L'Association Suisse Vivre ses Valeurs
Tel / Fax: +41 24 471 4831
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
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.
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 (for full report please see http://livingvalues.net/senegal/index.html#english ).
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 (for full report please see http://livingvalues.net/switzerland/index.html#Status ).
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.