What is Character Education?
Character Education is the deliberate effort to help people understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values. An intentional and comprehensive character education initiative provides a lens through which every aspect of school becomes an opportunity for character development.
"Effective character education is not adding a program or set of programs to a school. Rather, it is a transformation of the culture and life of the school."
- Dr. Marvin Berkowitz
What are the benefits of Character Education?
- It promotes character development through exploration of ethical issues across the curriculum.
- It develops a positive and moral climate by engaging the participation of students, teachers and staff, parents, and communities.
- It teaches how to solve conflicts fairly, creating safer schools that are freer of intimidation, fear, and violence, and are more conducive to learning.
- It increases one’s capacity to rise above self-interest.
Principles of Good Character:
- Your character is defined by what you do, not what you say or believe.
- Every choice you make helps define the kind of person you are choosing to be.
- Good character requires doing the right thing, even when it is costly or risky.
- You don’t have to take the worst behaviour of others as a standard for yourself. You can choose to be better than that.
- What you do matters, and one person can make a big difference.
- The payoff for a good character is that it makes you a better person, and it makes the world a better place.
Character Attributes We Are Emphasizing:
Responsibility: I will be accountable for my actions, be reliable and keep my commitments.
Respect: I will treat myself, others and our planet with consideration, high regard and dignity.
Perseverance: I will not give up when things get tough. I will stick to my goal and work hard to achieve it, despite obstacles and challenges.
Inclusiveness: I will work to build a community where everyone feels included, empowered and valued for his or her unique contributions.
Initiative: I will recognize what needs to be done and do it, without prompting from others.
Kindness: I will strive to understand and be sensitive to the feelings of others. I will help those who need assistance and do whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
Cooperation: I will do my share of tasks that need to be done with others. I won't complain about things that need to be done.
Honesty: I will be sincere, trustworthy and truthful.
Fairness: I will treat others in a just, equitable and unbiased manner.
Courage: I will stand up for my beliefs and principles and face challenges, fear and difficulty with fortitude.
Integrity: I will do what is right and ensure there is no difference between what I say and what I do.