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Organization: Association for Living Values Education International
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: April 30 2005,18:02 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?

Yes, Living Values Educators around the world have seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence with the children and youth with whom we work, and in the variety of educational settings and communities with which we are involved.  

Informal, internal educator evaluations and anecdotal stories have been collected from teachers implementing the program in countries around the world.  The most frequent themes noted are positive changes in teacher-student relationships and in student-student relationships both inside and outside the classroom.  Educators note an increase in respect, caring, cooperation, motivation, and the ability to solve peer conflicts on the part of the students.  Aggressive behaviors decline as positive social skills and respect increase.  Interviews with educators implementing Living Values Education Programme reveal that over time there is a change in how the children, youth and adults involved perceive and deal with challenges.  As they learn to dialogue and resolve new situations in an open atmosphere of respect and caring, their comprehension and acceptance of differences grows and their ability to create positive outcomes; they become creators of peace.  Educators assume more direct responsibility and create safe, caring, values-based environments for quality learning and quality education.

OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?

LVEP could be implemented on a much wider scale, and if so, it would affect many more children and youth.  The obstacles are limited numbers of volunteer trainers and administrative personnel, and limited funds for training, related travel, teacher-release time and outreach.  Another funding obstacle, especially in developing countries, is the lack of funding for books and materials and in some cases the lack of funds for establishing formal non-profit associations.

ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?

International Usage

Living Values Education Programme is currently being implemented in 77 countries at over 8,000 sites.  While most sites are schools, other sites are day-care centers, centers for street children, health centers, refugee camps and drug rehabilitation clinics.  The number of students doing Living Values Education Programme at each site varies considerably; some involve 10 students while others involve 3,000.

Living Values Education Programme

LVEP is a comprehensive values education program.  This innovative global program offers training, a practical methodology and a wide variety of experiential values activities to educators, facilitators, parents and caregivers to help them provide the opportunity for children and young adults to explore and develop universal values. Educators are asked to think about their values, use their creativity to see how they can incorporate values into their curriculum in a practical way and create a values-based atmosphere.  The curriculum includes Living Values Activities for peace, respect, love, cooperation, happiness, honesty, humility, responsibility, simplicity, tolerance, freedom and unity. Used primarily in schools, both public and private, LVEP is also used in informal settings.  LVEP has special materials for use with children affected by war, street children, and just recently, youth in drug rehabilitation and children affected by earthquakes and tsunamis

During LVEP training, educators are asked to create a values-based atmosphere in which all students can feel respected, valued, understood, loved and safe. Part of LVEP educator excellence is viewed as modeling the values, respecting student opinions, and empowering children and young adults to enjoy learning and implementing values projects.  Designed to address the whole child/person, Living Values Activities build intrapersonal and interpersonal social and emotional skills and values-based perspectives and behaviors.  Students are engaged in reflection, visualization, and artistic expression to draw out their ideas; cognitive and emotional skills grow as they are engaged in analyzing events and creating solutions.  The approach is child-centered, flexible and interactive; adults act as facilitators.  

Efforts to Promote a Culture of Peace in Schools and Education Settings

Methods:  LVE Educator Trainings are conducted to help educators establish a values-based atmosphere consistent with their culture, and facilitate activities from LVEP’s Living Values Activities books.  In Living Values Activities for Children Ages 3–7, Ages 8–14, and Living Values Activities for Young Adults, reflective and imagining activities encourage students to access their own creativity and inner gifts.  Communication activities teach students to implement peaceful social skills.  Artistic activities, songs, and dance inspire students to express themselves while experiencing the value of focus.  Game-like activities are thought-provoking and fun; the discussion time that follows those activities helps students explore effects of different attitudes and behaviors.  Other activities stimulate awareness of personal and social responsibility and, for older students, awareness of social justice.  The development of self-esteem and tolerance continues throughout the exercises. Educators are encouraged to utilize their own rich heritage while integrating values into everyday activities and the curriculum.  

Reported Results:  Values education gives teachers new tools for innovation, in any environment or culture.  Educators often experience their implementation of LVEP as an ongoing learning process which helps them, and their students, create peace.  Educators report that living the values in the classroom and community allows those involved to:  1) experience the values in their actions, and learn about values, every day;  2) adapt to and face complex situations and the challenges of today as they develop different perspectives and transformative viewpoints;  3) see the classroom as an active laboratory of diversity; and  4) create a classroom environment which allows the participants to deal with  complexity, diversity and differences in a caring and appreciative interdependent space.  All of this helps people participate actively in building a culture of peace through dialogue, cooperation, respect and ethical, moral and spiritual principles.  With a variety of methodologies they expand an often cold school curricula and creatively contribute to a positive process of deepening in their thoughts, feelings and relationships; they learn how to build the real processes that are required in order to “be” in the world.

