This year the theme of the annual ACAMIS Spring Leadership Conference will be “Values Added”. In many schools, we think about “Value Added”. Usually this refers to what the institution, and teachers, add to what the students bring with them. We expect creative and productive schools like ours to add significant value to our students’ learning. Perhaps not quite so many schools concern themselves with the ‘values’ that they add to the lives of their students. Our theme of “Values Added” is meant to encourage engagement with and discussion of the importance of values in the school curriculum, in and out of the classroom. Is it enough to be merely a “Value Adding” school? Or does holistic learning, which might encompass character and moral growth in addition to scholastic development, require “Values Added” as well?
This year’s theme recognizes that learning communities grow in goodness together. We are rigorous academic institutions at all levels, of course, but as schools we should be looking for, and looking after, so much more than the pursuit of the intellectual. At Keystone, the centrality of our 5 values – arising as they do from the Confucian tradition -- is part and parcel of our public purpose: We believe that China, and the world, need students and teachers who bring the life of the mind together with a caretaker’s spirit. As educators, we set our sights on the development of character and community throughout our school setting, and beyond.