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Values education: making a difference in our schools and society.



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Media Release

VALUES EDUCATION - MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN OUR

SCHOOLS AND SOCIETY

29 April, 2004 MIN 688/04

Today I joined 12 schools from across Australia who showcased their experiences in the first ever National Values Education Forum in Melbourne.

These schools were part of the Values Education Study commissioned by the Howard Government in 2002 to examine ways of strengthening the place of values education in Australian schools. As a result, a Draft National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools was sent to all schools and is available online at: http://www.curriculum.edu.au/values/.

Findings showed that while many government and non-government schools were working well in this area, comprehensive values education in our school system was still at an early stage.

As part of the study, 69 schools each received Australian Government grants of up to $7,000 for innovative, values education projects. One school involved, Alice Springs High School, saw a 30% reduction in serious student behavioural problems, improved retention

rates, an increase in school attendance - up from 80% to 96% - and students developing respectful relationships with their teachers and peers.

This project and others were showcased at the Forum today, and forms part of a new publication I also launched today, Values Education in Action: Case Studies from Twelve Values Education Schools, available online at: http://www.curriculum.edu.au/values/

Since 2002, the Howard Government has provided almost $1 million to support teachers engaged in values education. Increasingly, as parents we expect education to be delivered within a values-based framework, with schools fostering tolerance, trust, mutual respect, responsibility, courage, compassion, honesty, and courtesy.

We should not be surprised to find that a values-free education risks producing a values-free adult. Education is as much about building character as it is transferring skills, knowledge and the thirst for learning.

I congratulate all the schools participating in the Forum today, and particularly the 12 schools whose projects represent best practice in values education. The communities from which these students and staff are drawn, should be proud of their outstanding commitment to see that our schools provide young Australians with a values-based education. Attached is a list of the 12 schools and their Values Education projects highlighted at today’s Forum.

Media Contact: Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Laila Lacis 0412 040 034

Case study schools Project Description

The Don College, Tasmania Don College mapped the values that the school implicitly practises and from this developed a values education framework.

Saint Monica’s College, Victoria Saint Monica’s evaluated the school’s values education and identified the explicit and implicit values embedded in school

programmes.

Salisbury High School, South Australia The school spent a year developing a set of core values by surveying the school and the community before implementing a

whole school approach.

Cabramatta High School, New South Wales The study found congruence among the values that were espoused by teachers, parents and students and then implemented them

across the whole school.

Glendale East Public School, New South Wales

The school developed a more positive school culture through reviewing policies and approaches to student welfare.

Campbell High School, ACT Student leaders in Years 7-10 were encouraged top be active citizens by modelling school values of tolerance, care, inclusiveness

and the right to feel safe.

Cherbourg State School, Queensland Their study anchored the motto “Strong and Smart” after consultation with the school community.

Matthew Hogan School, New South Wales This project used Service Learning to encourage disadvantaged young people to discover their true self by helping others.

Pedare Christian College, South Australia Their project enabled the school to examine the school values and provided an opportunity to be more effective in meeting the needs

of their students.

Lance Holt School, Western Australian The school’s values based Sustainable Living and Coastcare project brought the concepts and practice of sustainability into the

curriculum.

Alice Springs High School, Northern Territory

The school’s Year 10 curriculum was restructured to incorporate values education and pastoral care.

Albany Primary School, Western Australia The school incorporated the Tribes project into their school curriculum.