SMSC and Values & Attitudes
Global Learning provides a great vehicle for delivering SMSC and Values Education. Through subject content which includes a global dimension, students are given many opportunities to engage with controversial issues, take part in stimulating debate about global issues and broaden their understanding of interdependence. It creates opportunities for them to explore their own values and develop critical thinking skills. Global Learning also supports students in identifying and articulating their world view and critically assessing the rationale behind their ideas and assumptions.
Each curriculum section included in the Global Learning Teaching Toolkits specifically illustrates links to SMSC and Values, shown both on the Generic ‘Big Ideas’ Mats and on the Schemes of Learning.
What SMSC means for Students:
Ofsted’s definition of spiritual development includes the development of a non-materialistic, spiritual side to life including: a sense of identity, self -worth, personal insight, development of a pupil’s soul or personality or character. Spiritual education in English includes being reflective on other students’ feelings and values, as well as appreciating the unknown and mystical elements of our lives. Through English, there are opportunities to look at compassion, acceptance, ideologies as well as subjects such as death, religion and creativity.
What it looks like for students:
- A set of values, principles and beliefs, which may or may not be religious, which inform their perspective on life and their patterns of behaviour
- Awareness of and understanding of their own and others’ beliefs
- Respect for themselves and for others
- A sense of empathy with others, concern and compassion
- An increasing ability to reflect and learn from this reflection
- An ability to show courage and persistence in defence of their aims, values, principles and beliefs
- Readiness to challenge all that would constrain the human spirit: for example, poverty of aspiration, lack of self-confidence and belief, moral neutrality or indifference, force, fanaticism, aggression, greed, injustice, narrowness of vision, self-interest, sexism, racism and other forms of discrimination
- Appreciation of the intangible – for example, beauty, truth, love, goodness, order – as well as for mystery, paradox and ambiguity
- Respect for insight as well as for knowledge and reason
- An expressive and/or creative impulse
- An ability to think in terms of the “whole” – for example, concepts such as harmony, interdependence, scale, perspective
- An understanding of feelings and emotions, and their likely impact
Ofsted’s definition of moral development includes the development of understanding of moral values that regulate personal behaviour and understanding of society. Moral education in English includes topics such as fairness and equality, as well as appreciating more abstract qualities such as justice and responsibility. There are opportunities to look at how conventions might be used within close reading of texts, such as in advertising, as well as the ethical dilemmas raised. Set texts could be explored to see how they both represent and challenge British values.
What it looks like for students:
- An ability to distinguish right from wrong, based on a knowledge of the moral codes of their own and others’ cultures
- Confidence to act consistently in accordance with their own principles
- An ability to think through the consequences of their own and others’ actions
- Willingness to express their views on ethical issues and personal values
- An ability to make responsible and reasoned judgements on moral dilemmas
- Commitment to personal values in areas which are considered right by some and wrong by others
- A considerate style of life
- Respect for others’ needs, interests and feelings, as well as their own
- Desire to explore their own and others’ views
- An understanding of the need to review and reassess their values, codes and principles in the light of experience
Ofsted’s definition of social development includes inculcating the skills and attitudes necessary to participate fully and positively in democratic, modern Britain. Social education in English includes topics such as anti-bullying, social differences, our individual responsibilities and areas such as physical disability. There are opportunities to explore how people might be manipulated or affected by texts and how they might react, from challenging to seeking escapism. Students can develop their understanding of the democratic process and how they might both appreciate the rule of law and develop their own voice and opinions.
What it looks like for students:
- An ability to adjust to a range of social contexts by appropriate and sensitive behaviour
- Relate well to other people’s social skills and personal qualities
- Work, successfully, as a member of a group or team
- Challenge, when necessary and in appropriate ways, the values of a group or wider community
- Share views and opinions with others, and work towards consensus
- Resolve conflicts and counter forces which militate against inclusion and unity
- Reflect on their own contribution to society and to the world of work
- Show respect for people, living things, property and the environment
- Benefit from advice offered by those in authority or counselling roles
- Exercise responsibility
- Appreciate the rights and responsibilities of individuals within the wider social setting
- Understand how societies function and are organised in structures such as the family, the school and local and wider communities
- Participate in activities relevant to the community
- Understand the notion of interdependence in an increasingly complex society
Ofsted’s definition of cultural development is about students’ understanding of their own culture and other cultures, being able to operate in the emerging world culture and cope with change, valuing cultural diversity and ultimately preventing racism. This is seen as an essential element of preparation for future lives. Cultural education in English could include looking at the wide range of influences upon students’ heritage, an appreciation of the different cultures in school and further afield and a willingness to respond positively to students’ linguistic and literary heritages.
