Quoting from the Living Values Educator Training Guide by Diane Tillman and Pilar Colomina:
“Around the globe, the media blames educators for declining test scores and problems with today’s youth. This negative view is such a contrast to the real picture. I see dedicated, hard-working educators, caring for students, striving to motivate and teach. I see teachers as those who continually respond to the needs of youth and the needs of society.
Yet there has been a tremendous difference in the last twenty to thirty years in terms of overall student attitudes and behaviors. The difference is not in the determination, professionalism or caring of teacers. The difference is in the preparation of children who enter the school system and in the state of our society.
In recent years, two trends have especially increased the challenges of raising and educating children: growing materialism and violence in the entertainment media. These have greatly impacted families, diverting time and focus away from traditional pastimes and the the transmission of cultural and spiritual values.
Many children spend far more time in front of the television (or ipad) than in front of their parents. Many adults spend less and less time enjoying and interacting with their children and families as they try to gain security and happinessthrough materialistic pursuits–or simply try to cope with a more complex world.
Violence in entertainment has a profound influence on youth. Violent films, television programs, and video games not only glamorize violence, they sanction inhumanity, and normalize disrespect. As disrespectful words, gestures, and expressions become commonplace, feelings of hurt, loneliness, alienation, and anger in turn become more prevalent in children, young adults, and even adults. As relationships deteroirate and divorce rates increase, many children have few adults in their lives to nurture them.
In addition, watching more than four hours of television a day diminishes the development of chilren’s pychomotor, language, and social skills. the entry skills that the majority of today’s children bring to school are far below what they used to be.
Traditionally, values were transmitted by parents and communities. The call for values in education is asking educators to be the heroes, to fill society’s void. It implores educators to be leaders in recognizing that technology and materialism are not enough.
As we move along in the twenty-first centruy, we must tap into the creative energy and universal values that each human being holds within. Not only must we renew efforts to educate children, parents, and ourselves, but also utilize our hopes and reeeams for children to provide the emotional impetus.
As educators we have the power to facilitate the development of universal values and to reconnect with the values of our culture and the universal values that unite us all.”
This is the context in which LIVING VALUES: AN EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM has arisen as a program embraced by the United Nations and supported by UNESCO. UNESCO strongly believes in education as a means of creating peace and international understanding.
As Living Values: An Educational Program expands (now in over 60 countries), it is even more clear that values are the key that allow us to comprehend, face, and overcome the challenges present in today’s world. This program has provided many educators with a new feeling of the relevance of education. Values-based activities give our children real preparation for life. The books and the training, as well as the continued support that has emerged around this important aspect of affective education arms teachers with a necessary component to their success in the classroom.
This training program helps each individual within the school to take part in creating a positive atmosphere of peace and respect which then creates a stable foundation to support the academic aims and goals.