The vast majority of sites using LVEP are public and private schools.  Results vary with the percentage of educators using the program, and the dedication and commitment of the staff to modeling and facilitating the exploration of values.  Whole schools using the program have noted positive changes in the culture of the school, and the tendency of students to use values to discuss current topics.  Teachers often speak of more caring and respectful relationships with students.  Aggressive behaviors and disciplinary referrals decrease, and some schools report that attendance increases.  Educators note an increase in cooperation and the ability to use conflict resolution skills with peers.

A few examples follow:  In Iceland, a veteran first-grade teacher reported seeing surprising and dramatic improvements in caring, respect, cooperation, concentration, and learning to read.  In Lebanon, second-graders in a classroom at ACS have learned conflict resolution so well that they solve all peer conflicts themselves; the teacher reports she is free to teach. In Australia, a year-nine student reported, “It’s not just that I like values classes, I really enjoy them. At the start I was dead against values, I didn’t feel like I got anything out of the class. I distracted people and didn’t put in any effort. Then I thought for one lesson I would really contribute. That lesson changed the way I felt about values. I can relate to everything that we talk about. I find myself discovering things about myself that I never knew. Values class is really worthwhile.” In South Africa, formerly violent secondary students now lead LVEP workshops for their peers and are leaders for peace.  For more information, please visit the Living Values Education Web site, www.livingvalues.net.

Efforts to Promote a Culture of Peace in Refugee Camps

Methods:  For six years, LVE trainers have conducted annual workshops for and with Karen Tribe teachers to help them learn to facilitate the LVEP activities and establish a values-based atmosphere consistent with their culture.  Living Values Activities for Refugees and Children Affected by War contains activities that give children an opportunity to begin the healing process while learning about peace, respect and love.  Designed to be implemented by refugee teachers of the same culture as the children, there are 49 lessons for children three- to seven-years old and 60 lessons for students eight- to fourteen-years old.  The lessons provide tools to begin to deal with grief while developing positive adaptive social and emotional skills.  A section on camp-wide strategies offers suggestions for creating a culture of peace, conducting values education groups for parents/caregivers, cooperative games, and supporting conflict resolution monitors. Teachers continue with the regular living values activities after these lessons are completed.

Reported Results:  One year after implementing LVEP, nine out of 24 Karen refugee-camp teachers working with children and youth reported 100-percent improvement in violent behavior; the others cited an 80-percent reduction in aggressiveness. Every teacher spoke about the changes in their students and increases in participation and expression. Their comments included:
• The students now dare to speak.
• They share their pictures now, before they would just be quiet.
• Before when a camp leader would come to the class they would be quiet, now they not only dare to speak, they ask questions.
• Some students when they saw conflict (in other students), they said, “Oh, we learned about Living Values – we don’t do that.” and they taught the other students conflict resolution.

All of the teachers said the students fought much less frequently, and ten teachers said that their students now did not fight at all. A woman teacher who had done the most lessons, said of her twelve to sixteen year-old students:  “Before they had this training they used to get angry quickly, not forgive each other quickly, and some were cruel. Now they do not anger easily and forgive each other, and they are not cruel, they are patient. Now, there are no fights.  They try harder, are friendlier to me, and can solve problems in the classroom.”

Three years after the program began in the camp in which it was first implemented, the camp leader shared that the camp section leaders no longer had to spend so much time on problems caused by gangs of youth from different sections fighting each other.  Indeed, he said, they did not spend even one minute are there were no longer fights.  The children now engage in positive play.  If there is a problem, they spontaneously conduct their own conflict resolution sessions.  The program has now spread to other camps along the Thai-Myanmar border.  

The refugee and children affected by war materials have also been used in very limited ways in Lebanon and Cambodia.

Efforts to Promote a Culture of Peace with Street Children

Methods:  Six-day LVE Trainings with street educators are conducted to help them establish a values-based atmosphere consistent with their culture and facilitate activities from LVEP’s materials for street children.  The Living Values Activities for Street Children (LVASC) books for ages 3-6, 7-10 and 11-14, contain adapted living values activities on peace, respect, love and cooperation and a series of stories about a street children family.  The stories serve as a medium to educate about and to discuss issues related to domestic violence, death, AIDS, drug sellers, drugs, sexual abuse, physical abuse, hygiene and healthy eating. LVASC 11–14 also includes the issues of emerging sexuality, sex and labor trafficking, and a further exploration of human rights. The stories are combined with discussions, activities, and the development of positive adaptive social and emotional skills and protective social skills.  

