2.2 Thinking about core values underpinning your work with other professionals
The objective of this activity is:
to examine your own practice in relation to working with parents and other professionals in order to make your views, values and beliefs explicit.
In this activity, we would like to you to think about your own views, values and beliefs in relation to working with other people using the idea of ‘ethos’. The positive ethos may be intangible in that you can sense it when you walk into a home or group setting but you cannot see it. This is because it is the ethos of your provision that reflects the shared philosophy of the team (see Activity 2).
All practitioners need to develop a set of core values to help them engage honestly with the everyday experiences of those they work with or come into contact with.
Read the list below of core values identified by Tony Jeffs and Mark Smith (1999, p.81).
Core values underpinning teamwork
Respect for persons – recognising the dignity and uniqueness of every human being, and behaving in ways that convey that respect.
The promotion of well-being – working for the welfare of all and seeking to further human flourishing.
Truth – having a commitment to teach and embrace truthfulness; being open in dialogue, to what others have to say, and confronting falsehood wherever it is found.
Democracy – believing that all human beings should enjoy the chance of self-government, or autonomy, and seeking within practice to offer opportunities for people to enjoy and exercise democratic rights.
Fairness and equality – working towards relationships that are characterised by fairness, confronting discrimination in the pursuit of promoting equality, and evaluating actions with regard to the way people are treated, the opportunities that are open to them and the rewards they receive.
Now complete the following tasks.
Write a short ‘self analysis’ to illustrate which of the core values you believe in or disagree with and why.
Provide one example from your practice that reflects the influence of each of these core values.
Talk to a colleague and note down which of your core values are shared.
Consider whether there are any other core values to add to the list in relation to working with others.
Many core values can be observed, or be seen to be lacking, in the way professionals are empowered to communicate with each other, for example in a team meeting.
A person-centred way of being in an educational situation is something one grows into. It is a set of values … placing emphasis on the dignity of the individual, the importance of personal choice, the significance of responsibility, the joy of creativity. It is a philosophy, built on a foundation of the democratic way, empowering each individual.
(Rogers, 1983, p.95)
The framework in the next activity provides a useful tool for examining practice in relation to working with other professionals and allows us to make comparisons between settings. As Rodd (1998, p.42) suggests, better relationships develop out of feelings of safety, security and trust and are characterised by openness and sharing between people.