21st March, 2023
JUST FEEL Values Education Conference 2023
Fostering Exchange On New Directions for
Effective Execution of Values Education
First and Foremost are Teachers’ Role-modeling, Self-Connection before Solution
Values Education has been in the spotlight among the education sector after the Education Bureau put forward the Values Education Curriculum Framework (2021). JUST FEEL, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering educators to co-create a compassionate school culture, held the JUST FEEL Values Education Conference 2023 last Saturday. The event invited Professor CHENG Kai-Ming, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong, and five speakers who are representatives and principals from different school sponsoring bodies to exchange ideas and reflect on the challenges and experiences in executing values education over the past two years during the pandemic. Nearly 400 primary school educators and individuals who are interested in values education participated in person or online.
In addressing the challenges of the mixed and diverse interpretations and connotations of the term “value”, the difficulty in setting measuring indicators, and schools’ tight resources, two dialogues were held under the topics of "How to understand and integrate values education framework?" and "How to unite and empower the teaching team?, generating key- takeaways on how to effectively implement values education:
Teachers act as role models for students is the best values education
Getting in touch with each school’s beginner mind, weighing priorities before implementation
Taking care of teachers’ emotional well-being before gathering rapport to embrace the values
Adopting a whole-school, interdisciplinary approach with a partner program to cultivate the school culture
Teachers act as role models
Professor CHENG Kai-Ming, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong said, "Values education is the guiding principle of discerning right from wrong and weighing priorities, and cannot be taught in one or two classes. Experiences, Nurture, and subconscious influences are ways to cultivate students' values, and what JUST FEEL does is nurture." He also cited a story about a principal who sewed school uniforms for a defiant student is a living example of the “caring” value attribute. Teachers' every word and every act are values education in action.
Start from School-based values and weigh priorities before implementation
Dr Francis CHAN Nai-Kwok, Head of the Religious and Moral Education Section, Catholic Education Office, and Mr. Ivan CHONG Shing-Him, Education Advisor of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, both expressed that values education does not need to be carried out in a standardized manner, but should start from individual school-based needs and further develop through continuous exchanges and collaboration. Before executing values education, schools are advised to balance the needs of all stakeholders, respect and integrate individual school’s virtues (school motto, culture, religious tradition), then prioritize a chosen set of core values to cultivate the school culture through a whole-school interdisciplinary approach . The former adopts an Australian model as reference, while the latter initially had seven schools joining JUST FEEL's "Compassionate School Sponsoring Body Programme" for joint collaboration and experiences sharing.
Taking care of teachers’ emotional well-being
Principal FAN Sau-Ki of Buddhist Chi King Primary School, Principal SIU Ting of The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad No.2 Primary School, and Principal TIN Siu-Bun of St. Timothy's Primary School shared their practical experiences in implementing values education. They all agreed that uniting teachers' recognition of values begins with addressing their emotions, allowing teachers' feelings and needs to be seen and heard. They also emphasized the importance of partnership, among which Buddhist Chi King Primary School and The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad No.2 Primary School are “JUST FEEL Partner School". Both principals stated that the support provided by JUST FEEL, including teacher training, joint lesson preparation meetings, social and emotional learning courses and learning tools are tailored for the school's needs and immensely empowered the teaching teams.
Whole-school, interdisciplinary approach partnership program
"Today’s sharing validates our direction in empowering our partner schools through a three-year school-based program with a preventive and whole-school participation approach, which JUST FEEL has been adhering to for the past five years, is highly effective. “Mr. Raymond YANG Sze-Ngai, co-founder of JUST FEEL said, “To date, the accumulated best practices of our 20 partner schools have become a reference model for continuous exchanges and optimization in values education. Back by the generous support of our donors, we look forward to more primary schools joining our Compassionate School Programme, together living out a compassionate life."
The conference also held a “Best Practices Sharing Workshop” session where teachers from three partnered schools of the JUST FEEL Compassionate School Program shared their frontline experiences in carrying out values education. It covered the aspects of curriculum design, environmental creation, class management, training and counseling systems, and parent-school cooperation.
JUST FEEL Compassionate School Program is a three-year school-based partnership program on a preventive, evidence-based, systematic and whole school participation basis. Through three preventive approaches: support, develop and connect, the program aims to empower schools to co-create a compassionate school culture, formulate a long-term strategy to achieve systematic impact. With an emphasis on developing five core values: sense of belonging, respect, solicitude, honesty and empathy, it enhances the emotional well-being of students, their school and family relationships by learning Compassionate Communication Skills and Social Emotional Learning. As of today, JUST FEEL has partnered with 20 primary schools, served 16,900+ students, trained 6,100+ teachers and served 8,600+ parents.
Conference recording: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLf0UcKffu4kfKVonVNYeh8UMgvJOQOeSU
Description: (Left to right) Dr Francis CHAN Nai-Kwok, Head of the Religious and Moral Education Section, Catholic Education Office; Professor CHENG Kai-Ming, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong; Mr. Ivan CHONG Shing-Him, Education Advisor of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association; Mr. Matthew Kwok Tsz-Lok, co-founder of JUST FEEL
Description: (Left to right) Mr. Raymond YANG Sze-Ngai, co-founder of JUST FEEL; Principal FAN Sau-Ki of Buddhist Chi King Primary School; Professor CHENG Kai-Ming, emeritus professor from the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong; Mr. Ivan CHONG Shing-Him, Education Advisor of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association; Dr Francis CHAN Nai-Kwok, Head of the Religious and Moral Education Section, Catholic Education Office; Principal SIU Ting of The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad No.2 Primary School; Principal TIN Siu-Bun of St. Timothy's Primary School; Mr. Chan Tak On, Chun Tok School (providing venue for the conference); Mr. Matthew Kwok Tsz-Lok, co-founder of JUST FEEL
About JUST FEEL:
JUST FEEL is the first registered charitable organization to promote ‘compassionate communication’ systematically to mainstream schools in Hong Kong. With a motto of “Connection before Solution”, JUST FEEL is dedicated to transforming the communication culture in schools and families, empowering educators and parents to nurture the emotional well-being of children.
Please visit https://www.justfeel.hk/ for more details.
JUST FEEL Program Officer (Fundraising & Marketing)
Tel：(852) 9172 5533