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“Bridges Over Troubled Waters” Project

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

In order to reflect on our democratic values as bridges to active citizenship, the pupils of 3ème/2nde participated in five thematic days from October to November 2022 to prepare for the trip to the Czech Republic at the beginning of December.

Read on to follow our journey of interdisciplinary reflection, which culminated in meeting and sharing our ideas, values and beliefs with pupils in Brno.

Becoming aware of values required some perspective. Before we knew which value to choose, we still had to ask ourselves what it was all about... It was time for collective reflection!

PROJECT DAY #1 - "What is a value?

Where to start when talking about values: are they personal values? school values? democratic values? Everything seemed to be a value... Our first task was to find a way to agree because everyone seemed to define values in their own way.

Klaxon is a tool that offers the possibility to publish virtual post-it notes on a shared space. Each student posted the values of his or her choice and we saw "Solidarity", "Fraternity", "Respect", "Friendship", "Compassion", "Justice", "Will Power" appear on the screen, all hopeful words.

If we felt deep down that values bring a kind of positive energy into our lives, could we not use a metaphor to agree on the importance of having values in our lives?

“A value is like a compass”

Students broke into groups for reflection, each one contributing many treasures to the bank of values. The next step was to organise all these ideas into clear categories of values.

The debate allowed us to designate four categories:

personal development ;

creativity, contributing to the richness of our inner life ;

social connections ;

concern for others.

A fifth, more residual category allowed us to leave the most difficult values to classify, such as freedom or our relationship with nature, for a second period of reflection.

"Nature is not a value! - It could be if we "fix" it to live in harmony with it. - We repair it because we have broken it..."

Everyone had had a chance to share their own values and hear those of others in return. Sharing values and debating their limits made it possible to see the importance we attach to our own values, even if we are not always aware of their weight in our lives.

How can we question our reactions when our values are reinforced by, confronted with, or clash with another’s values? This will be the subject of our next article on the second project day.

Adrien Rovillain, history-geography & French teacher


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