Europe Regional Working Meeting of ALIVE Associates
Crêt-Bérard, Switzerland; 25 – 28 September 2019
Representatives of the ALIVE Associates in Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands and Switzerland, together with ALIVE’s President and Deputy President, met together in the delightful venue of Crêt-Bérard for a three-day European Working Meeting in late September 2019.
It was good to be back in this tranquil environment, with its serenely beautiful view of the Alps, and memories were evoked of the ALIVE board meeting and General Assembly here in 2006. Importantly, this was the first time that many participants had met each other and it was heart-warming to connect and share inspirations and challenges.
Amongst the issues that teachers are encountering in Europe were reports of increasing violence in schools, the lack of interest or inability of parents to deal with circumstances in the home, and obsession with new toys or digital devices, so exacerbating the difficulties for teachers at school, and a general resistance to engaging with questions about values, let alone giving them priority in school life. Mobile phones and the lack of true social interaction that they induce were seen to be responsible for lack of real communication between parents and their children, and children with each other. Loneliness and addiction may result from a lack of the experience and practice of values and it was felt that while we can keep teaching about values we cannot ignore the effects of the problems in society and the lack of parent support for values education.
In some countries, a lack of ethics and accountability in the national governing bodies is seen as responsible for a decline in values in the general population while economic hardship contributes to a depressed social atmosphere and deficit in the belief in goodness. Turnover in teaching staff in some schools leads to a lack of continuity while work pressure means that some teachers are lacking in time and energy to learn values-based teaching skills.
Notwithstanding (or perhaps because of) this at times rather depressing picture, participants felt inspired to re-double their efforts, with morale being boosted by a common bond and the opportunity to share together seeking a collective future for values-based education in Europe. It was also reassuring and inspiring to hear of the success stories and the impact that each one was making in one way or another and whether at school or in the wider community.
The meeting was a great success in bringing everyone together in an open, mutually-supportive and nourishing sharing and plans were made to meet again next year and to organise a Europe-wide TTE/conference.
A Ubuntu Experience at a Workshop in Lugano
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
An Onions and Diamonds Workshop for Young People
We thought you might enjoy this activity for young people. Created by Frances Burkhalter-Carroll, the President of the ALIVE Associate in Switzerland.
2013 Activity Report
Association suisse Valeurs pour vivre (ASVV) Rapport d'activités 2013
Le mois de janvier nous a vu réaliser un projet désiré depuis quelques années: donner une formation de formateurs. Six stagiaires ont participé à ce cours tenu à Martigny en Valais. Le cours de base s’est déroulé sur deux jours, les 12 et 13 janvier. Notre formatrice principale fut Shelagh Moore, d’Angleterre, auteure et formatrice spécialisée dans l’éducation aux valeurs. Elle nous a inspirées et transmis sa passion, enrichie d’une longue expérience avec des écoles et entreprises en Angleterre, France et Pologne.
Avec Shelagh nous avons visité l’Ecoline. Cette école maternelle et garderie se trouve à St-Sulpice, Vaud. Elle met en pratique une approche de l’éducation basée sur les valeurs, l’exploration et l’expression créative, suite à la formation reçue en Valeurs pour vivre en 2012 et ancrée actuellement dans l’approche Reggio Emilia.
Une journée d’approfondissement s’est tenue le 10 mars à l’Ecoline. Le 25 mai, deux des formatrices nouvellement certifiées ont donné leur atelier d’une journée à l’intention des parents, intitulé S’épanouir au quotidien … ça commence par moi ! Ce fut une expérience pleinement réussie, qui a apporté de l’énergie et de la détermination aux participants, en leur donnant des outils concrets à emporter dans leurs familles.
Le 28 octobre nos quatre formatrices du canton du Valais se sont rendues dans le canton de Genève, dans une école internationale de 2'000 élèves et 200 enseignants. Elles y ont donné une journée de développement professionnel aux enseignants, présents dans six ateliers, trois en français et trois en anglais. Dans l’ensemble, leur participation fut enthousiaste et positive.
En automne, l’Association des Parents d’élèves de Monthey reprit contact avec nous, pour confirmer leur intérêt à notre proposition d’une série de rencontres avec les parents. Il a été décidé de démarrer ces ateliers du soir après les vacances scolaires de Noël, le 13 janvier. Ces cinq rencontres furent extrêmement riches, fructueuses, très animées. Mais ce sera le rapport 2014 qui vous en dira plus !!
