Character Education

Report
Character Education
Presented by:
Kirk J. Dodson
The Erosion of Character
• The WWII generation, the so – called “Greatest
Generation,” accepted their duties of responsibility to
faith, family and country, as well as those of respect and
trustworthiness willingly and without question.
• The erosion of American character began in the 1960s
during the Vietnam War and continued into the
Watergate era.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
The Erosion of Character
• Those who came of age during the ’60s had few qualms
about questioning authority and turning their backs on
their civic responsibilities.
• This decline in social and civic values continued through
subsequent generations and has brought us to a place
where character education must be incorporated into
district curricula across the nation.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
“Education worthy of its name is essentially
education of character.”
~Martin Buber
Vincent, P. F. (1994). Developing Character in Students.
Chapel Hill: New View Publications.
Defining Character Education
• Character education is the term used to describe many
aspects of teaching and learning for personal
development.
• Character education is an approach that connects the
morality of education to the social and civic aspects of
students’ everyday lives.
Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for Excellence. Urban Programs
Resource Network, Retrieved from http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
Defining Character Education
• Some terms that fall under the “umbrella” of character
education and are taught as part of a program include:
moral reasoning, social and emotional learning, moral
education, life skills education, caring community,
health education, violence prevention, conflict resolution
and peer mediation and ethics.
Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for Excellence. Urban Programs
Resource Network, Retrieved from http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
Defining Character Education
• Character education may also be defined as the
development of knowledge, skills and abilities that
enable one to make informed and responsible choices
while coming face to face with the realities of life.
• It emphasizes responsibility and rewards participants
who live productively in the diverse world.
Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for Excellence. Urban Programs Resource
Network, Retrieved from http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• When beginning the process of implementing a
program in schools, the focal point must be a list of
character traits that have been predefined through
consensus building.
• Examples of those traits are: respect, responsibility,
trustworthiness, fairness, caring and citizenship.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• Schools that reach success in
implementation invest time in
creating an acceptable comfort
level for all involved.
• School leaders should set realistic
expectations during the first year
in order to establish a common
language and promote the
character traits through the use of
banners, brochures and signs.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• Opportunities for staff development that focus on
integration of character into the curriculum sharpens the
educator’s ability to identify opportunities and equips
them with specific techniques.
• Faculty will be able to take advantage of teachable
moments that lend themselves to character trait
exploration.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• Character development begins
with the following of procedures
and the obeying of rules.
• Failure of students to follow
procedures can handicap them
in developing intellectual skills
as well as social ones that are
essential to be accepted by
others.
Vincent, P. F. (1994). Developing Character in Students. Chapel Hill: New View Publications.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• A school which implements a successful
program works to direct prove to the
students that they are able to rise above
their present mode of thinking in order
to become a better person.
Vincent, P. F. (1994). Developing Character in Students. Chapel Hill: New View Publications.
Implementing A Successful Character
Education Program
• The important thing to remember when
implementing any new program into a school is
that change takes time.
• Those who attempt to introduce changes with
the goal of having a significant impact must be
patient.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Building Character
• Character can be instilled in students in a variety of
ways. Schools that wish to help build character in their
students should develop rules and procedures with clear
expectations.
• Character can also be fostered through providing
activities that actively involve students in volunteer,
service and cooperative learning projects, reading, and
thinking maps.
Vincent, P. F. (1994). Developing Character in Students. Chapel Hill: New View Publications.
Building Character:
The Giraffe Heroes Program
• This high school program is organized around
It’s Up to Us, which teaches concepts such as
the importance of leading a meaningful life and
making your actions count.
• The executive director of the program assumes
that students have concerns about the world
around them and if given a chance, they want to
have a positive impact on their communities.
The K – 12 Giraffe Heroes Program. (2003). The Giraffe Project, Retrieved from http://www.giraffe.org.
Building Character:
The Giraffe Heroes Program
• The program shows students the importance of selecting
an issue of concern and how to initiate service projects to
address the problem.
• The program builds courageous students as it requires
them to stick their necks out for the common good, even
if that means they may fail or be criticized.
The K – 12 Giraffe Heroes Program. (2003). The Giraffe Project, Retrieved from http://www.giraffe.org.
Building Character:
Character Counts
• Character Counts is a program
offered through the Josephson
Institute of Ethics and is
utilized by many school
districts nationwide.
• It works because of its
simplicity, as it offers a
common, consistent language
that is easily learned by both
teachers and students.
• In order to be successful in
implementing the Character
Counts program in a school,
role – modeling and practice
are crucial.
