Students spend most of their formative years at school. Therefore, it’s imperative that parents and educators are united by a shared set of positive ideals in which to frame a child’s educational journey.
When it comes to teaching and learning, it’s crucial to have an underlying approach. At Concordia International School Shanghai, they are committed to providing a values-based education, which focuses on overall student growth and cultivates qualities essential to the development of good behavior and character, such as respect, honesty, justice and compassion.
What does it mean to have a values-based education?
The aim of a values-based approach to learning is to nurture a child’s ethical intelligence, academic diligence and relational trust. “It is vital to the development and growth of a school community that values be placed at the heart of the organization," shares Concordia Elementary School Assistant Principal Ms. Angela Beach. “For this to be truly successful, we spend time building trust, teaching compassion, modeling patience and exercising forgiveness.”
What does a values-based education look like?
The positive learning environment that Concordia strives for is achieved through the values modeled by their teaching faculty and administrators, who set a positive example through which students can start to set similar expectations for themselves. By demonstrating integrity, care and kindness through their words and deeds, the faculty are role models for students.
Concordia’s social and emotional program is designed to coincide with their values-based education. Counselors and teachers work to build resilience in students, giving them confidence in their ability to adapt to changes, persevere in the face of challenges and learn new skills for navigating their feelings and empathizing with the feelings of others.
“We provide opportunities for students to observe and practice good character and values through activities such as free play, group work, collaborative problem solving, as well as academic discussion and service projects,” shares Ms. Beach.
Service learning lies at the heart of a Concordia education. Students are encouraged to see the value in serving others and to seek opportunities for positive action. The goal is to cultivate servant leaders who are compelled through kindness and empathy to make the world a better place.
Students are exposed to a consistent set of values when parents and educators are united in their goal to nurture intelligent, kind, caring human beings. A strong relationship between teachers and parents ensures the benefits of a values-based education last even after the school day has ended.
How does a values-based education benefit students?
Encouraging students to identify key values aids in developing their social and moral character, helping them grow into happy, conscientious and confident individuals.
This values-based approach aligns well with the school’s holistic approach to education, which seeks to help students become:
Effective communicators – individuals who approach social interactions with patience and grace.
Insightful learners – individuals who use their knowledge and intellect to successfully navigate real-world situations.
Principle-centered leaders and team members – individuals who are flexible, honest and understand the importance of integrity and responsibility.
Reflective spiritual beings – individuals who know themselves and demonstrate their values through their actions.
Active global citizens – individuals who value all life and work for the good in all things.
No matter where life takes us, it is Concordia's values, built over time, that guide actions in every situation. At Concordia, students are equipped with the right tools to grow physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Their values-based approach allows students to gain the interpersonal skills, intelligence and attitude to succeed at school and throughout their lives.
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[All images courtesy of Concordia]
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