Début décembre, le sous-groupe « Valeurs » d‘un groupe de parents d’élèves qui réfléchit à "comment vivre plus harmonieusement à Charrat" nous a demandé des renseignements sur nos rencontres avec des parents. Les échanges qui s’en sont suivis ont aussi débouché sur du concret. Mais ce sera aussi pour le prochain rapport !
A titre individuel, plusieurs de nos membres ont fait rayonner les valeurs à vivre dans leurs régions. A Genève, des personnes qui travaillent avec des enfants après l’école ont été sensibilisées aux bienfaits d’une attitude basée sur les valeurs. A Monthey, en avril, une réflexion sur les valeurs a débouché sur la création d’une scène dans le cadre d’une pièce théâtrale chantée et dansée. Ce fut à l’occasion des dix ans d’une association d’entre-aide entre femmes émigrées et suisses.
En septembre, des élèves adolescents d’une école à St-Maurice ont été amenés à réfléchir sur leurs valeurs dans le cadre de deux journées de réflexion appelées, Qui suis-je, quelles sont mes valeurs ? Deux cents jeunes furent répartis pendant deux jours en huit ateliers d’une heure appelés Oignons et Diamants. Ilsont visualisé, réfléchi et dialogué autour des valeurs qui sont les leurs. D’autres ateliers aux thèmes de théâtre, slam et la Règle d’or les ont aussi encouragés à exprimer leurs valeurs et leurs ressentis. Ce fut la 4ème année que ces ateliers ont eu lieu.
Durant toute l’année scolaire, nos membres enseignants ont créé des atmosphères de classe propices à l’épanouissement de leurs élèves. A Martigny, suite à la demande d’une de nos membres, la Commission « Vivre Ensemble » a donné son accord que chaque mois les élèves travaillent et approfondissent une valeur proposée sur les cartes Valeurs pour vivre. Le même texte est proposé à tous les élèves des écoles enfantines jusqu’en 6ème primaire. Ainsi, 460 écoliers dans sept bâtiments scolaires bénéficient chaque semaine de cette sensibilisation aux valeurs.
Musique d’avenir en 2014
Projets en cours:
- Février: donner des cours à Genève pour des personnes s’occupant d’enfants après l’école.
- Printemps : faire imprimer les valeurs dans les agendas des écoliers à Martigny.
- Septembre: donner un atelier d’introduction aux valeurs aux parents du centre scolaire de Charrat. Suite à cela, une série de rencontres pourra être organisée.
- Novembre : prendre contact avec le responsable de la Formation continue des enseignants du Valais et envoyer le formulaire « Annonce de cours » pour cette formation en 2015-16.
- Proposer des rencontres dans le cadre des Universités populaires.
- Proposer des rencontres avec des parents dans des Associations de parents d’élèves.
Notre Association se trouve à un tournant. Qui prendra la relève ? Si le cadre reste à définir au moment où ces lignes s’écrivent, le fond reste inchangé : proposer des outils aux enseignants et aux parents pour aider leurs jeunes à s’épanouir et à développer des relations respectueuses et heureuses avec d’autrui.
9 mai 2014
2009 Activity Report
Our activities in Switzerland
The year 2009 began with the President participating in the 25th Annual Meeting and Conference of the English Teachers Association of Switzerland, which took place in the Grisons. She gave a 90-minute workshop entitled Keeping Enthusiasm Flowing – yours and theirs to 26 participants, based on the Living Values Education approach. The teachers in attendance enjoyed discovering this vision of teaching, adaptable to all subjects, which enables teachers and students to create a class atmosphere where the young person feels safe, valued, understood, respected and loved.
In April a one-day introductory workshop to Living Values Education was given in Bellinzona, in the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland, to a group of women who were members of an organization promoting child protection. In June, it was in Zurich (in the German-speaking part of our country) that our two trainers, Patrizia Tamburrino and Frances Burkhalter, worked with parents and their children during a weekend. In both cases, the participants showed enthusiasm and a desire to implement the LVE approach.
In May, the principal of a secondary school asked four teachers trained in LVE to briefly present our values-based approach to education to the entire teaching staff. A few teachers showed keen interest and took our training course in June, organized in the framework of the official continuing education program for teachers in the canton of Valais. It was the third one we have given in the past three years. So far, fifty teachers have taken our course.
