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 and 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 student’s soul or personality or character. Geography inspires awe and wonder at the natural world, both at the physical and human features. An understanding of scale is an important aspect of Geography and how small changes in climate can have far reaching consequences. Understanding that all life is linked together and creates the processes that make Earth the only known inhabited planet. Students reflect on long and short term impacts noting the rights and wrongs linking into the value of justice and stewardship.
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 Geography provides opportunities for students to recognise that development takes place within a global context and that local decisions affect and are affected by decisions and processes in other countries, for example, water supply. Issues of justice, fairness and democracy are central and can be debated in terms of students’ own experiences as well as using geographical issues as contexts.
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 Geography involves the study of real people in different societies. In looking at their own locality and others in the world, students’ sense of identity and community can be strengthened.
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 cultures 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 involves the study of real people in real places in the present. It provides opportunities for multi-cultural education through recognising commonalities and differences, exploring the issues around community cohesion. It also encourages students to reflect on their own personal realities of sense of space.
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 peoples’ 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 Geography
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 and specific examples from the Geography Curriculum content explored.
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.
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.