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Sunday, September 03, 2006

 

Values: 'Little minds, big lessons'

Today's Age ran an article titled 'Little minds, big lessons.'

The preamble to the articles says:
"Prime Minister John Howard has accused state schools of being 'valueless' but, as John Elder discovered, students throughout Victoria are charting a path through life's moral and religious minefields."

The article then looks at a number of different schools and how they are teaching 'values' to their students.
Now as many of you know, I have an interest in schools.
My job takes me to three different high schools, all with different characters and cultures.
As many of you also know, I have an interest in values and especially the way they are 'taught' to young people.

Tonight in our discipleship group we had an interesting discussion as to how we view the bible and the point came up that we learn best from stories. This point also came up in the article, "instead of being told the moral of the story ... the students have to work it out for themselves." The best learning is done when a person 'works it out' for themselves, usually by observation and experience.

It got me to thinking about how young people learn the 'values' of our country that John Howard is so keen to instill into them.

I heard about a young person who yelled abuse into the face of another young person's mother recently.
All I could comment was 'what had happened in that young man's life that had led him to think that that was acceptable behaviour.'

While I agree with the idea of 'values' being taught in a communal environment (schools, churches and community groups), I think we are fighting an up hill battle until the values of our adult society are changed.
How are kids and young people supposed to value diversity and engage with people who are different to them, when all they hear at home is how 'all muslims are terrorists' or 'all aboriginals are bums'?
How are kids meant to learn about saving and sound financial management when all they see at home is mum or dad coming home with the latest gadget, or worrying over the credit card bill because they have bought so much on impulse?

And what are our young people supposed to think about Australian values when they see the very things we are supposed to value, freedom of speech and the presumption of innocence, being denied to Australian citizens by the Government?
The Jack Thomas affair just highlights the hypocricy and short sightedness of a nation that speaks one thing and then acts in complete opposition to the rhetoric it espouses.

Comments:
I like what you have to say. It is true that values can only be taught by what we see, we can't expect something of our young people if we are not striving to it ourselves.

It does sadden me, the values of our society. I hope that the people who are working to build our communities keep up the good work!

Something that I have been thinking about for a while (I guess you could say it's one of my gripes) - Body Image.

The values around body image that are portrayed in adult soceity are so damaging. Then we question why so many young people are dissatified with themselves, and the way they look.
 
Being a young person, you'd think i have diffreent point of views, i dont, i think your right in that what we see does teach us, BUT its not the only way to learn, I mean, reading, writing, talking, can they teach us as well?

I suppose though, At school, it can depend on what subject you are taking as to how the morals are taught, As in English and Literature are telling me two contrasting views on Violence, plus the fact that i have my own point of view, then there are the P.O.Vs of those around me.

So, then i guess I, even though i'm taught things, have to make my own choices. Also, contrasting of that, some people may have been taught the correct (prob not the right word-soz) morals and values and just take no notice of them! So i guess, again, like i said on sunday, that our morals, values, and perspective on life and issues,can depend wholy on where we are at in life.

So yeah, my point of view, i think, i dunno just what popped into my head when i read this!

Oh, and i agree with mel about the Self image point.
 
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