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Schools developing ethical values in students

Nov 22, 2022

The Ethical Values Education category in the International School Awards recognises school initiatives that support students in their development of ethical values, encouraging students to think and act as good citizens.

Schools developing ethical values in students

Nov 22, 2022 | Good practice

Photo: SALT International School, Republic of Korea

The Ethical Values Education category in the International School Awards recognises school initiatives that support students in their development of ethical values, encouraging students to think and act as good citizens.

Three international schools have been shortlisted for the 2023 Ethical Values Education Award which is sponsored by the Center for Responsive Schools.

The judges commended all three initiatives and shared a message for other international schools that submitted an application for this award category. The judging panel commented that they are looking for a detailed exploration of ethical values rather than ‘virtue signalling’: evidence needs to demonstrate how a school is developing a clear understanding of ethical values amongst its students so that young people can take ownership and develop their own ethical values. The judges encouraged many of the schools that submitted applications to explain their initiatives more rigorously, connecting ethical values with critical thinking.

The three shortlisted initiatives provided clarity within their application and were recognised by the judges for their innovative approaches to helping students develop ethical values.

A school’s journey to achieve gold UNICEF award

Tanglin Trust School in Singapore has been shortlisted for its initiative to become the first school outside of the UK to receive the Gold UNICEF Rights Respecting Schools Award (RRSA). This initiative demonstrates Tanglin Trust School’s determination to promote a more understanding, empathetic world for its students, reflecting the school’s core values of respect, responsibility and purpose. The ISA application includes evidence of how the school is embedding the RRSA fundamental principles of equality, dignity, respect, non-discrimination and participation into its curriculum.

Embedding the rights of children into the school’s ethos and culture has been central to Tanglin Trust’s initiative through which it aims to empower all students to both enjoy and exercise their rights. The application explains how students progress in communicating, celebrating and identifying their own rights, but also those of children globally by engaging in and learning from global events that raise rights issues. As a result, students have led assemblies, taken part in school improvement surveys and celebrated collaborations towards change.

Tanglin Trust School

Photo: Tanglin Trust School, Singapore

Webtoon series to enhance student learning of ethical values

SALT International School in the Republic of Korea has been shortlisted for its Quality Life Education Project (QLEP). The QLEP encourages students to use their talents in varied areas of expertise to create content that teaches their peers about the ethical values in our world today. A webtoon series has been established by the students, alongside the creation of four cartoon characters with unique personalities, dedicated to educating the school community around the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The students are fully operating four departments necessary to implement the QLEP: a research team, a scenario team, an illustration team, and a management team.

The webtoon series focuses on themes that require research by students, exposing them to varying societies of the world to help them develop a deeper understanding of differing ethical perspectives that exist globally. The webtoons aim to share advice for how anyone, anywhere, can develop their own ethical values.

Students nurturing students to be active global citizens

Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, China, was shortlisted for its organisation of a One Voice Summit. As part of their ethical values learning, students chose to address a broad range of topics and work with students from other schools, with different opinions and experiences, to deepen their knowledge and find solutions together. To achieve this, the students planned and led their first One Voice Summit in 2018 inviting other schools to join them online and at no cost to discuss challenging topics such as poverty, gender inequality, pollution and climate change.

The One Voice Summit is now heading into its fifth year of operation, during which it is aiming to inspire students from around the world to collaborate and challenge each other to come up with solutions for their schools and communities which will have a positive impact on people and the planet.

Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong

Photo: Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, China

Congratulations to all three shortlisted schools. More details of these initiatives are now available on the International School Awards platform.

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