It is my great pleasure to be serving again as President of the Association for Living Values Education International (“ALIVE”) and, on behalf of the ALIVE Board, to welcome you to our website. ALIVE was founded in July 2004 to provide an organisational home for Living Values Education which comprises both a values-based approach to and vision of education as well as a collection of classroom materials, award-winning books and other resources for use in formal school settings and a range of other learning environments.
While education is itself inherently a values-laden endeavour and forms the beating heart of quality education so also values are an integral and defining aspect of the human being and we extend a warm welcome to this website to all those concerned with the place and extent of values in their lives. We hope that you will find ideas for quiet reflection and contemplation, inspiration for ways of thinking, being and doing that you would like to adopt and practical resources that you can use for teaching in a wide variety of settings. Look out for information about a LVE professional development workshop or seminar near you and news of how people around the world have been successfully implementing the Living Values Education Approach and the positive outcomes and academic, social and personal benefits they have experienced. A common theme is how a greater emphasis on and understanding of values has added meaning to education and life as a whole. Indeed, values may be seen as the compass with reference to which people chart the journey of their lives and which sets a course for humanity as a whole and education as a purposeful activity designed to help humanity flourish. Values-based education then has an essential part to play in the development of the individual and the path towards a better world for all.
Values such as Happiness, Honesty, Love, Peace, Respect, Responsibility, Freedom and Simplicity must be given pride of place within every aspect of education and indeed of the life of each person. The choice of values is personal to each individual but as members of one human family, notwithstanding our rich diversity, varied contexts and interpretation, there is often a striking unity within the values we seek to live by and values such as those above will be familiar and nourishing friends to many people around the world.
It is sometimes said that values are caught not taught and while the focus on catching is helpful in highlighting the strength of values that have found their home in our hearts there is also work for the head in consciously adopting values as indicators or reference points to guide, govern and assess our thoughts, attitudes and behaviour in ways that we judge to be beneficial when faced with decisions or choices. But if values are thus to be both taught and caught perhaps they are also – and first of all – to be sought in a journey of inward discovery and reflection. Indeed a distinguishing feature of the Living Values Education Approach is the importance given to the principle that a crucial first step in values education is for teachers to develop a clear and accurate perception of their own attitudes, behaviour and emotional literacy as an aid to living their own values. This facilitates the development of a values-based learning environment in the school and classroom, which is seen as an integral and essential part of values education, and provides a foundation for students, teachers and all others within the learning community to be valued, nurtured and cared for.
Registered in Switzerland, ALIVE is an association of organisations in nearly 30 countries and recognises individuals in another 15 or so countries as focal points or local contacts for LVE. In many of these countries, LVE is being used in schools or other educational settings while in other places experienced facilitators conduct LVE professional development workshops or other events. As an organisation that is to a large extent dependent on volunteers we are delighted to enjoy meaningful strategic partnerships with leading educational and other institutions and are always open to exploring different possibilities of collaborating for the common good in ways that cannot be done while working alone. We aspire to support schools, teachers and others who believe in the importance of values in their lives and so please have a look at our website, see what we do and come and join us in making a positive difference! Welcome to Living Values Education!
Chris Drake, President ALIVE International