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What are your values?

April 13, 2006

Is your school driven by values?

Hello again,
As individuals we all have values that guide our behaviour. Businesses need values too if they are to be seen as operating consistently and ethically towards both clients and staff. I have heard more teachers than I can number complain that the school they work for operates double standards, pandering to students and not standing up for teachers. I find it interesting that, while many well-known companies publish their core values, few language schools seem to do so. This strikes me as a lacuna in the marketing strategy of the English language sector. After all ...

...education is inextricably linked with personal development and a deepening of understanding. In particular, in teaching English we inevitably spread awareness of the cultural values that underpin the way the language is used.

By defining its core values a school can help bind staff with a common approach to how students and employees are respected, how quality is maintained, how educational principles are upheld, how resources are used. By defining its values, the school can forge its unique identity and thus have a much sharper image for both the customer and the employee. What I am suggesting is not that schools should adhere to any particular set of values but that each school should agree on its own. When recruiting teachers the values can be explained so that new recruits know what kind of organization they are entering; values can be publicized to customers so that students feel secure.

To begin defining core values the key personnel need to ask themselves questions: why do they want to be in English language teaching/what do they want to contribute to the community/what kinds of people do they want to employ/what is their attitude towards quality? I don’t even believe that value definition needs to be a democratic process: whoever owns the school should set the tone. And when new staff have their induction course, the core values should be stressed at each point.

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  1. Mark Lipski Says:

    Just wanted to make the distinction between Values and Virtues. In my opinion our society places upon us the values it deems important, but it is our virtues that are what are an innate part of each person, the rules THEY live by. If we hope to form leaders through education we must focus on Virtues , values will only form conformists and place our students in a cat chase for what the world society deems as being appropriate values, when it is really our virtues which we need to develop.

    This theme of values or virtues is important, but we need also to ensure that the individuals teaching these basis for moral development are thremselves morally focused and have obey the virtues or values, which are being taught. This is the major problem, and the confusion that will make this important task a challange for all nations.

    Mark J Lipski

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