Learning Through Values

exploring values through dialogue and learning

a community website supported by Lifeworlds Learning

last update: 02 Feb 2015

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Learning Through Values

MARCH 2012: Learning with Common Cause - regional seminar

The challenge for educators was in how to apply or critique ideas around values as outlined in Common Cause. How much of the thinking and language is transferable to educational settings? How do the ideas link to existing work and pedagogy and where does this work fit into the new emerging agendas and curriculum?

A group of educators is now looking to address these and other questions through further collaboration and activity. This work will be shared through this website. If you'd like to be involved or informed of this work then please contact us.

Learning with Common Cause was a full day seminar held as part of the Midlands Educators Learning Association (MELA) Continuing Professional Development Series of events. Attended by 24 educators from the Midlands region and beyond, the day provided an opportunity for educators to learn more about the Common Cause work on values and the way they are framed.

Richard Hawkins from PIRC ran an engaging and challenging session for attendees, providing background theory into Common Cause and sharing examples of how to apply it through the use of frames and campaigns.

Leading through Values is a new pilot project being run in the UK between June 2012 and March 2013. The project will initially work with 6 primary schools to explore the opportunities and potential of values education in schools. The project is supported by an alliance of leading organisations including Oxfam, British Red Cross, Practical Action, Think Global, National Children's Bureau and Lifeworlds Learning who will also act as the delivery partner on behalf of the alliance.

Click here for the project page

A core output of Leading through Values will be to document and evidence a case for change for values education. This is considered essential by those seeking to support values education in the UK and to substantiate the practice evidence of those schools and educators who engage with values. If you are an educator who has evidence and experience of working with values then we would love to hear from you and to share your insights in buidling a collective case for change.

MAY 2012: New Leading through Values - pilot project announced

MAY 2012: Learning Co-operatively - regional seminar

One of the issues emerging from the day was the feeling that many of those present practice co-operative learning in their own work but don't necessarilly call it that. This raised interesting debates about whether the process of co-operation and the values that underpin this could become a focus for those working in fields such as global learning. education for sustainable development, community cohesion, humanitarian education and others.

An excercise to map co-operative values against other value sets in education will be published here soon to further this work.

Learning Co-operatively was a full day seminar held on 28 May 2012 as part of the Midlands Educators Learning Association (MELA) Continuing Professional Development Series of events. The day was delivered by Co-operative Learning and Development Associates (CLADA) and provided an opportunity for educators to learn more about co-operative pedagogy and the co-operative movement in general.

It was very much a hands on day with a range of participatory activities 'demonstrating through doing' what is meant by learning co-operatively.

NOVEMBER 2012: Co-operating through Values, Learning for Change - conference

12 November 2012 (09.30 - 17.00), Nottingham Conference Centre

This day conference is designed to bring together educators from across a broad specturm of interests, institutes and organisations. It will explore the centrality of values to many different areas of work and seek to identify new opportunities for collaboration towards a common cause. The day will provide a mix of inspiring inputs, reflective spaces and participatory arena's for taking ideas forwards individuially and collectively. The day will consolidate the wealth of recent interest in values education, the potential and power of co-operative approaches and of course the changes we seek to influence through education and learning.

To register your interest as a participant or contributor please contact us here with your details and we'll get back to you.



This was a very successful day and brought a diverse range of around 80 delegates together for a packed day of dialogue, tension and challenge! The day has spawned many new discussions and even more new questions and certainly justifies the need for this space and this work. We are already thinking of further events in 2013 and will let you know as soon as these are planned.

SEPT 2012: Leading Through Values - pilot study

In addition to the work in schools, Leading Through Values will result in a number of other outputs and opportunities. A background document sharing a 'case for change' for values education will provide an overview for those relatively new to thinking explicitly about values education.

A new CPD course/inset day (available from March 2013) has also been developed for those wishing to explore values education in their own settings. This will be offered in various regional settings and can also be delivered on site to staff teams.

Leading Through Values is a pilot study working with 9 primary schools in the Midlands region to explore the potential of values education in supporting whole school learning and improvement. The project is supported by an alliance comprising Oxfam, British Red Cross, Practical Action, Think Global, National Children's Bureau and Lifeworlds Learning. The pilot study willinitially run until March/April 2013 when it will report its first findings.

To stay informed of the project and any future opportunities arising from it please contact us with your details.

DEC 2012: The danger with value mongers! - comment

Don't let value-mongers hijack the classrooms was a comment piece written by Claire Fox in the Times Education Supplement magazine, 7 December 2012. As the level of comment on values and moral education continues to increase this comment raises some interesting debate points for the role of teachers and schools. See article here

MAY 2013: Pilot project reports on findings

The Leading Through Values pilot project has now been completed and has proven highly effective in demonstrating the potential of values education. We will be building on the findings of the project and sharing materials used within it in due course, but for now we would encourage you to visit the project pages here and read the report.

APR 2013: New research paper: Building a Case for Change

In support of the Leading Through Values pilot project we have completed a research paper 'Building a Case for Change' that explores the rise of Values Education in a UK context and connects it to other educational agendas and intiatives. The paper is written to provide background context to the project and is a work in progess, to be amaneded as further work comes to light. It can be found here.

MAY 2013: Communities with a Common Cause

Common Cause in Scotland have received funding from the Scottish Govertnment to run an Action Learning Programme in partnership with their UN Regional Centre of Expertise in ESD. Communities with a Common Cause will run from September 2013 and involve pairs of participants from 9 organisations in an intesnive 6 month learning journey. Rob Bowden - the co-ordinator for this website and community - will be supporting this project as an expert mentor. Find out more about the project here.

