Values and Curriculum Choices

I speak on the topic of Values. I have identified five core values that are common to all major societies and belief systems in various degrees:
  • Honesty and trustworthiness
  • Respect for self
  • Respect for others
  • Respect for the environment
  • Responsible citizenship
There are many values curriculum materials for purchase. In my humble opinion, a specific values curriculum is not necessary and having it may do more harm than good. Why? Because when there's a values curriculum in place, many teachers think that values should be taught in neat little lessons, and that’s all they need to do about the subject. The rest of the time, they go back to “same ole same ole”. Teaching values should be part of every activity, every day. The choice of curriculum activities should be a careful process, and only those activities which promote positive values should be selected. If you visit a program where the literature and the director speak of the value of each individual child and you walk into the building and see displays of "art" that look the same or very similar, you know they value the project over the child's learning process and self-respect.  If the curriculum doesn't support the stated mission of the program, either change the curriculum or change your involvement with the program.

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