Quality decision-making: inspiring young people to 'do well and do good'

Rosemary Dewan

Rosemary Dewan is the CEO of the Human Values Foundation which promotes the importance of teaching human values in schools. Since 1995 it has been providing practical, cross-curricular programmes for personal development and behaviour management, integrating SMSC, PSHE education, Citizenship, PLTS and SEAL.

Follow @HVF_Values

Website: www.humanvaluesfoundation.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rosemary Dewan discusses how a student can be virtuous and successful, while dealing with the growing world of social media.

Young people growing up in today’s world are witnessing how individuals’ choices and actions can rapidly be broadcast via social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

It’s all the more important therefore that learning to make informed, principled, well considered decisions is an integral part of their education so that each of them can leave school with their reputation intact, confident of doing well, with a life-long learning mentality that enables them to maximise their abilities and with the desire to be responsible citizens, capable of making the world a better place.

Values - reference points for decision-making

We are constantly making decisions, and the clearer we are about what beliefs, principles, standards and priorities we are actually drawing on to reach our conclusions, the more confident we are likely to feel about the quality and consistency of those choices. Whether we are aware of the extent of their influences or not, we are strongly motivated and driven by what really matters to us, our top values.

Understanding ourselves and the development of our top priority values takes time. It’s an ongoing learning experience, coloured initially by our upbringing and conditioning, but as time passes and we become more independent, they are increasingly governed by our own passions, interests and thinking.

If, from a young age, children are given the opportunity to explore, learn about and experience being guided by inspiring values, the greater the likelihood of outcomes aligning with what is important to them and what they really want to achieve, and the more likely they are to be able to recreate positive feelings that boost their well-being, educational attainment and happiness.

Decision-making in action

Appreciating how values motivate us, help us to prioritise and provide a sense of inner peace and happiness, better enables us to stick to ones that support us, especially at critical moments when we are faced with dilemmas, tricky alternatives or when, inevitably, we wobble a bit due to pressures, tensions and our emotions.

With quality values education as an integrated, systematic part of the school curriculum, children and young people progressively learn how to incorporate life-enriching values into their thinking, choices, actions and behaviour. Participants eagerly embrace them as they consider risks, personal matters, relationships, rights and responsibilities, how the past has been shaped, the kind of society they want to live in and their part as guardians of the earth. This inspiring, transformative awakening and the conscious connection with their priority values becomes particularly relevant when they address many of the issues raised during, for example:

  • Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education
  • Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL)
  • Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural (SMSC) development
  • Religious Education (RE)
  • Sex and Relationship Education (SRE).

During discussions about risks and evaluating their consequences, it may be appropriate to point out that some personal information and images created in a youthful situation and stored electronically could become a ticking time bomb, publicised online at a later stage in the individual’s life and with grave implications.

Looking to the future

It is apparent that the matter of core values is now playing a key part in how many businesses, other organisations and governments conduct their affairs. Evidence shows that a raft of clear advantages arise and successes mount when the promotion of and adherence to strong, clear, uplifting values, including social responsibility and sustainability, are central to the corporate culture. Additionally, leaders, groups and individuals all over the world are recognising the powerful influences and dramatic impacts positive and negative online postings, via portals such as YouTube, can have on brands as well as corporate and personal reputations.

As young people embark upon earning a living, their top values will be critical in giving them a steer towards what to pursue so as to develop meaningful, happy careers and fulfil their potential. Such is the significance now of following through on priority values, it is reported that many of the smartest students at Harvard University, USA no longer want to go into banking, business or law but would rather be part of an organisation that explicitly seeks to combine doing good with running a sustainable enterprise. The beneficial, social contribution of their workplace is as important to them as making money.

“The only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking; don’t settle.” - Steve Jobs (1955-2011), Co-founder of Apple Inc.


Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support us.
When you register, you'll join a grassroots community where you can:
• Enjoy unlimited access to articles
• Get recommendations tailored to your interests
• Attend virtual events with our leading contributors
Register Now
Login

Latest stories

  • How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country
    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

In order to make our website better for you, we use cookies!

Some firefox users may experience missing content, to fix this, click the shield in the top left and "disable tracking protection"