Teaching Values in Education
by Lisa McKenzie

When young people begin learning about ways of living such as incorporating values at a very young age, and then live from a place of these values during all of the childhood years, the incorporation of these values becomes a way of life.  There are many values that can be integrated into the lives of young people.  These values include Right Conduct, Peace, Truth, Love, and Non-Violence. 

Right Conduct

One of the values is called right conduct.  There are many values that are included in the more broad value of right conduct.  These values include:

Self-help skills:  care of possessions, healthy diet, hygiene, modesty, posture, self reliance, and tidy appearance.

Social Skills:  good behavior, good manners, healthy relationships, helpfulness, not wasting.

Ethical Skills: code of conduct, courage, dependability, efficiency, ingenuity, initiative, perseverance, punctuality, resourcefulness, respect for all, and responsibility.

When young people have the opportunity to consider, be aware of, and practice these values, and then observe the qualities present within themselves, a fully integrated presence of these values within the individual, including character development will occur. 

We receive information through the five senses, including smell, sight, taste, touch and hearing. When this information is incorporated into the conscience, the action that results will be beneficial to self and to other people. If the thought before an action is something that the individual has a conscious awareness of has an intention to help and is unselfish, the action will be good for oneself and others. If our mind is busy, or we are daydreaming, the action may be useless, awkward or harmful to self and/or others.

Incorporating values, through developing the powers of increased awareness and discernment, helps the young person to become more proactive, making inner conscious choices rather than simply acting from habits or familiar learned behaviors which they have never questioned.

Right Conduct also involves how we look after and use our bodies. The body needs careful maintenance and self-love to be strong, healthy and well coordinated to serve us in performing the functions and tasks of life. It is important for students to understand the necessity of exercise, such as movement, yoga and sports combined with good rest and sleep. Positive thoughts and positive friends are essential for healthy and well balanced development. Right conduct is taught through storytelling and group activities.


We smile when we are happy with ourselves and feeling contented. Contentment is obtained when we stop wanting for ourselves all the apparent 'good' material things that are conveyed to us through our five senses. When our willpower is sufficiently strong to enable us to discern the difference between real needs and superfluous desires, we cease to be driven by the urge to own more and more possessions.

When inner agitation stops related to wanting more, we are left feeling peaceful.

Values related to Peace include:  Attention, calm, concentration, contentment, dignity, discipline, equality, equanimity, faithfulness, focus, gratitude, happiness, harmony, humility, inner silence, optimism, patience, reflection, satisfaction, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-control, self-discipline, self-esteem, self-respect, sense control, surrender, understanding, and virtue.  

When there is peace in the individual, there will be peace in the family. When there is peace in the family, there will be peace in the community. When there is peace in the community, there will be peace in the nation. When there is peace in the nation, there will be peace in the world. Unknown author.

Self-esteem, calmness and freedom from anxiety are necessary in order to learn effectively. 

These qualities are developed by inner reflection and the self-reflection exercises in group activities.


The desire to know truth has encouraged people to ask some inquiring questions such as: Who am I? What is the purpose of life? How can I live fully in the present moment?

Developing the ability to speak the truth is a first and vital step in the formation of a strong character. Voicing an untruth is an anti-social act and causes confusion in the mind of both the speaker and listener, which leads to anti-social behavior. Telling lies hurts us as well as others in a subtle, but very real way.

Values related to Truth:  Accuracy, curiosity, discernment, fairness, fearlessness, honesty, integrity, intuition, justice, optimism, purity, quest for knowledge, reason, self-analysis, self-awareness, sincerity, spirit of inquiry, synthesis, trust, truthfulness, determination, unity of thought, word and deed

One great difference between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom is the ability to choose how to think and act, rather than just to follow the lower instincts (the law of the jungle). Humans are also able to recognize past, present and future as well as to be aware of changes occurring over time.

