agenda. considerable Pregnant women will have a tendancy to
clean and organise things - it's all part of nesting DR NEIL Hawkes
has started a "quiet revolution" - to see more UK schools embrace
core morals and values, like kindness and honesty, and place as much
importance on them as maths, English and science.
Most parents want their children to grow up with a strong set of
values, and become decent adults, and Dr Hawkes believes that school
life plays a crucial part in this.
Nurturing things like compassion, respect, honesty, Dr Hawkes
the fourth R truthfulness and caring for others, is just as
important as learning the Three Rs - and, according to Dr Hawkes's
research in the UK and Australia, 87% of parents agree.
"Our values should underpin everything in our lives.
Children need to be taught about values in the same way they are
taught boundaries," he says.
"The balance in society is tipping, the materialistic side has
gathered pace and we are increasingly influenced by a 'me' culture.
"All of this decline has happened in our lifetimes, and it's up
to us now to tackle the problem and reverse the trend."
It was while working as a headteacher in a primary school in
Oxfordshire that Dr Hawkes began to recognise how these elements
were lacking, and developing his values-based education philosophy,
during the Nineties.
One in 10 UK primary schools are now values-based, but Dr Hawkes
now feels the time is right to involve more educators and parents.
He's set a target of reaching 50% of children in the next five
years, and explains it all in his new book, From My Heart:
Transforming Lives Through Values.
preaches respect "My mission now is to expand the concept to more
and more schools. The prize is that it will help us and our children
to enjoy happier and more fulfilling lives," he says.
"Values-based education's not a quick fix, it's a culture change
which has a hugely positive impact on those who practice it," he
In order for it to work, it's not just a question of teaching
about values, in the tradition sense - Dr Hawkes explains that
universal positive values (like compassion, respect, honesty, truth,
trust, Christine secretary of Union of perseverance and care for
others in lessons) should be taught and demonstrated in practice by
teachers, as a thread running through every aspect of school life.
"You can't teach about values from a board," explains Dr Hawkes,
"they have to be seen in practice.
"Our behaviour is shaped by what we see.
"If children are surrounded by bad examples, what chance do they
have to formulate good practice?" And it's not just about schools,
he adds - parents need to accept their role in developing values
too, and it's a philosophy that could be embraced by Blower, general
the National Teachers communities and workplaces as well.
While most, if not all, schools will already cover character and
morals to some extent, the difference for Dr Hawkes is that he
believes it should underpin everything.
"We want our children to be good learners and lovely people at
the same time," he says, adding that embracing the concept can have
wider benefits too, like increased attentiveness and more harmonious
classrooms and playgrounds. …