Anchoring values in everyday life
Democracy, teamwork, responsibility – what are important values? The motto of Wertebündnis Bayern, an alliance that focuses on teaching values to young people, is “Working together for children, adolescents, and young adults.” This encapsulates the alliance’s goal of encouraging young people to consider, discuss, and act upon their values. Siemens Stiftung has been a member of the Wertebündnis Bayern alliance since 2017.
Wertebündnis Bayern is a unique alliance in Germany that was initiated in March 2010 by the Bavarian state government. Since then, it has grown into a model of into a model of success for providing young people with a sense of orientation and self-determination when it comes to their values. A total of 190 organizations, associations, civic groups, and foundations – each providing its own contribution to value formation in children, adolescents, and young adults – form the Wertebündnis Bayern alliance.
Turning talk into action
Through collaborative projects, the partners in the alliance seek to create scholastic and extracurricular opportunities for young people to reflect on their values and consider the role values play in their lives. Values are never static or absolute, which is why talking about them is so important: the answers to questions about values are always different.
School is an important place for children and adolescents to learn about values and develop a better understanding of the role they play. At Siemens Stiftung, we believe both the humanities and the natural sciences contribute to an understanding of values. As the current “Fridays for Future” movement shows, many questions on the minds of children and young people come from the scientific disciplines: Energy conservation and alternative power generation options; global warming and the effects of climate change; the ‘right’ way to act when it comes to a sustainable, environmentally-aware, and healthy lifestyle. With the STEM and Values project, we address these questions as a member of the Wertebündnis Bayern alliance.
STEM and Values project: Creating and sharing a sense of responsibility
The STEM and Values project seeks to integrate value formation into STEM lessons at primary and secondary schools in Bavaria. This includes training and continuing education opportunities for teachers, which focus on dialog-oriented teaching methods that contribute to education for sustainable development in Germany.
Based upon service-learning and inquiry-based learning
The new project draws upon two tried-and-tested Siemens Stiftung projects – “Service-Learning in STEM” and “Experimento” – that utilize the methods of service-learning and inquiry-based learning. These programs also benefit from web-based training on service-learning co-developed with the Foundation for Learning through Civic Engagement, an organization that also contributed to the Experimento value guidelines.
Siemens Stiftung, TUM School of Education, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Akademie für Lehrerfortbildung und Personalführung Dillingen, Staatsinstitut für Schulqualität und Bildungsforschung, Landesnetzwerk Bürgerschaftliches Engagement in cooperation with the Foundation for Learning through Civic Engagement.
The 190 partner organizations working with Wertebündnis Bayern can be found on the foundation’s website.