Learning Zone

Values & Methodology


The Teaching Methodology (Components)
Every lesson is based upon five teaching components which are:

Although very simple, they have a profound influence when practised following the integrated methodology of the Programme.


Theme for the Week
This can be a quotation, short poem or universal prayer.
For example, a prayer on the value of peace could be used, such as:

“Peace, peace, peace.
Peace on Earth.
Peace, peace, peace
In all the universe

Or alternatively, a quotation, such as :

“Being kind brings peace of mind.”

Following the multi-cultural and non-religious approach of the whole Programme these statements are not particular to any religion or belief system and hence promote unity and tolerance between different cultures.

The theme for the week runs through the whole lesson plan and is best used when also incorporated throughout the whole curriculum. For example, it can be used as a group activity, such as making a poster, or inspiring a class or school project.

Alternatively, children can be asked to invent quotations with similar meanings. While working on these, a subliminal improvement in their consciousness occurs. During the week there would normally be a discussion on its meaning and application in day to day life e.g. in the example above, how we could bring about peace within ourselves, our family, school, society, nation and the world.



Silent Sitting
In silent sitting the teacher will go through a simple relaxation exercise with the children where they follow the instructions given. Examples of these exercises include:

  • alternately tensing and relaxing muscles in different parts of the body.

  • Becoming self aware through listening to different sounds and speech.

  • Self-awareness through watching oneself breathe.

  • Taking part in a guided visualisation exercise e.g. an autumn leaf falling down into a stream, and then being gently carried out to a vast calm sea.

Normally these exercises are done with the eyes closed for about five minutes. This could be done for five minutes in the morning assembly, or even at the beginning of each lesson. Further details are set out in the Workbooks.

Silent Sitting exercises quieten children’s minds, thereby reducing any stress, leading to resultant benefit to parents and teachers as well as the children themselves. It has been proved that after practising silent sitting over a period of time, verbal, written, and artistic skills become much enhanced and the children generally more creative.

A very destructive force in the classroom is the level of noise and movement which is substantially reduced when silent sitting is practised, so it also helps with discipline problems. Once the practice is more established, every lesson could start and close with a minute of silence so that the children’s behaviour becomes more peaceful.

Time and effort taken to practice and establish this exercise is well repaid by the children’s heightened concentration and attention for lessons and in their behaviour generally.



Story Telling
Most people enjoy being told a story. It is a very old and effective method of teaching how to behave.

Stories often parallel life and suggest ways of dealing with situations. But the teacher should not simply read out the story. It is important for them to familiarise themselves with it and truly tell the story to make it come alive.

There are numerous stories set out in the Teaching Workbooks - using traditional stories, fables and those based on actual events, where the teacher is able to draw out human values. After understanding the methodology used, teachers will be able to write their own stories.

All the stories should have questions after them to ensure children absorb and understand the value that has been described.

In order to bring out the emotional intelligence in children and help them become aware of their feelings it is always important to ask at the end of the story "How did you feel when you heard that story?"

Do not ask "How did you feel about it?" This is like asking "What did you think about it?" and is not to do with feelings, but about thinking. Children (and teachers) need to know the difference.

The four most useful questions to ask at the end of any values based story are:

  • “What name could we give this story?”
  • “What did you feel when you heard it?”
  • “Does it remind you of anything in your own life?”
  • “What does this story mean to you?”

Teachers can obviously add to this list as appropriate as children answer.

It is useful to end a story telling session on an optimistic note, showing what can be done to cope with a difficult situation, and how to learn from experiences in the past, to throw light on how things can be done better in the future.



Group Singing
The human being has a rhythm of its own. When a person feels good, the heart beats gently with a steady rhythm. When someone is angry or disturbed the heartbeat becomes erratic.

Group singing using songs that are uplifting and calming and decreases feelings of agitation and restlessness. It also makes one feel joyful, happy and at one with those around.

Anything learned through song is remembered and is easier to recall, so group singing is a powerful tool for enhancing the value being taught in the lesson. CD's & Tapes can be used to assist and guide teachers and parents (if being used at home) with singing component of the Programme.



Group Activity
This covers a whole range of activities such as:

  • community service projects
  • drama
  • games
  • art
  • craft work

Plenty of examples are given in the Workbooks and teachers and parents can make up their own after looking at the examples given.

Great attention has been given to making all the activities in the Workbooks interesting and fun, as teachers often face heavy competition from television, videos and computer games in capturing the attention of children.