Strand 2 - Lived Values

The ‘Lived Values’ approach develops our pedagogical and philosophical thinking about the content dimension of the ‘fostering’ task of schools. This is different from values education or character education. Indeed, what schools lack is content focused research that explores and examines what might be understood by those values and virtues that teachers, according to the curriculum, should live and embody (2012). The reason for developing this approach stems from the uneasiness and uncertainty that many teachers experience when it comes to responding to difficult ethical discussions in the classroom.

Concepts such as freedom, equality, generosity, tolerance, integrity and responsibility are relational concepts that matter to, and are understood by, humans in different ways. Their relational nature means that are given significance and meaning in concrete interpersonal encounters as well as in relation to the factors that constitute these values. Focusing on the relational nature of the concepts (instead of trying to give them absolute definitional clarity) helps us analyze the complexity of the ethical task of schools as it appears in concrete and sometimes conflicted classroom situations. 

The ‘lived values’ approach opens up discussions of values to lived experience, exploring how these values are understood and how they matter in the lives of students and teachers. The focus on concepts allows for openness in exploration of what they really mean in lived experience and reflection, allowing for different inflections and perspectives to enter into conversation.  ​