
However, now ends this phase and begins a journey to test our endurance and individuality. A journey built on the foundation of our childhood, our values and time together. Now, we stand before various paths, at the end of an intersection. Soon we will part our ways, choosing the path which suits our individual interest. However, none will be forgotten, for each one us here will travel, holding onto a piece of the soul of the others.
The Kuwait American School continues to be a model school for Living Values Education attracting visitors from near and far to witness the effectiveness of its 15 years of experience.
Helen Sayers, the Focal Point for Oman, conducted a two day training on ‘Modeling Values’ to all 60 staff members in August 2014. Two particular highlights were the development of ‘Quiet Time’ and the development of practicalities to help ‘Empower and Sustain yourself in the classroom’. Quiet time included a number of reflection activities including visualization, commentary and especially ‘quietly being’ – the latter which is very important in the Middle East where children of all ages are disturbed by current events.
With regard to empowering and sustaining yourself in the classroom, the photograph shows one of 9 groups sharing their ‘tool kit’ creativity. Using everyday items as a metaphor, all groups were invited to create a number of tools to help sustain themselves in their demanding professional role. The illustrated example, from six colleagues representing six countries follows:
Many other metaphors were created by the other groups including: Roots of trees leading to happiness, Nature for calm and peace, peace of mind, positive energy and clouds of happiness, A Cuddly bear for security, A Chocolate bar to keep things sweet, A Key to ‘open their hearts’, A Calendar for organization, Sticky plasters for healing, and the image of a Swan – to see the best in all and not only the ugly duckling.
Together, everyone shared the same sustainability issues in a light hearted way though with a deep meaning. It showed that we all have the same issues to manage each day whatever role we play as educators and that what the students need, we need too!
Living Values Education, we felt, is for all. Adding values to internationalism is our next step. It’s a vision to which Living Values Education in Kuwait is happy to continue to contribute, to share and to learn.
In the month of August and the first week of September, Colegio Inglés in Mexico hosted a forum called “In our school … a culture of peace” in which the importance of the values of respect and peace were underlined through a process of reflection by participants. These values are going to be emphasized during the first semester.
The general objective of the forum was to promote a space for reflection and analysis of a culture of peace. The specific objective were to give the students, teachers and parents, educational resources that will allow them to understand, promote and live a culture of peace.
Our working process:
The experience was very good because through an activity in which you talk about values, the rest of the school subjects could be worked on transversally, highlighting the importance of respect and peace. The students were also invited to find in each activity the value and how it was related to their present situation. Also, the development of skills such as critical thinking, linguistics, math, reading competences, and specially citizenship were promoted in the process.
Gladys García Sabag, the General Director of the school, also noted: “The participants have responded very positively to Living Values Education. LVE confirms and enriches what we have been doing every day at Colegio Inglés for 20 years. We see important benefits in the school culture. There are very few problems and conflicts; it is a non-violent school. And as the students take home everything they learn at school, so we are creating a culture of peace at home also.”
Sharada Siwakoti, of supportive member of Nepal's LVE National Team, has shared a pictorial report of activities being done by kindergarten students and teachers at Learn Hub Montessori, Lok Darsan Primary School. The children have created a values tree. Thank you, Sharada!
A participant in an LVE workshop on Ubuntu, led by Helen Sayers on July 9th shared her experience: “I was pleased to participate in a very interesting workshop which sounded rather exotic. It was called "UBUNTU: Spirit of Humanity" and was about the concept of community. I was part of a group of a dozen people who didn't know each other at the start, but by the end of the afternoon we felt a great feeling of unity. Helen started with a pair exercise to get to know each other. We wrote down a few qualities belonging to our partner. Personally, I found this exercise empowering and helpful. This enabled us to get to know the people sitting with us in the circle. Another exercise which I found very meaningful and useful was about the quality of communication among people in general. Couples were asked to talk to each other, following instructions to interrupt the other person, to give advice, to ignore, or to criticize. At the end, we enjoyed true communication by listening carefully to our partner.