What it looks like for students:
- An ability to recognise and understand their own cultural assumptions and values
- An understanding of the influences which have shaped their own cultural heritage
- An understanding of the dynamic, evolutionary nature of cultures
- An ability to appreciate cultural diversity and accord dignity and respect to other people’s values and beliefs, thereby challenging racism and valuing race equality
- Openness to new ideas and a willingness to modify cultural values in the light of experience
- An ability to use language and understand images/icons – for example, in music, art, literature – which have significant meaning in a culture
- Willingness to participate in, and respond to, artistic and cultural enterprises
- A sense of personal enrichment through encounter with a cultural media and traditions from a range of cultures
- Regard for the heights of human achievement in all cultures and societies
- An appreciation of the diversity and interdependence of cultures
Addressing British Values through Global Learning in English
Global Learning provides a context for exploring and fostering human values with students. British Values are referenced throughout the Global Learning Teaching Toolkits contained in this publication with specific examples from the English Curriculum. British values have been identified by Ofsted as: “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance towards those of different faiths” and it is expected that schools will focus on, and be able to show how their work with students is effective in embedding fundamental British values throughout teaching and learning.
“It is impossible to teach English without constant reference, implicit or explicit, to the values embedded in language and literary culture. NATE believes that the subject should be seen not merely in instrumental terms but as a cultural study in which questions of value are constantly brought into focus for open discussion by reference both to the enduring texts of literature and to the emerging texts of contemporary media,” NATE, 2015.
Reflection criteria for teachers
Embedding Global Learning in subject teaching
In order to facilitate the process of embedding Global Learning in specific topics, teachers are encouraged to use the following questions as a way to orient their thinking around Global Learning.
- Can this module help us to explore development processes, or help us develop our understanding of development processes?
- What can we understand about social justice, inequality and power relationships through this module of work?
- How does this topic contribute to our understanding of interdependence?
- Does this module help us to explore intercultural understanding, challenge stereotypes and promote multiple perspectives?
- Can this module help us develop our understanding of human rights, citizenship and democracy?
- In what ways are we promoting and developing global critical thinking skills through this topic?
- How are we addressing and fostering values and attitudes?
- Does this approach (and the subject matter of this topic) make us aware of active citizenship and participation?
It’s not necessary for all of the questions to be answered or their concepts to feature in every topic.
Quality principles in Global Education
- Global Education places emphasis on the interdependencies between global South and global North – it is not limited to the presentation of global problems.
- Global Education shows global processes in the local perspective, it presents their consequences for everyone, it is not limited to the abstract.
- Global Education uses up-to-date and factual descriptions of people and places, it does not sustain existing stereotypes.
- Global Education shows causes and consequences of global processes, it is not limited to facts and statistics.
- Global education stresses the importance of long-term individual involvement in reaction to global challenges, it does not sustain a sense of helplessness, it is not about fundraising for charities.
- Global Education respects the dignity of people it speaks about, it does not focus on the negative but rather seeks to represent a balanced picture of their realities.
- Global Education facilitates critical thinking and supports individuals to develop opinions around global issues, it does not promote one ideology and does not offer quick answers.
- Global Education promotes understanding and empathy, it does not refer to pity.
- Global Education allows the people it refers to, to speak for themselves, it does not rely on guesswork and imagination.
- Global Education uses many diverse teaching and learning methods, it is not limited to didactic teaching.
- Global Education aims at building knowledge, developing skills and changing attitudes, it is not limited to transferring knowledge.
- Global Education is learner-centred, the learning process starts with the experiences of the learners, it is not exclusively teacher-led.
“Reading is not walking on the words; it’s grasping the soul of them.”
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Enthroned upon the mighty truth,
Within the confines of the laws,
True Justice seeth not the man,
But only hears his cause.”
Paul Lawrence Dunbar
“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird