Value-Add or Values-Ed?
Dear Parents and Caregivers, what do you look for when you sign your child up for enrichment lessons?
There are many other factors including location, timing and even whether there are amenities nearby. But how many parents will look out for values education in the classes their children attend?
The term ‘value-add’ has been in the education system for years. It’s a way to measure if the child has improved or been ‘added value’ through the school, lessons or educational experience. In most cases, we tend to look at their grades and determine if there is any improvement.
But what about adding value through values education? Would you sign your child up for a class where life values are taught alongside their Creative writing or Multi-sports activity? Perhaps this is something we can consider when we send our kids for these enrichment classes. Other than building knowledge and skills, we should also look to build their character.
So how do you tell if the enrichment classes your kids go for encourage character building?
We can do so through a TBC approach- Taught, Bought, Caught.
Values must be taught explicitly to children. What it means and how it can be demonstrated should be clearly told and explained according to their best understanding. Use stories or relatable examples to enhance this teaching of values. Additionally, advocate these values in the main activities that they participate in in that class. Learning to listen respectfully when another child is reading or being able to focus in their given task are moments where the teacher or coach can pick out to teach the children on values.
The link between what is Taught and what is Caught, I believe buy-in is one of the most crucial elements in teaching and coaching. Having the best lesson plan or most interesting activity means nothing if the child is not bought in by the coach’s rapport and communication ability with the child. Every child is unique and different, so it’s entirely up the coach to be able to learn, adapt and be able to communicate the lesson and outcomes effectively to every child. ‘Conscious Coaching’ by Brett Bartholomew is a fantastic read on building buy-in with a variety of people one might encounter.
Furthermore, the coach also has to communicate the child’s progress, behavior, attitude and aptitude to the parents. Parents should know how their child is progressing alongside with any attitude or behavioral issues in order to work alongside each other to best develop and educate the child. Hence, effective communication is key with both parent and child in order for values education to truly take place.
We all know that values are caught, as much as it is taught. Children are most impressionable and it is the responsibility of teachers and coaches to be good role models for them, in and out of class. In speech, action and intention, children are always listening, observing and processing. Are the coaches and teachers in class being good role models?
Let values education be a part of how we define value-add. Education without educating the heart and soul is mediocre at best, and why should we allow it in the classes our children go for? For more on Values In Action, read this forum piece here.
Remember to take time to engage and invest in educating values in our children, because they can be molded and taught to live.
So, how are enrichment classes adding value to your child today?
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