About Living Values Education

In this section

 

Overview

Young people are increasingly affected by violence, social problems, and a lack of respect for each other and the world around them, while their teachers and parents are impacted by new challenges and pressures. The educators involved in Living Values Education invite you to join us in a global endeavor to help children and youth explore and develop positive values and move toward their potential. We are creating caring, respectful environments where students feel safe and want to learn. Living Values Education Program is effective in decreasing violence and bullying, and creating safe, caring school climates which are conducive to quality learning.

As educators, we are not only doing Living Values Education Program to improve student behavior and the school climate. We feel that the cognitive thinking skills and social and emotional skills that students are exposed to and asked to explore and develop will help them grow toward their potential, protect them from violence, and help them engage in the community with respect, confidence and purpose. What children and youth learn is later woven into the fabric of society. Education must have positive values at its heart and the resulting expression of them as its aim if we are to seek to create a better world for all.

The challenge of helping children and youth acquire values is no longer as simple as it used to be when being a good role model and relating moral stories was sufficient. Violent movies and video games that glorify violence are attractive, and desensitize youth to the effect of such actions. Youth often see “bad” adults awarded with wealth and fame. Tides of apathy and resentment wash away the idealism and hopes of youth with each wave of more news about corruption, greed, excesses and injustice. “Good” students may adopt values-based behaviors when exposed to “awareness-level” activities, but do they base decisions in their personal and professional lives on values as adults? “Good” students benefit when guided through an exploration of values and their implications for the self, others and the larger society, as do “resistant” students or marginalized youth who turn away angrily from a moralizing approach to character education.

Each person is important in the creation of safer, As Jacques Delors noted in "Learning: The Treasure Within" we must not just educate our children and youth “to know” and “to do”, we must also educate them “to be” and “to live together” (1996). Quality education recognizes the whole person and promotes education that involves the affective domain as well as the cognitive. Values such as peace, love, respect, tolerance, cooperation and freedom, are cherished and aspired for the world over. Such values are the sustaining force of human society and progress.

Educators, and activities, that actively engage and allow students the opportunity to explore and experience their own qualities are of crucial importance. Students benefit by developing skills to cognitively explore and understand values. For students to be motivated to learn and utilize positive and cooperative social skills, the creation of a values-based atmosphere in which they are encouraged, listened to and valued is also essential. It is in this context, and in response to the call for values to be at the heart of learning, The Vision that Living Values Education (LVE) was developed.

Living Values Education is a way of conceptualizing education that promotes the development of values-based learning communities and places the search for meaning and purpose at the heart of education. LVE emphasizes the worth and integrity of each person involved in the provision of education, in the home, school and community. In fostering quality education, LVE supports the overall development of the individual and a culture of positive values in each society and throughout the world, believing that education is a purposeful activity designed to help humanity flourish.

About the Organization

The implementation of Living Values Education is facilitated by the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE), a non-profit-making association of organizations around the world concerned with values education.

Drawing on a strong volunteer base, the advancement and implementation of Living Values Education has been historically supported by UNESCO and a host of other organizations, agencies, governmental bodies, foundations, community groups and individuals. It is part of the global movement for a culture of peace in the framework of the United Nations International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World. ALIVE groups together national bodies promoting Living Values Education and is an independent organization that does not have any particular or exclusive religious, political or national affiliation or interest.

ALIVE is registered as an association in Switzerland. In some countries national Living Values Education associations have been formed, usually comprised of educators, education officials, and representatives of organizations and agencies involved with student or parent education.

The Beginning

LVE was initially developed by educators for educators in consultation with the Education Cluster of UNICEF, New York, and the Brahma Kumaris. Twenty educators from five continents met at UNICEF Headquarters in New York in August of 1996 to discuss the needs of children around the world, their experiences of working with values, and how educators can integrate values to better prepare students for lifelong learning. Using Living Values: A Guidebook and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as a framework, the global educators identified and agreed upon the purpose and aims of values-based education worldwide — in both developed and developing countries.

Activities

In pursuing its mission and implementing its core principles, the Association for Living Values Education International and its Associates and Focal Points provide:

  1. Professional development courses, seminars and workshops for teachers and others involved in the provision of education.

  2. Classroom teaching material and other educational resources, in particular an award-winning series of five resource books containing practical values activities and a range of methods fo ruse by educators, facilitators, parents and caregivers to help children and young adults to explore and develop twelve widely-shared human values (Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3-7, Living Values Activities for Children Ages 8-14, Living Values Activities for Young Adults, Living Values Parent Groups: A Facilitator Guide and LVEP Educator Training Guide). There are also resource books for children in difficult circumstances, youth in need ofdrug rehabilitation and children affected by war. The approach and lesson content areexperiential, participatory and flexible, allowing – and encouraging – the materials to be adapted and supplemented according to varying cultural, social and other circumstances. The approach and materials may also be used systematically in alignment with the above principles as the Living Values Education Program.

  3. Consultation to government bodies, organizations, schools, teachers and parents on the creation of values-based learning environments and the teaching of values.

  4. An extensive multi-lingual website (livingvalues.net) with materials available for downloading free of charge.

  5. Most recently is the adoption of free download materials in a DISTANCE programme that allows personal interaction with Values Awareness by all segments of the the population without trainers or workshop attendance.

 

International Usage

The Living Values Education approach and materials are currently being used and producing positive results in more than 40 countries in thousands of diverse settings. While many such settings are schools, others are day-care centers, youth clubs, parents, community, associations, centers for children in difficult circumstances, health, refugee camps and prisons. The number of participants engaged in LVEP at each site varies considerably; some involve 10 students with one teacher while others involve 3,000 students. At least some LVE materials are available in about 30 languages. The approach is non-prescriptive and allows materials and strategies to be introduced according to the circumstances and interests of the users and the needs of participants.