Here’s a wonderful toolkit for all teachers who want to inspire their students

“Values And Visions” is a book written to engage students between 8-16 years old and to empower the teachers of such students with a conceptual framework and no less than 130 practical exercises. This work of over 300 pages looks, feels, and reads like no other book you will have ever seen in a classroom:

  • size A4 and ring-bound so that one can open out any part with ease
  • full of colour pictures, diagrams, quotes and different styles of text
  • shiny, heavy-duty pages that are a joy to hold and likely to last with use
  • elegantly-organised material with beautiful and inspirational language

The conceptual framework – what the authors call the Dynamic Learning Cycle – consists of three stages: identification of the values that colour our experience, tools of reflection that enable us to respond to this experience, and purpose and action to flow from this reflection.

Eight tools of reflection are offered, each with lots of incredibly useful exercises:

  • stillness  which is taking the time and space to quietly reflect
  • listening which involves attention, respect and empathy for others
  • story which uses short narratives to engage and illuminate  
  • encounter which examines how we relate to others and the world
  • celebration & joy which embraces gratitude and enthusiasm for life
  • grieving and letting go which requires a recognition of suffering and loss
  • visioning which is imagining a better future for our self or community
  • journalling which is a written exploration of our thoughts and feelings

There might have been a time when I was sceptical about some of these concepts and tools but then I met the authors, Georgeanne Lamont and Sally Burns, and worked with them on courses. I saw the hugely beneficial impacts of this imaginative thinking and rich array of engaging exercises, so I know that any teacher and any student would find “Values And Visions” quite truly transformational. 

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