Exploring Values

values diagram

Values are guides to action. How can a teacher explore and develop a value in a manner that can be taken up by children in classes?

Our values are our guides to action. Values are our codes of internal conduct, the principles upon which we run our lives and make our decisions. Our values are first parlayed to us by our parents, and these are developed, expanded, tested in experience. Other people impress values upon us, such as those values given to us by our childhood friends, our teachers, the wider community. Our moral values can often come from our culture and faith systems. The strongest impression we ever get of human values is the example set by another person.

Our values include universal values – truthfulness, peace, love, right conduct and non-violence. These principles are within us at birth and need to be elicited and put into practice; they are often essential for our human excellence. We can often work out what values are present in a situation or an event or a reaction (our own)(someone else’s) when we analyse the actions of ourselves or others, for actions are based on choices, and choices show what our values are.

Exploring Calm as a Value

Exploring Values

Exploring the dimensions of a value

If we explore the dimensions of a value, we are looking to see describing words, what a value does for me, for others; we look to see what behaviour shows this value. For example, what do calm people do? How do calm people behave? What does calmness look like? What does being calm do for others? What is the limit of being calm? Is it disengagement, detachment? Or is it something further away?

A calm mind helps children deal with the ups and downs of life, without being taken over by feelings like frustration, disappointment, jealousy, hurt, anger etc. Practising calm sitting on a regular basis develops a strong ‘inner quiet’ that children can call upon to better manage their emotions. Calmness and silent sitting, for example, also provides benefits in improved concentration, problem-solving abilities and all-round physical health.

Download a full size image of Exploring the dimensions of a value