A quotation used to stimulate thoughts and questions, may later come to mind and be helpful to provide guidance and choice in a life situation. Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain: Choosing to refer to this higher level of awareness and to consciously exercise moderation in our behavior leads to increased health and improved contentment. The value of truth can also be taught through story telling which promotes curiosity, optimism, fairness to all and higher ideals. It also assists in the understanding of the values of honest speech and self-analysis.


Love is a spontaneous, pure reaction from the heart. It is not an emotion that is affected by the sub-conscious mind. 

It is the power of love which causes one person to wish happiness for another and take pleasure in their well-being. A beneficial energy (love) is directed towards the other person. As this beneficial love energy flows through our own body first, it also enhances our own health.

Love is the unconditional, positive intent for the good of others. This love is giving and unselfish. Love is essential if children are to grow up healthy in all ways, in mind and body. Love is the unseen connecting power binding all of the values.

Thinking with love is truth
Feeling with love is peace
Acting with love is right conduct
Understanding with love is non-violence
-Unknown Author

Values related to love:  acceptance, affection, care, compassion consideration, consideration, dedication, devotion, empathy, forbearance, forgiveness, friendship, generosity, gentleness, humanness, interdependence, kindness, patience, patriotism, reverence, sacrifice, selflessness, service, sharing, sympathy, thoughtfulness, tolerance, trust. 

When the mind is turned away from selfishness, the 'heart' opens, and love flows. Love is energy and is present in every breath. It is the motivating force within the physical body. Group singing is a way to promote harmony, co-operation and joyfulness. In singing a child may experience the sweetness of love. Love may also be fostered through stories and activities which provide young people with the opportunity to care for other people, animals, plants and objects.


For the non-violent person, the whole world is his friends and family.  When the former four values are practiced (when the conscious mind is aware of thoughts, feelings and actions, love is flowing, there is peace and actions are right) life is lived without harming or violating anyone or anything.  It is the highest achievement of human living encompassing respect for all life -living in harmony with nature, not hurting by thought, word or deed.

There are two aspects of non-violence:
•    Psychological - involves compassion for all.
•    Social - includes appreciation of all cultures and religions, and caring for the environment.

Psychological Values related to non-violence include:  benevolence, compassion, concern for others, consideration, forbearance, forgiveness, good manners, happiness, loyalty, morality, and universal love.

Social values related to non-violence include:  appreciation of other cultures and religions, brotherhood/sisterhood, care of the environment, citizenship, equality, harmlessness, national awareness, perseverance, respect for property, social justice.

•    Non-Violence can be described as universal love. Here is how all the values are interrelated: When truth is glimpsed through self-awareness, love is activated. Love is giving, not grasping.  As we allow of wanting of desires to subside, inner peace develops and right conduct is practiced. This results in Non-Violence, which is the lack of resistance to the natural laws which create harmony with the environment.

•    Living in a way which causes as little harm as possible to oneself, other people, animals, plants and the planet, is a sign of a well-integrated, well-balanced person. Such a person is well tuned to the highest well-being of humanity and is in touch with an inner happiness which is permanent and part of one's real nature.

It is through our universal connectedness that we may experience:
•    a feeling of awe and wonder for the universe
•    a feeling of the unity of all
•    the desire to improve the quality of life for everyone
•    a sense of being part of a larger whole
•    a feeling of oneness of the planet and love for everything on it
•    love and respect for the diversity of the human family

Non-violence is taught through quotations, storytelling and group activities. True knowledge is that which establishes harmony and synthesis between science on the one hand and spirituality and ethics on the other.
Lisa McKenzie is a teacher with an Arizona state certification for Kindergarten through 8th grade.  Lisa has many years of experience teaching many different ages and grades, from toddlers through high school.  She enjoys working and interacting with children of all age groups.  Lisa believes that building a foundation of values from an early age and continuing an ongoing practice of these values improves the ability to learn as well as creating a strong basis in which to live a fulfilling and enriched life.  Lisa also teaches skills for parents and adults in order to positively respond to children instead of reacting.