This year, eleven teachers from elementary and secondary schools participated in the 2 ½-day course in June and two follow-up sessions during the current school year. These deeply motivated teachers put LVE into practice in many varied, original ways and shared their strategies and materials with us. Heightened cooperation and mutual respect among students, happier class atmospheres and increased teacher motivation were some of the results they described.
In September, at the beginning of the new school year, an article about LVE and our training program appeared in the official professional magazine for teachers. Following this, the director of a center for young people with learning difficulties asked us to give a workshop to the youth workers and other employees at his institution.
Throughout the school year, student teachers in training at the University for Teacher Education in St-Maurice were often given ideas for classroom management based on LVE during their classes in English Methodology.
Our activities in West and Central Africa
Dr. Walters Samah, one of our focal points for LVE in Cameroon, and who took our training courses in 2006 in his country, has been working now for two years in Haiti as a Civil Affairs Officer with the U.N. Peace-keeping mission there. He organized workshops for teachers and youth workers and gave presentations on LVE, in conjunction with The Children's Voice Foundation, a local NGO. About 100 people attended these workshops and presentations. The resilience and deep-seated joy of the Haitian people were palpable.
A book entitled Ubuntu was written and published by Helen Sayers, our Coordinator for LVE training programs in West and Central Africa. Several of the activities described in this book were tested in situ by the teachers trained in LVE during our two-year program sponsored by Accentus foundation in Zurich.
The way forward
Living Values Education is effective especially when it is implemented by an entire school – not only by students and teachers - but also by parents, administrators, caretakers, kitchen staff, school board members and local political authorities involved in school matters. Bearing this in mind, our action plan for 2010 is to bring LVE to the attention of a wider public, that is, to:
- school directors
- directors of continuing education programs in universities for teacher education
However, this action plan can be realized only with the help of several trainers and for the moment, there are only two trainers in our association. There is an obvious need to organize a TTT course for interested teachers who have already taken our initial course. An invitation to this training will be sent to them by the end of May 2010.
Disrespect and violence appear to be spreading in our schools and families. Living Values Education offers teachers and parents alike the tools to prevent and heal these situations.
We intend to meet the challenge!
Frances Burkhalter-Carroll 12 April 2010
The Swiss Association for Living Values (SALV) is happy to reportthatthe first Living Values teacher-training program in the canton of Valais took place from 25 to 27 June 2007, with fifteen teachers in attendance. Their openness and enthusiastic participation made this session a great success. Two more meetings, in September and November, will enable the participants to talk about their practical experiences with their students. Already positive results, both within the school setting and the family, have been seen. Other teachers have expressed the wish to take this course as soon as possible.
SALV is continuing to progress. Our work is to transmit an approach to education that helps each person to become aware of, and to express, their innate qualities. This activity can take place through official channels, but it can also come about in less formal settings, such as get-togethers among a few teachers at a time.
We must increase our publicity, which might include targeting parents. Let us dare to talk more about Living Values to a wider public! Our schools need a clearly defined approach to discipline, based on the respect of oneself and of others, modelled by teachers who value their students and who walk their talk. Let us make the commitment to train several people in 2007-2008, in each of the three linguistic regions of Switzerland!
May we put into practice these lines by Nelson Mandela:
Like children, we can all shine… And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously enable others to do likewise. And when we free ourselves of our own fear, our presence automatically frees others of theirs.
- Our programme figures in the list of continuing education courses for teachers in the canton of Valais 2006 – 2007.
- Hike in the Swiss pre-Alps among members of our association across mountain meadows dotted with white, yellow and purple flowers in radiant sun. Happy moments of friendship and thought-provoking discussion.
- SALV organises the annual general meeting of ALIVE and Living Values Education (LVE) conference at Crêt-Bérard, from 28 July to 2 August. In attendance: 30 delegates of LVE national associations from 26 countries. Excellent presentations are given by Drs Bart Mc Gettrick and Neil Hawkes on the advantages of values-based education. The participants enjoy long chats, sharing of experiences, laughter, dancing (at a memorable party to celebrate the tenth anniversary of LVE!), strolls in the rolling hills above Lake Geneva, delicious meals and an excursion to a chocolate factory and the village of Gruyères. A truly energising reunion, rekindling motivation.
- Two of our members create values cards in French, a set for young children and one for adolescents. These can be easily printed out on computers, thus enabling their use by LVE-trained teachers anywhere in the world.
