Encouraging young people to ponder ethical issues, to discuss these with them, and to encourage them to be ethically active – those are the aims of the „Wertebündnis Bayern. Gemeinsam stark für Kinder, Jugendliche und junge Erwachsene“ (Values Alliance Bavaria. Strength in unity for children, adolescents, and young adults). Initiated in 2010, the alliance – together with its over 150 alliance partners and the foundation Stiftung Wertebündnis Bayern established in 2015 – pursues this goal through a wide variety of activities. Currently, there are ten community projects throughout Bavaria that are the focus of the work of the values alliance: They range from projects for conveying more media literacy, to the promotion of intercultural education and tolerance, on through to informing about healthy nutrition. In all of these programs, the children and adolescents are not just passive listeners but are instead active and creative participants and co-contributors in the projects.
Effective immediately, the alliance can count on the active support of its new alliance partner and multiplier – Siemens Stiftung. Within the framework of its international educational program Experimento, Siemens Stiftung actively supports action- and value-based learning in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Its commitment to providing environments for experimentation and gaining experience, where students learn, ponder and embody values, convinced the Wertebündnis Bayern. Siemens Stiftung aims to strengthen the alliance with innovative teaching and learning materials, extensive practical experience and a large network of schools. The foundation also intends to contribute its know-how in dealing with new developments in the field of education, such as the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) or the implementation of the form of instruction and learning known as Service-Learning, in order to combine school education with social commitment and the bolstering of values.
Siemens Stiftung views the cooperative development and implementation of solutions, together with its partners, as an important success factor for the effectiveness of its efforts. The cooperation with the values alliance is a further step in this direction.
How values can be taught in schools
The formation of values at an early stage of development is essential to the personal development of children and adolescents – and to the future viability of society: This matter of concern is also what the conference “STEM and Values – How Values Can Be Taught in Schools”, on March 27, 2017 in Munich. Initiated by Siemens Stiftung – under the patronage of the Standing Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs and in partnership with the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – education policymakers, academics, and practitioners contemplate concepts and discuss practical approaches in a multi-perspective discourse, as well as in the form of lectures and rounds of discussion.