Acting Director of Learning

Values-Based Education – The Key to Traversing a Disrupted Society

We live in disrupted times. The busier we are – the more we can proclaim how frantic our lives are – the more validated and affirmed we seem to feel.  We traverse a world of unlimited downloads, live streaming of events, instantaneous answers to Google inquiries, online shopping, the narcissistic tendencies of social media; as we travel this path, such disruption has become our reality.  This is the world that our children inhabit, this is the reality that they experience daily.  How then do we equip them to manage such disruption and map a path within such treacherous terrain? 

A values-based education that can articulate its core guiding principles is integral in the development of the characteristics that will empower the teens of today to traverse such disrupted times.  The core Loreto values underpin our approach to all facets of our FACE curriculum.  These values are currently guiding the program that we have developed for our Year 11 2016 cohort.  Year 11 students have just embarked on their HSC journey, as Term 4 has seen the beginning of all 2017 HSC courses.  It is with some trepidation, but also with a great amount of raw enthusiasm and energy, that Year 11 have begun this journey.  The Learning and Pastoral teams are working with our senior students to establish positive routines, clear values and healthy mindsets that are grounded in the Loreto traditions and values. 

Over the past two weeks the Learning and Careers teams have identified and explored with the Year 11 students the key elements that are integral to an enjoyable and successful HSC year.   Moving forward with the program in coming months we will explore the view that the key to success underpinning our learning journey with the correct balance of our core values; verity, sincerity, felicity, justice and freedom.  As our program evolves, students will be encouraged to articulate how their own learning goals align with the core Loreto values, enabling them to map clear paths throughout 2017. 

In previous articles I have written about GRIT, and I return to it here again as it resonates with my own experience of education and my professional observations of student experience.  Angela Lee Duckworth, American Psychologist and Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, asserts that “Learning is hard. True, learning is fun, exhilarating and gratifying — but it is also often daunting, exhausting and sometimes discouraging. . . . To help…students, educators and parents must first recognize that character is at least as important as intellect.”  If as a community we are explicit in our articulation and identification of the core values, we enable students to own and develop these values when approaching their learning; consequently students will develop the resilience and meaning that they require to traverse our disrupted times.  All Loreto students are at a particular point on their values journey; we are confident that with guidance and support our Year 11 cohort will harness our core values, providing them with the buoyancy required to succeed not only in their final year of schooling, but in the world that awaits them beyond the halls of Loreto Normanhurst. 

 

Mrs Kieryn Bateman

Acting Director of Learning