Dr John Bellavance
Educator / Speaker / Author

Values Drive Wellbeing and Culture

Book a Session with Dr John

Some psychiatrists maintain that one third of patients seeking help from mental health professionals present with the issue of lack of values, meaning and purpose in their lives. Such widespread phenomena as anxiety, depression, aggression and addiction are not understandable unless we recognise the vacuum of meaning in the lives of many people.

I can help with:

  • Values education and guidance for your young people, aged 12 to 25

  • Education and guidance on parenting skills

  • Education on wellbeing
    - Online or at venues

Presentations and workshops, for individuals, schools and businesses.
These sessions can be at no cost to you depending on your situation.
I am here to serve, give back and help!

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12 Pillars of Meaning and Connection Values Education Curriculum Outline


The values and abilities outlined in this curriculum seek to foster personal growth and positive relationships.

Target Audience

The target audience for this curriculum are young people and adults seeking to improve their personal lives, their relationships and strengthen their families, and act in positive ways to improve the common good.

Know Thyself, Live Responsibly and Lovingly

Psychologists maintain that wellbeing and happiness are more than the absence of negative psychological states; it relies on a life of meaning and purpose, and connection and belonging. Research and historical human wisdom point to three fundamental issues with respect to being happy - living consciously (know thyself), responsibly and lovingly.

The Three Life Goals

Values education, and social and emotional learning are based on learning the values and abilities that help us manage ourselves, manage our relationships, contributing positively to society and managing our natural environment well.

The Three Moral and Psychological Domains

The three moral and psychological domains that underpin the three life goals are: 1) reasoning, 2) emotion and 3) behaviour, labelled as Integrity, Heart and Character in the Twelve Pillars Framework. Integrity is the label used to represent the moral values and abilities associated with reasoning, heart for emotions and character for behaviours.

The Three Teaching and Learning Domains

The three teaching and learning domains are learning, wellbeing and service. A holistic education needs to foster: a) intellectual and creative abilities, b) emotional and social abilities that underpin wellbeing and connection with others and c) service learning - public service that supports the common good and the development of the individual. These are labelled as the Head, the Heart and the Hand.

The Three Global Citizen Mindsets and Practices

Global citizens need three elements and their associated practices; a) shared universal values, b) interdependence and c) mutual prosperity. Global citizen seek to find our common humanity and shared values. Global citizen also have a profound sense of our interdependence. An awareness of one’s view of the interconnectedness of self, the human community and the natural environment. Global citizen also recognises that our mutual prosperity - locally, national and internationally is vital for the common good.

Values in the Digital World

12 Pillars of Meaning and Connection

"Bellavance synthesises the best research on moral psychology and education to provide a firm foundation for education that will prepare young people to be responsible, caring, and self-aware in their many engagements with the digital world."

Anne Colby, author of The Power of Ideals (with William Damon)

John Bellavance has written a text that will give teachers and parents insights into how these general capabilities can be developed in an integrated way, moving beyond limited "cyber-safety" programs to proactive moral reflection and action through the adoption of a Digital Moral Framework. The importance of being able to bring moral values to bear on these interactions cannot be underestimated. This book is imbued with deep empathy with, and understanding of, our emerging generations, drawing on decades of interactions with them in classrooms.

David de Carvalho, CEO of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

"Pursuit of human happiness or is it the goal of prosperity, the innate quest for a meaning in human civilizational ascent remains unabated! The perennial pursuit of higher consciousness is wonderfully addressed by Dr John Bellavance in his amazingly thought provoking book "The 12 Pillars of Meaning and Connection"

Professor Anoop Swarup, Founding Vice Chancellor Jagran Lakecity University and Chairman Center for Global Nonkilling, Hawaii

What is Educating with Values

Educating with values equips young people with the mindsets and skills needed to be successful in their life pursuits. However, much of the focus in education is on meeting the needs and values of material civilisation.

The centrality of values based learning offers a way for education to stay responsive and relevant. Values education is about recognising that values are the innate principles and standards by which we live our life. Values and their associated practices form the cultural fabric of our families, our communities and our societies. However, we often do not clarify what they mean.

There is a unique opportunity before us, as we think about education going into the next decade. We need to disrupt what is not working. It is time to harness the energy and wisdom of great thinkers to define a new way forward.

Values education, and social and emotional learning are based on learning the values and abilities that help us: 1) manage ourselves, 2) manage our relationships and 3) contribute positively to society and manage our natural environment well.

Values and the Family
Schools play an important role in fostering values, yet there is a great deal of consensus that values education starts from the family. The conversations need to occur around the dining room table, the boardroom table, at the local bar and in the halls of parliaments.

The big gap in values education is fostering family values, love and respect between husband and wife, love of parents for their children, children for their parents and siblings for each other. Sexual ethics and respectful relationships come from this starting point. Family values set the standard for how we relate to others in society. This is the area that is truly missing in schools and in society.

Values and Indigenous People
For our indigenous peoples, the notion of values education might strike them as a little odd, as if the formation of values in young people was somehow separate from learning about knowledge of the world.

National and Global Citizenship
Selfishness is accelerating. Values education is a timely and critical for the survival
and prosperity of our society and our global village. Values education can help students learn about the values of their own country, which is essential for nation building and for an enlightened and democratic society. To reflect the globalised world, education also needs to consistently commit to the promotion and expression of global and international values.

Why is Educating with Values Important?

Educating to be Good
There is a great deal of consensus on why educating with values is important. We need education to fulfil our human potential, to be smart and to be good. Educators need to help students develop desirable character traits, to become productive in the workforce and contribute to society.

Values education is one of the most important aspects in education. Aristotle said that educating the mind without educating the heart, is no education at all.

Values educations sets the basis for shared values across the whole school community, implicitly informs the hidden curriculum and the whole school ethos.

higher Learning Outcomes for Students
Extensive research has shown that values education creates a rich learning environment which leads to higher quality learning outcomes for students and to positive attitudes to learning. Ethical values are important to develop a disposition in learners to acquire academic skills.

When young people understand their values and they have experiences and educational experiences that line up with that, then education can have a greater impact.

A Peaceful, Just and Sustainable World
Values are needed to create a peaceful, just and sustainable world. Values are central to this endeavour since all choices and actions are underpinned by values.
Australia is a global village. Hence, understanding how to be a global citizen is critical. The three Global Mindsets and Practices rely on: 1) shared universal values, 2) interdependence and 3) mutual prosperity. These mindsets and practices foster global citizen that seek to find our common humanity and shared values.

Learning to Think, Feel and Act
Schools need to build virtuous intelligence in students. We have emotional intelligence, but this is not enough. The three moral and psychological domains which underpin human values and behaviours are: 1) reasoning, 2) emotion and 3) behaviour.

A Holistic Education
There are three teaching and learning domains - learning, wellbeing and service. A holistic education needs to foster: 1) intellectual and creative abilities, 2) emotional and social abilities that underpin wellbeing and connection with others, and 3) service learning through public service that supports personal development and the common good.

Values in the Digital World
Computing has been greeted with enthusiasm in education; however, unethical and inappropriate practices by young people are challenging society and educational institutions to understand the moral values and abilities that can mediate their uses of ICTs and help them respond to the challenges they face while using ICTs.