Values, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Mindsets

Students demonstrate the ability to identify and understand their core values (i.e., what is really important to them), beliefs, opinions, attitudes, and mindsets and how they influence their feelings and actions. (For example, if the approval of others is a core value, they may be more vulnerable to peer pressure; or if they have a negative mindset, they may refuse to undertake new challenges.)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Key Beliefs:

I will be a better student if I act on the following beliefs:

  • It’s important to recognize the attitudes and beliefs I have about things. 
  • I can recognize my strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Knowing my strengths helps me feel confident; knowing my weaknesses helps me improve on them. 
  • I am my own person and don’t need to be like anyone else. 
  • Identify mindsets in the context of class regularly (e.g., What are the different mindsets students are experiencing before a test?) 
  • Write your own sayings of significance or create a personal motto.
  • Using a Way To Go lesson as a template, create your own lesson with pictures, quotes, and specific questions to ask.
  • Provide examples of notable figures and role models who represent independent thinking and being themselves by putting their values into action. 
  • “When your values are clear to you, making decisions becomes easier.” -Roy E. Disney
  • “Our value is the sum of our values.” -Joe Batten
  • “If you don’t stick to your values when they are being tested, they’re not values, they’re hobbies.” -Job Stewart
  • “Good moral values are mostly molded from a place where love, faith, and hope exist.” -Arsenio V. Manalo Jr
  • “Your attitude is an expression of your values and expectations.” -Zabid Abas
  • “Open your arms to change but don’t let go of your values.”- Dalai Lama
  • “I stand for honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated, and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values”. -Ellen Degeneres
  • “Values are like fingerprints. Nobodies are the same but you leave them all over everything you do.” -Elvis Presley

Shared Values

Break the class into small groups. Have each group make a list of values to live by (no more than ten) in order of importance. Then, have a spokesperson from each group present the list to the class along with any needed commentary. Put all the lists up on the wall. What values did all groups share? Were there any serious differences between the groups? Discuss the differences and see if it’s possible to develop a list that everyone will buy into.

Have everybody in the class bring in one or two advertisements aimed at teenagers. Have a class discussion to evaluate the ads by asking the following questions: What values does this ad appeal to? What values does this ad promote? Do you share those values? Is this ad in conflict with any of your values? What assumptions does this ad make about who you are? Is this ad attempting to influence your image of yourself?

Values in Conflict
Have the class consider and discuss the following hypothetical situations. Be sure to have them identify what values are in conflict.

  • You are doing poorly in math class and your parents are putting pressure on you to bring your grade up. The day before the final exam somebody steals a copy of the exam and invites you to study it with him. You’ve never been a cheater.
  • You love being on the team. After practice one evening you see a teammate vandalize a teacher’s car. The coach knows you saw it happen and threatens to kick you off the team unless you name the guilty person. You’ve never ratted on anybody.
  • A friend swears you to secrecy and then tells you he’s planning to commit suicide. You’ve always believed in keeping a secret. (Hint: It’s never okay to keep this fatal secret.) 
  • Write a classified ad for the school newspaper, looking for a companion to join you on weekends to do some activity you really like. Describe yourself well enough so that people will know whether or not they would want to spend time with you. What does your ad tell you about how you see yourself?
  • Write about a time when either you or somebody else did something that conflicted with your values. How did it happen? How did it make you feel? Did you make any changes or decisions based on that experience? What did you learn from it?
  • Have you ever been in a situation where you felt as though your decisions were being made by the group instead of by you? Write about it. How do you feel about it? What did you learn from it?
  • Having heroes and special people we admire helps us to see what we value. Who is someone you consider a hero? Why? What does he/she stand for and believe in? What lessons do you learn from this person? What values does this person represent?

In 200 Years
Imagine that 200 years from now your very great-grandchildren find an article about you in the encyclopedia. What does that article say about you? What kind of person were you? What did you do with your life? Why are you interesting enough to be in the encyclopedia? In three hundred words or less write the article. Then, in one paragraph, write what that article tells you about your values.

Your Children
Imagine that someday you will have children. Write a letter of advice for them to read when they reach the age you are now. Tell them about the pressures to fit in that you experienced at this age, and how you hope they will deal with those same pressures, themselves. Also, tell them about the two or three most important values you held at this age, and what values you hope they, themselves, will embrace.