- On 17 November, within the framework of the World Day against Child Abuse, the president of SALV, Frances Burkhalter-Carroll, is invited by the World Women's Summit Foundation (WWSF) in Geneva to give a talk on the theme "How to be Good Parents in the Age of Modern Media". Her presentation emphasises the importance of the parents' responsibility to transmit essential core values to their children, by creating a climate of mutual love, listening and respect in the home. It is also necessary to be constantly vigilant about how our children use the various media – internet, video games, television, DVDs – so easily available to them. This meeting, attended by 50 people, provides the opportunity for our association to come into contact with other NGOs working for the well-being of children. The WWSF invites the president of SALV to become a member of its consultative committee.
- Advanced training course on 2 December for LVE trainers under the guidance of two experienced teacher trainers. Our association now has 5 educators ready to give LVE training courses.
Participants at the Living Values workshop "Values-based education: Laying foundations for the society of the future" on 13 December 2003 at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Geneva.
The year 2003 saw a strengthening of the foundations of the Swiss Association for Living Values as well as development of international relations and growth in its outreach work in developing countries. This progress is largely due to the unity of its members and the quality of the educators implementing the Living Values Educational Programme in their work. Six members attended the international Train-the-Trainer course in Oxford in the summer, and several educators participated in introductory training sessions either in Lausanne or in Lugano. Workshops, presentations and conferences took members to the mountains of Switzerland, as far as Senegal, and into the heart of a United Nations World Summit.
Activities extended from French-speaking Switzerland into the 'Ticino', the Italian-speaking region, at the invitation of the Alta Scuola Pedagogica, a teacher training college in Locarno, to take part in their in-service training programme for citizenship education. Living Values Education trainers from Italy and Spain joined SALV members to facilitate the basic LVEP training course, with emphasis on the art of living together. Interest in Living Values also developed in the Swiss-German region.
Peace Building Initiatives was one of the themes for the annual Initiatives for Change (IOC) conferences held at Caux, in a magnificent chateau with spectacular views of Lake Geneva and the Alps. The President of IOC invited Living Values Education to give a presentation on the practical skills necessary for peace building to an enthusiastic audience comprising over 40 nationalities. A true story was related, describing how a schoolteacher managed to transform her relationship with a class of difficult students. It illustrated how major problems in the world share common roots and therefore common solutions with everyday situations of conflict.
Further afield, in Dakar, Senegal, UNESCO in partnership with Living Values Education organized a conference and training workshop in values education, with the support of SALV, at the UNESCO Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA), in November. Living Values was introduced to the local community and about 60 educators attended the training, including teachers, religious and cultural leaders, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and school inspectors. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Minister in charge of Early Childhood Development, in the presence of the Director of BREDA. Madame Diawara (in charge of Early Childhood and Children in Difficult Situations at BREDA), as main coordinator of the workshop, presented UNESCO's strategy for implementing Living Values in the West African Region, which would promote values-based education for children in difficult situations, particularly street children. By the end of three days of creative activities, reflections, visualizations, story-telling, singing and dancing, and an extensive exploration of the traditional values of Senegal (which include hospitality, solidarity, respect, modesty, patience and courage) participants commented that they had recognized afresh their responsibilities as educators and role-models, and had come together in the true spirit of learning. They made plans to pilot Living Values: An Educational Program for the next three months, and a commitment to meet again in 2004 for a Train-the-Trainer course with workshops for educators of street children and early childhood.
In December, a workshop was organized at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, entitled Values-based education: Laying foundations for the society of the future. The aim was to explore the question 'How can we help children to develop critical thinking skills and qualities such as self-esteem, cooperation, creativity, and discernment ' so that they can benefit from the revolution in information technology and integrate themselves into the community with confidence, respect and purpose? The highlight of the event was when H.E. Adama Samassou, former Minister of Education in Mali, and President of the WSIS Preparatory Committee, joined the workshop and expressed his appreciation and encouragement for the work of Living Values, particularly at this time, when the world seems to be losing its values. He stressed the priority of educating parents so that they bring up their children to become good citizens and to live by the values of their own culture.
Plans for 2004 include providing more training courses in Switzerland, developing and improving the materials available to teachers and facilitators, exploring ways by which the Living Values programme can help in reducing violence in schools, increasing our contacts and cooperation with other organizations, and continuing our support of the partnership of LVE with UNESCO in Africa.
SALV wishes to thank all its members and friends for their generous support in many different ways.