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Character Education

Values Education Summit Held in Australia

Australia-2022-08-13-Values Education Summit Held in Australia

Melbourne, Australia—Evidence-based research shows that well implemented values education in schools improves academic outcomes, student and staff wellbeing, and the school culture. On August 13, UPF’s Australia chapter held its second Values Education Summit of 2022 online, on the theme, “Why Educating with Values is Important and What Should This Look Like in 2022 and Beyond.” Twenty-five leaders and professionals from the areas of education, academia and community work took part in the event. The goal of these summits is the publication of a book in 2023.

Four speakers presented, three of whom represented the Australian Parents Council (APC).

The first speaker was Ambassador for Peace Dr. Joy de Leo, founding president of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-Asia-Pacific Network for International Education and Values Education (APNIEVE)-Australia and recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Dr. de Leo, who spoke about “Values in Global Education for Developing Young International Citizens,” maintained that global education can enable children to develop a deep understanding of world issues and perspectives. The integration of values-based global education into Australia’s curriculum would stress the unity and interdependence of human societies, emphasizing peace and social justice for all: the family of humanity living together peacefully and sustainably.

Representing the APC were Mrs. Jenni Rickard, president of the APC; Dr. Suzanne Cremen, founder of the Life Artistry Centre, where she teaches and consults in vocational applications of archetypal psychology; and Mrs. Ilham Sabry Ahamed, board member of the APC. They presented the findings thus far of an ongoing project in which parents and their children undergo a values reflection. This reflection helps the parents reflect on their own values, understand the values of their children and of each other.

The APC applied for funding from the National Careers Institute to undertake a journey of discovering why parents’ values matter and how parents can be empowered to use values in discussions they have with their children about careers.  The project is focused on helping parents with self-understanding through reflecting on their values, so that they can consciously and responsibly exercise influence on their children’s careers in an optimal way. A Values Activity was developed, comprising a values quiz, values cards and worksheets with exercises for parents to do with their children and family members. Parents who used the Values Activity reported a variety of beneficial outcomes: greater self-insight, awareness of intergenerational patterns, new perspectives on inner and outer conflicts, renewed clarity of purpose and respect for their child’s vocational journey.

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