Reported Results:  Since November of 2002, LVEP trainings for street educators and agencies caring for street children have been conducted in Vietnam, Indonesia, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and Senegal (in chronological order).  

In Vietnam, educators reported considerable decreases in aggression and at-risk behaviors. Street-children educator Mrs. Tyuet reports a dramatic change in the students and atmosphere in her class of street children after implementing LVASC. The children now love being in the classroom: they work harder, have developed a lot of love for the teachers and conflict has dramatically reduced. They are also sharing and helping each other — this is something new as before they used to fight over toys, etc. Teachers at a centre for sexually abused girls shared that students have developed their own values by participating in the LVASC lessons and have greater respect for their friends and teachers. The students’ attitudes towards each other have also changed and they have developed greater harmony amongst themselves. They now study much harder and enjoy their classes more. The previously frequent conflicts have decreased considerably.

Ms. Kim Anh found the lessons on love most special and is so grateful to be able to use LVEP with her students. One day, a boy said in class, “I’m so hungry.” He said this in slow words, with a white face, because of hunger. A small boy standing near him replied sweetly and shared some bread with him. It seems the students have adopted one of the main concepts from LVASC’s Street Children Family Stories: A street-children family is a family that loves and cares for each other.
2004 was the first year of activities in Brazil with the Living Values Activities for Street Children.  Educators of institutions caring of at risk children, with a strong history of violence in their lives, were trained.  The LVE Coordinator reported:  “As first results, educators report a significant improvement in almost all items about behavior that are included in the evaluation; groups of teens who, after a history of permanent conflict, achieve for the first time discussing their differences, cooperating and loving each other; interest of the children to continue the program, etc. There was also an experience with delinquent minors within a specific institution: the educator who applied the program for a group having the most negative and aggressive behavior reports that they passed to excel within the whole group, asked for continuity of the program and one of them wants the educator, with his help, to apply the program to the people living on his street, when he is free again. The improvement in self-esteem of the children and a new look by the educators are very much visible.”

Efforts to Promote a Culture of Peace in the Home and Community

Methods:  A few LVE Teams around the world, provide community values workshops and training for parent-group facilitators.  Some LVE Teams and schools provide workshops and parent groups to the community or small groups of parents and caregivers.  An LVEP book, Living Values Parent Groups: A Facilitator Guide offers both process and content for facilitators interested in conducting Living Values Parent Groups with parents and caregivers to further understanding and skills important in encouraging and positively developing values in children.  The first section describes content for an introductory session, and a six-step process for the exploration of each value. In this process, parents and caregivers reflect on their own values and how they "live" and teach those values. The second section offers suggestions regarding values activities the parents can do in the group, and ideas for parents to explore at home. In the third section, common parenting concerns are addressed, as are particular skills to deal with those concerns.

The Results:  Parents and caregivers report benefiting from LVEP parent workshops.  Comments from parents taking a parenting workshop in Singapore include:  It “helped them revisit their values, reinforced the importance of living their values, reaffirmed their style of parenting, made them feel valued as the facilitator showed regard and involved them in the dialogue, and helped them learn skills such as active listening and conflict resolution.”  A head-teacher in England commented that doing the LVEP workshops made the parents more appreciative of what the school was doing!”  

Community values workshops have been done by several LVE Teams in South America for parents, educators and businesspersons.  The programs are very well-received and generate discussion on values.  Each group is encouraged to look at the effect of values in their own life and how values-based behaviors can positively impact the local community.

About the Organization

Living Values Education Programme is coordinated by the Association for Living Values Education International (ALIVE), a non-profit association of educators from around the world.  It is supported by UNESCO, sponsored by a wide variety of organizations, institutions and individuals, and being implemented in all continents of the world.  LVEP is part of the global movement for a culture of peace in the framework of the United Nations Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

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.

ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?

The main advice we would offer would be to promote greater awareness of the fundamental role that education can play in forming, developing and moulding society, so both building a culture of peace and preventing the entrenchment within society of ills requiring more costly and difficult remedial action.  Greater emphasis must therefore be given to ensuring that basic human values such as peace, respect, responsibility, honesty and cooperation are accorded their rightful place at the heart of the learning experience of all people and that educational processes and curricula both reflect these values and support their practical expression.

In emphasizing that education is indispensable in creating a culture of peace we would also offer the following specific suggestions:

• Strengthen efforts to emphasize the importance of Quality Education, defining it as necessarily including peace education and values education both in the curriculum and as part of the overall educational ethos.  Comprehensive values education must be included at all levels of learning, as education that educates the heart as well as the head is an essential pillar of building a culture of peace.