I really appreciated when Helen shared her passion for the "Ubuntu" way of life that she found in Africa. She talked about Mandela and his inspiration to the whole world, teaching about respect, reconciliation and forgiveness. We were also gently invited to think about our own communities, visions and projects. The exercise about consensus was short and focused on the meaning of cooperation and team work. The final activity invited us to do a monthly meditation on trust, caring, forgiveness, compassion …. All of this has certainly awoken in me a desire to visit Africa, the foundation of the "Ubuntu" way of life. Thanks to Helen, I have come to know the existence of Living Values Education and of teachers who implement this approach. Romina, with her translation and creativity cards, made it all easier and speedier for us. So much richness in one afternoon. I do not regret following such a full, sunny seminar!” - LAURA in love with life
Please notice that Helen’s resource book on Ubuntu is available under Resources on our website.
We thought you might enjoy this activity for young people. Created by Frances Burkhalter-Carroll, the President of the ALIVE Associate in Switzerland.
Lórien Eck created a video and shared the following about implementing LVE in the classroom: “I taught in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 10 years total, 5 years at both the middle school and high school levels. I implemented Living Values Education (LVE) into my classroom environment and curriculum throughout the 10 years that I taught in the public schools. We experienced immense success and amazing results with nearly no disciplinary referrals year after year from my classroom. I taught over 2,000 students and seriously, the data speaks for itself, .0002% disciplinary referrals!
I taught more than 200+ students/day on average and it was a pure pleasure teaching and learning with my students day in and day out. Living Values and the Values-Based Atmosphere served as an invaluable resource in my teaching practice. I also served as a teacher trainer and conducted LVEP professional development workshops for over 8 years to over 120 teachers, counselors, deans and administrators during that time.
In 2001, I was fortunate to be able to travel to a refugee camp at the Burmese-Thailand border to facilitate an educator training for 2 weeks. This experience provided me with the power of experience of seeing how powerfully transformative LVEP can be.
I highly recommend this simple, yet potent and effective values program to all educators worldwide.”
Lórien Eck, M.Ed., NBCT
Would you like to create a video about LVE? Share your experiences and create the opportunity for students to share their inspirations, art, songs and service-learning projects. We’ll post them on livingvalues.net!
On day four of a recent LVE Educator Training in Saigon, a science professor with 34 years of teaching experience shared that he felt so inspired by this new style of teaching after two days of training, that in the evening of the third day he did an experiment. That night he was scheduled to teach two classes of students at the same level the same subject. He taught class 'A' in the same manner that he has been teaching for 34 years. He taught class 'B' according to the Living Values Education style and created a value based atmosphere. He found that students in class 'B' immediately responded to the change of style and became very participatory and energetic. He also found that he felt inspired by the class. The next day at school several students from class 'A' came up to him and said that they had heard about how good class 'B' was and asked to join it!
In June of 2014 the second meeting for LVE facilitators took place at LVRC. During the meeting, teachers from different schools practiced and experienced values more deeply, discussed and shared their own experiences and resources, songs and video clips, in teaching/facilitating LVE. The latest research results on the impact of LVE three months after training were also shared at the meeting. One of the interesting results: Teachers who do LVE, enjoy teaching more!
Bich Ha, the President of the ALIVE Associate in Vietnam reported that LVE continues to spread throughout Vietnam. “This year in Ha Noi, there have been LVE Trainings of Facilitators for teachers at Vinschool and Thang Long University. Thang Long University will use LVE as a weekly subject in the social work course and all other students in the school will receive a minimum of 12 sessions of Living Values Education activities each year. In Binh Thuan, there have been LVE workshop for teachers from different schools. In Ho Chi Minh City, LVE Training of Facilitators seminars have taken place at Vstar International School and Wellspring international bilingual school. Vstar school has applied LVE since 2012. This school has expanded and developed a good reputation, hence the school board continues to request LVE trainings for their new teachers. Wellspring, a newly built school, will use LVE in their curriculum for all classes and school activities. They have also asked for LVE workshops for all staff and parents.”
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