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Character Education

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.

Last Modified: Oct 27, 2010
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