• Increase training in values education for educators.  Creating a values-based learning environment of peace and respect is a low-cost yet effective method to enhance the morale and professionalism of teachers and also nurture their caring capacities.  Teaching teachers to model respect and tolerance, and teach peace, helps teachers build safe, healthy learning environments, and use the interpersonal skills that help children develop their potential.  

• Increase the dissemination of parenting information and programmes, emphasising the needs of children, including health and nutritional needs, as well as good parenting practices.  More values content within parenting programmes would enhance their effectiveness since as parents reflect on their own values their understanding of what is important for children grows.  Educating parents increases their commitment to educating their children, including the education of the girl child.

• Urge governments to fulfil their commitment to ensuring children have food, clean water, shelter and health care, recognising that these are a basic human need and that the lack of them negates efforts to build a culture of peace.

• Engage all actors in society in activities for the exploration and development of human values, drawing attention to the relationship between the values that characterise their own lives and the prevailing culture within the larger community.  For example, high-level leaders could be engaged in a brief seminar on the relationship between development, prosperity, peace and values.  Such a seminar would initially engage participants in reflecting on the effect of values in their own life.  Next, a facilitator would engage participants in interactively “mind-mapping” the effects of honesty versus corruption on society, business, government, education and health.  This simple method is a powerful one that highlights the effect on those around us of our own actions and values, so making clear the ability of each of us to contribute to building a culture of peace by paying greater attention to expressing human values in our daily lives at all times.

• Explore ways of funding education, peace education and values education by contrasting the amounts governments spend on them with the amounts spent on military budgets, and then making a recommendation for the relative allocation of funds between them.

PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

The Association for Living Values Education International (“ALIVE”) is itself an association or network of national LVE non-profit organizations and teams in nearly 80 countries around the world.  They work and partner with a wide variety of organizations, institutions and individuals, including Ministries of Education, governmental bodies, institutes of education, universities, schools, religious and spiritual organizations, foundations, refugee camps and volunteer groups.

While these are too numerous to list, two may be mentioned as of particular relevance to this report, namely the Foundation for a Culture of Peace and UNESCO.  

With regard to UNESCO, for example, in May 2000 UNESCO’s Regional Office for Education in the Arab States collaborated with LVE in the holding of the Arab Regional Seminar on Quality-Based Education – the Integration of Social Skills in Classrooms and School Programmes.  An international workshop on Integrating Values in Early Childhood Programmes/Services was co-organized by UNESCO and LVE and took place in November 2000 in Paris.  An African Regional Conference on Values Education was held in December 2001 in Mauritius involving UNESCO-BREDA, Living Values Education and the Mauritius Institute of Education.  UNESCO-BREDA,  ALIVE and the Swiss Association for LVE have worked together to offer values education and LVEP workshops for primary and secondary educators, early children development educators and street educators in workshops in November 2003 and March 2004.  This cooperative relationship continues with regard to a Plan of Action to bring LVEP Educator Trainings to many countries in Central and West Africa and train local educators and trainers to implement and disseminate LVEP.  Living Values Education has also worked with UNESCO-APNIEVE and APCEIU as well as field offices in Argentina, China, Senegal and Cambodia.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?

With the recent formation of the Association for Living Values Education International in Switzerland, we hope to:
• Form new partnerships;
• Cooperate with eight universities around the world to research the effects of implementing LVEP in a variety of settings; (a UNESCO-UNITWIN Chair was recently approved);
• Obtain funding for training, related travel, teacher-release time and outreach;
• Increase the availability and number of trainings for educators in both formal and informal settings, especially in schools, refugee camps and street children agencies;
• Increase the number of whole-school sites that are implementing LVEP;
• Help schools increase their involvement with parents and the community regarding a focus on values;
• Obtain funding for books and student materials in developing countries;
• Develop values-education programs for radio, initially in Africa;
• Develop a resource of values-related stories from many cultures around the world;
• Develop a tutorial DVD to help with training in remote areas; and
• Develop a related series of children’s stories for parents and children.

Postal address of organization

Case Postale 123 - 1211 Genčve 21, Switzerland

E-mail address of organization

lve@livingvalues.net

Website address of organization

www.livingvalues.net

Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace

Education for a culture of peace

Second priority action domain of a culture of peace

Understanding, tolerance and solidarity

Highest priority country of action (or international)

International

Second priority country of action (or international)

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Organization: Association for Living Values Education International

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