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Get Ahead Kids - Vol. 5, No. 3 - May/June 2013

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Values Education As an Anti-Bullying Strategy

By Pauline Lovitt M Ed Hons; M Ad Ed; Lic Drama; Dip Lib.

The incidences of bullying in schools, the workplace, the Internet and community are increasing. Verbalising any negative thought which comes into your head has become the norm in our society.

The level of violence in the community is also widespread. Bullying is about not showing care and respect towards other people either emotionally and/or physically.

Everyone has the potential to express bullying behaviour towards others at some stage of their life. When bullying is systematic it is detrimental to mental health and physical well-being. It can result in low self esteem and depression in both children and adults.

Talking about the affect of destructive words and physical violence is not enough.

"Core" values need to be developed in all aspects of family lives, community organisations, schools and workplaces.

When positive core values are put into practise they become "lived" values, and are an effective way of developing caring communities.

Values can be taught and caught. For this reason Values Education is an effective anti-bullying strategy.

Current research substantiates that being kind, caring and thoughtful with words and actions towards yourself and others, helps to build self-esteem.

The "Golden Rule" which incorporates a number of "core" values is about treating people, how you would like to be treated yourself.

It forms a basis for people to think about and act upon improving affirmative and caring relationships.

Research indicates that adapting holistic Values Education approaches in schools are an important aspect of quality teaching.

As bullying decreases, behaviour and academic achievements improve.

The Association for Living Values Education uses 12 "core" values as the basis of their programs: Peace, Respect, Happiness, Cooperation, Freedom, Honesty, Love, Responsibility, Simplicity, Tolerance, Humility and Unity.

Using affirmative and values based content in drama; songs and storytelling are powerful ways of teaching values without having a formal program. Children and adults benefit from singing about, acting out and telling stories about the positive aspects of human character.


  • Think of positive ways of speaking to children
  • Focus on the positive aspects of children's behaviour
  • Praise children for being kind & caring at home
  • Praise children for being helpful
  • Encourage children to say kind & caring things about their friends
  • Say kind & caring things about your children's friends
  • Encourage children to do a kind deed for someone
  • Encourage children to be grateful for what they have
  • Encourage children to say please & thankyou
  • Be empathetic towards bullies & their history

Simple and subtle Values Education approaches are an effective anti-bullying strategy in curbing and preventing. It improves the conversation and relationships. Values Education is speaking about and acting out the affirmative aspects of human character, rather than making bullying behaviour the focus.

About Pauline Lovitt

Pauline is the creator and director of "Earthic-Us We Care" - Online Quirky; fun, values education stories with songs.

She has extensive experience as a drama and singing teacher, youth and children's librarian, mentor and trainer of marginalised groups.

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