OCT 2013: Motivating the Core

Rob Bowden is running a webinar on 3 October for Think Global based on his Thinkpiece around values, learning and teacher motivation. The webinar is intended to share learning from the Leading Through Values pilot project and to start building momentum for a further stage of activity and research.

MAY 2013: Values in Education - new blog at Values and Frames

Elena Blackmore, one of the authors of the Common Cause handbook has witten a blog for the Common Cause website based on the Leading Through Values pilot project. The blog can be found here.

AUG 2013: Common Cause for Nature

A very interesting new report looking at values, frames and organisations seeking to work for and protect nature has been published by COmmon Cause. Even for those not in the nature field it is a great example of the application of Common Cause theory. Find it here.

Older news (in previous format - will be archived by date in time)

JAN 2014: Xiehe (Shanghai) values connection

Lifeworlds are pleased to be forming a new working relationship with the Xiehe Group of schools in Shanghai to explore the place of values-led learning in developing schools with a global outlook.

The work will include distance support to the Group's kindegartens who are keen to extend their work around Philosophy for Children (P4C) using values, and will also involve an education conference to help leaders explore the opportunities and advantages of a values-led school.

FEB 2014: Resilience in learning

A new research and position paper on resilience in formal learning (primarily in the UK) has been commissioned by British Red Cross. The project will explore how this increasingly used term manifests in reality, within and beyond schools.

If you use the term resilience in your work with schools and /or education and would like to have it included in the review then please get in touch and let us know.

MAR 2014: A moral imperative to lead

Rob Bowden will be running a workshop sharing the Learning Through Values approach at a conference on the 'Moral Imperative of School Leadership'. The conference is run by the General Teaching Council in Scotland and contributes to the development of the new Standards for Headship that were introduced in September 2013. With Sustainability and Values at the heart of these new standards, Scotland is set to become a fascinating test-bed for new teaching and learning around values.

MAR 2014: New training offers announced

After months of planning and trials, Learning Through Values is launching several new training offers for schools, organisations, businesses and communities. The offers will be flexible to a range of needs and budgets and are offered in multiple formats to ensure you can engage and learn in a way that suits you and/or your colleagues.

To see the offers visit the training pages or contact Rob Bowden for an informal conversation. The training will be led by practitioners at Lifeworlds Learning but will work in partnership with other experts, facilitators and first-hand implementers.

MAY 2014: Building links with China

Rob Bowden was invited to share the Learning Through Values pedagogy with a range of school leaders in Shanghai, China earlier in the month. The series of seminars and workshops, shared the experience of LTV in England and worked with Chinese and international colleagues working in Chinese schools, to explore the potential for developing LTV in China.

The workshops were well received and have created considerable interest in further collaboration which Lifeworlds and LTV will be exploring over the coming months with a possible return visit to China in October 2014.

Feb 2014: Vision & Values

As the referendum for Scottish independence approaches, the Church of Scotland has embarked on an interesting piece of work that sought to create safe spaces for people to think together about what values they want to underpin Scottish society and what shared vision they can aspire to. The report can be found here.

LTV News

Other News

Feb 2014: Teaching 'character'

Shadow Education Secretary, Tristram Hunt has been in the news suggesting that we should be teaching character in our schools. He argues that it should not be a bolt-on, but part of a rigorous core of what is taught in schools. We have mixed feelings on this here and will respond accordingly. Read it here and let us know what you think.

Feb 2014: Character Report

The all party parliamentary group on social mobility launched a report on Character and Resilience on 11 Feb 2014 (link here). This cross party report makes raises some interesting issues and is a potentially significant support to work in this area. The issues of 'character' in relation to learning through values is a recurring dilemma and one we intend to address here soon. What do you think?

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FEB 2015: Partnership with China expands

Following a successful visit to China in May 2014, Rob Bowden will be returning to build further on the LTV training and seminars given to colleagues in and around Shanghai. He will this time be accompanied by co-director Rosie Wilson to add a P4C (Philosophy for Children) dimension to the training.

JAN 2015: LTV action learning in the Peak Park

Building on a November presentation to the National Parks Educators Conference, Rob Bowden and Rosie Wilson spent 2 days in late January with a 28-strong team of educators from the Peak District National Park Authority. The team explored values and begain to apply their learning to their own educational offer within the Peak District area. We will be following the team through action research projects identified by individual team members and returning in Ju;ly 2014 to see how they have been applying their learning.

DEC 2014: LTV featured in new book

Learning Through Values was featured as a pedagogical case study in a new book bublished by Routledge recently. The book 'Global Learning and Education: key concepts and effective practice' is written by Andrew Peterson and Paul Warwick and identifies LTV as an effective approach to dealing with problem-based learning.

NOV 2014: Values conference and workshop

Rob Bowden of Lifeworlds Learning and LTV recently took part in a 2 -day conference/workshop alongside Gary Walsh from Character Scotland and Bec Sanderson from Public Interest Research Centre. The two days were convened to encourage a robust dialogue around values and character education and drew together around 70 voices from across the UK to share ideas and network around values, learning and education. The content from these 2 days will shortly be made available for those who missed it to get a taster of the event. It is hoped to repeat the gathering during autumn 2015.

Jan 2014: 'Character' funding

Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan has announced 'character funding' for projects that can develop certain character traits. This move marks the latest in a string of actions that have greatly boosted attention on 'character' which is no bad thing, except it seems to be almost entirly absent of any discussion around values. This is a worrying trend and LTV will be responding in due course.

The character funding call can be seen here.

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