In our English classrooms we teach far more than just the language. As educators our job is to help children become responsible citizens who care about the world around them. It is essential that children learn values such as tolerance and respect for fellow citizens.
We need to teach children about diversity and celebrating the differences among us. Children also need to learn how to empathize with others, manage their own thoughts and emotions, and make responsible decisions based on social norms and personal integrity.
33 tips for teaching values to young learners
Here are some tips and ideas to help you introduce values into your classes.
11. Model the behavior you want students to display
If you want students to be tolerant and respectful it is absolutely essential that you lead by example. You can do this by:
Showing students how to listen carefully to each other’s ideas without interrupting
Being inclusive and celebrating individuality
Managing your own emotions and making fair decisions in the classroom
22. Use inclusive materials
We need to expose children to people from all walks of life. If your main classroom materials seem to lack diversity, look for pictures, videos or texts that will help foster an inclusive environment and attitude among students.
For more ideas on bringing cultural diversity into your classroom, check out our article: 5 ways to bring cultural diversity into your classroom.
33. Make it real
Values can be abstract and difficult for young students to understand. Always provide practical examples where the value is demonstrated, whether through real people and situations or fictional characters and settings. Organizing a class visit to, for example, a local homeless shelter or nursing home can really help children see the importance of the values they’re learning, while also giving them the opportunity to put what they’ve learned into practice.
TTeaching values through stories
Fairy tales, fables and traditional stories often have clear morals or values within them – and can be particularly effective in developing social, emotional and citizenship skills. They are well-known in many different cultures and contain themes that young children will easily recognize.