In Scottish schools, values are worked out in cooperation
At the beginning of February 2018, project managers and values development consultants – critical friends – of the Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu, went on an educational trip in order to learn how the Scottish educational system addresses the issue of values.
The educational systems of Scotland and Estonia have common features – for example, the curriculum that is values-based and prioritises the development of competencies and the teacher’s autonomy. During the trip, other similarities and similar challenges were discovered as well: low popularity of the profession of teacher, difficulties with the application of the curriculum, the challenge of modernising the teacher education.
According to Mari-Liis Nummert, the project manager for the programmes addressed to schools at the Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu, it was very nice to see that even the tiniest student in school knew three or four values that the school has chosen and could explain what they mean. Moreover, the students could tell what they had done during the week in order to practice these values. Education, extra-curricular activities, communication with parents and the reward system in school are all built up reflecting the school values.
„In one of the schools, the acknowledgement morning takes place every week. Students who over the preceding week have done something remarkable as bearers of one of the school values receive praise there – for example, someone who had raked fallen leaves around the school received the reward as an active citizen. We could follow the example of Scotland here and to focus more on bringing values forward”, suggested Nummert.
The Estonian delegation included the project managers of the Centre for Ethics Mari-Liis Nummert and Nele Punnar, the values development consultants (critical friends) of the Centre; the school principals, directors of studies, and teachers from the Educational Network of Multicultural Schools; and the organiser of the trip, a representative of the British Council Ursula Roosmaa. In addition to that, the Estonian group had educational companions from Latvia – a group of representatives from the ministry, educational support centres and schools, invited by the British Council.
The educational trip took place as a part of the cooperation project of the British Council and the Centre for Ethics, University of Tartu, „Establishing the Network of Multicultural Schools”.