Value Driven – Nigeria
Introducing you to David Segun Dele-Davids Values in Action! Partner Nigeria Africa
What has character got to do with values?
Character consists of an interlocked set of values that guides our conduct. Thus, character education is essentially the same as values education. Character education today focuses on the individual. The focus is on foregrounding the person – character – and that character is influenced by a set of values. Character development makes these values come alive.”
Character education without considering citizenship is inadequate. While values and character are by their very nature personal, citizenship is a very public concept. Thus, the goal of Character Education is not to develop values for its own sake. It’s to guide your actions as a person for the common good of the community, so that you use your values for the service of the community.
Character Education is of immense importance, especially in our increasingly global context. We are confronted with so many choices every day, and the choices we make as individuals have repercussions on the community we live in.
We act according to our values. Therefore it is important that we develop Good Values as a community and as a nation at large.
While we need to help shape our students’ values, we also need to recognize that values cannot merely be imposed. There needs to be a lot more dialogue, since Character Education is a contested issue. What values do we teach? Whose values?
Character Education involves giving students a choice. How a person chooses to act is based on the values he holds. So whether you want to be a good or bad person, it’s a choice. Character Education is about helping students want to be. It’s also allowing them to make those choices. Helping them to make choices that are defensible, informed, and don’t just serve their own interests but also to think about the larger community.
One way to help our students make good choices – and choose good values – is to expose them to rich learning experiences and help them to reflect on the choices they make.
It’s about learning experiences. We must plan for those experiences; plan for the activities to enact those experiences for our students. It’s through their experiences that they will understand and perhaps imbibe those values.
I believe that it is important to involve our learners in co-constructing meanings in the Character Education curriculum. Classroom instruction and climate can be enhanced so as to improve students’ confidence to participate more actively. In doing so, we are also teaching them citizenship – that their views count and they are valued as part of the community and nation at large.
When we think about Character Education, it’s more than just transmitting a body of knowledge. You have to apply it, and application comes with deep understanding. It has to be a lived experience – how you live in the school, how you live as a person, how you live out your values in the public domain.
Nigeria can be great again if can begin to consciously and deliberately teach the right values in our homes, schools and workplaces nationwide.
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