The Values Framework Explained
We should be mindful of the needs and rights of others
Mindfulness of the needs and rights of others should be enshrined in principles of good governance and social interaction. Social order is required to protect all individuals, particularly the weak and minority groups. Laws and regulations are the tools of governance, and there are appropriate ways to influence change. The right to be heard is balanced by the responsibility to listen, and these are the foundation stones of a just society.
We should be honest in our dealings
Every ethical system holds firmly to the importance of truth telling and proscribes deceit. This value is essential to all human affairs from the operations of school, to the governance of nations. Honesty must lie at the heart of every school curriculum. Arising out of honesty is trust, which in turn nurtures security – a fundamental requirement of wellbeing and mental health.
We should be peaceful in our intentions
At the core of human relations is the need for peace. This is true both in the global, political sense as much as in the home environment and local community. Conflict resolution at any level requires good social and emotional skills, and an underlying conviction that coercion and confrontation are not the best ways to resolve problems; indeed, they have a great potential to harden attitudes and inhibit learning. Social harmony is dependent upon cooperation and the ability and willingness to seek compromise.
We should be considerate in our actions
As human beings we do not live in isolation; any human action impacts upon others, as well as the environment, in direct and subtle ways. We should all be aware of the consequences of our actions, and accept the custodianship of the world we have inherited; good citizenship involves the protection and preservation of the physical environment from damage and destruction. Also, in a multi-cultural community we should be particularly sensitive to the impact our actions have upon others, and we should strive for greater understanding of common human values and cultural inheritance as well as an understanding of the basis of cultural difference.
‘Treat others as you would wish to be treated yourself.’
The Ethical Framework
Each organization and profession has fundamental core beliefs that should determine the professional culture. These core beliefs could be considered as ethical scaffolding. The following is an articulation of our beliefs at the British International School Phuket:
The Teacher as Mentor
It is recognised that all teachers are mentors and role models, both within the school and within the wider community. They should, through their actions, promote a healthy approach to living and learning. Consistency of approach is an important element in the interactions with students, but this should be based upon warmth and openness. In all routines and in classroom management the teacher honestly upholds the rules and values of the school, and the laws of Thailand. Teachers will dress and act according to professional expectations and the school-required guidelines, and at all times uphold the reputation of the school and the teaching profession within the community.
At BISP it is recognised that learning is a lifelong activity, but this can be greatly enhanced by learning how to learn and with a fuller understanding of the approaches to learning. It is also understood that effective learning takes place when students are actively engaged, but equally it can be inhibited by aggressiveness, sarcasm, ridicule and humiliation. At the heart of learning is emotion, and as teachers we strive to be empathetic and treat students as individuals.
We also acknowledge that all teachers are de facto teachers of English, and that teacher interactions with students must reflect this.
In any society based upon fairness, there must be consistency. Students need to learn and understand the parameters of acceptable behaviour, standards of work and timekeeping. To allow flexibility or negotiation as a matter, of course, does not help the students over time, but has the very real potential to destroy harmony and trust in the wider school community. Collegiality is founded upon trust, but this trust can only be engendered where there is consistency of approach to duties and responsibilities. Consistency is fundamental to emotional wellbeing for all members of a school community.
It is recognised at BISP that to serve the best interests of the students in a rapidly developing world the approach to learning must be dynamic. It is expected that teachers will constantly strive to update their knowledge, methodologies and expertise, and be open-minded to new ideas. The school has an important part to play in this continued staff development, and will wherever possible seek to provide the best available professional development across the greatest number of teachers.