• There are six pillars of
character.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Character Counts:
The Six Pillars of Character
• The six pillars of character are ethical values that can be used
to guide one’s choices.
• Most universal virtues easily fit into the six pillars.
• Those at the Josephson Institute believe that the six pillars
can improve the ethical quality of our lives and decision
making, resulting in improved personal character.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar One: Trustworthiness
• When others trust, they give
greater leeway because they do
not feel we need to be
monitored and yet we will still
manage to meet obligations.
• Being trustworthy can be
extremely complicated, once
trust is gained we then must
live up to the expectations of
others.
• Trustworthiness is composed
of values such as honesty,
integrity, reliability, loyalty.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar Two: Respect
• Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity and all should be
treated with respect, regardless of who they are or what they have
done.
• We all have a responsibility to be the best we can be in all situations,
even when those around us might be unpleasant.
• This highlights the golden rule.
• Respect prohibits violence, humiliation or exploitation.
• Respect reflects civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, tolerance and
acceptance.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar Three: Responsibility
• Being responsible means being in
charge of our choices and lives. It
means being accountable for who we
are and our actions.
• Ethical people show they are
responsible by being accountable,
searching for excellence and
practicing self – restraint.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar Four: Fairness
• Fairness implies adherence to a balanced
standard of justice without relevance to one’s
own feelings.
• Most agree that fairness includes impartiality
and openness, as well as due process.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar Five: Caring
• Caring is often the heart of ethics, as well as ethical
decision making. A person who really cares feels an
emotional response to both pleasure and pain of others.
• The highest form of caring is altruism, or the honest
expression of one’s benevolence.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Character Counts
Pillar Six: Citizenship
• Citizenship includes civic
virtues and duties that illustrate
how people should behave as
part of a community.
• The good citizen knows and
obeys laws, volunteers and
stays up – to date and informed
of current issues.
The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics, Retrieved from
http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
Expectations & Benefits
• All students benefit when a school district implements a
character education program as they are given the
opportunity to learn what is expected of them in their
communities as they mature and become responsible
citizens.
• Students learn to explore various approaches to
problems that are age appropriate.
Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for Excellence. Urban Programs Resource
Network, Retrieved from http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
The Teacher’s Role
• Act as a facilitator of
discussions and include all
students.
• Introduce topics and lessons.
• Ask questions to stimulate
various points of view.
• Assist students in making
informed and responsible
decisions.
• Encourage exploration of
problem solving behaviors.
Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for Excellence. Urban Programs Resource
Network, Retrieved from http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
The Teacher’s Role
• Teachers need to transform their approach inside of the
classroom.
• When incorporating character education, teachers need
to see it both as a philosophy and daily strategy rather
than a “let’s stop and do a lesson” approach.
• Commitment of entire staff is critical to the project’s
success.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Character Education in Action
• The real test or measure of
success of a program can be
observed by the student’s
demonstration of their
understanding through
application.
• The best indication of a
program’s effectiveness are the
ways in which students and
staff relate to and respond to
one another.
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
The Goal of Character Education
• Character education is meant to support the inherent
goodness in all individuals.
• “The task of the modern school must be to cultivate a
culture that is conducive to the growth of full potential in
all students.”
Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the
Country. Chapel Hill: Character Development Group.
Questions & Comments
Thanks…
• Members of the AAHS
Social Studies
Department:
▫ Mrs. Carolyn Kline
▫ Mr. Jim Lowe
▫ Mrs. Kim Shope
• Members of the AAHS
English Department:
▫ Mrs. Katrina Brown
▫ Mrs. Jennifer Lowe
▫ Mrs. Marie Suter
Works Cited
• Gholar, C. (2004). Character Education: Creating a Framework for
Excellence. Urban Programs Resource Network, Retrieved from
http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu.
• Holt Otten, E. . (2000). Character education. Social Studies
Development Center, Retrieved from
http://www.indiana.edu/~ssdc.chardig.htm.
• The K – 12 Giraffe Heroes Program. (2003). The Giraffe Project, Retrieved
from http://www.giraffe.org.
• The Six Pillars of Character. (2002). Josephson Institute of Ethics,
Retrieved from http://www.josephsoninstitute.org.
• Vincent, P. F. (1994). Developing Character in Students. Chapel
Hill: New View Publications.
• Vincent, P.F. (Ed.). (1996). Promising Practices in Character
Education: Nine Success Stories from Around the Country. Chapel
Hill: Character Development Group.

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