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Planning Your School-Wide Character Initiative


... character as a professional ... Competencies to Developing Good ... 10 Steps for Developing Your Character Education Evaluation ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Planning Your School-Wide Character Initiative

Planning Your School-Wide Character Initiative
Nicole M. Wahab Ed.D
What is Character?
  • Throughout our history, wise thinkers and average
    men-on-the-street have recognized that it is
    character that counts. Heraclitus wrote,
    Character is destiny. The success or failure of
    character formation determines the destiny of
    each of us. It determines, too, the destiny of
    our nation. If each of us is to be fully human,
    then, we need to form strong characters.

Why Develop Character at School?
  • School based character education is a way to
    reinforce what parents are doing at home and to
    create a learning environment that makes it
    possible for teachers to teach and students to

Educating for Good Character
  • Our great thinkers from Socrates to John Dewey
    have recognized the importance of education to
    the development of the person. Central to that
    development is the formation of sound moral
    character--good habits of thought, feeling and
    action combined with the capacity to discern
    right from wrong. Good habits or virtues pave the
    royal road to human happiness, and happiness is
    widely acknowledged as the driving and ultimate
    purpose of life.

Inspiration and Engagement
  • Character education, then, is about engaging the
    minds of our students in their understanding of a
    life of virtue, a life which should lead to
    happiness. It also means inspiring and
    encouraging their hearts to desire a life of
    virtue and employing their hands in constructive
    and worthwhile activities which allow them to
    practice virtue daily.

Inviting our students to take the pursuit of
happiness seriously means accompanying and
challenging them along the road to virtue.
  • John Adams

Major Tenets of Character Education
  • Character Education in schools should not be
    treated as an add-on that will divert attention
    from basic academic goals, but as a means of
    enhancing the schools ability to focus on their
    academic goals.

Major Tenets of Character Education
  • Character Education is about helping our
    students cultivate worthy lives.
  • True character education is much more than giving
    students opportunities to practice virtues and
    uproot vice. It is the essence of character
    education that young people assume responsibility
    for their own character formation.

Major Tenets of Character Education
  • Authentic character education means helping young
    people become the sculptors of their own lives
    and character.

TEAM Approach
  • TEACH- children that their character
    counts---that their success and happiness depends
    on who they are inside.
  • ENFORCE- Instill the Six Pillars of Character
    by rewarding good behavior and discouraging all
    instances of counterproductive behavior.
  • ADVOCATE-Continually encourage children to live
    up to the Six Pillars of Character
  • MODEL- set a good example and reinforce the
    importance of doing the right thingeven when it
    is difficult.

What Educators and Leaders Can Do to Foster Good
  • There appear to be at least seven competencies
    that educators need to demonstrate in order to
    live up to their responsibilities as educators
    for character.

Seven Competencies to Developing Good Character
  • First, educators must themselves be examples of
    good character to students.
  • Second, educators must see the development of
    the students moral life and character as a
    professional responsibility and priority.

Seven Competencies to Developing Good Character
  • Third, educators must be able to engage students
    in moral discourse about the oughtness of life
    they must be able to talk with them about what is
    right and what is wrong in life.
  • Fourth, educators must be able to articulate
    clearly their own positions on a range of ethical
    issues, while at the same time, not necessarily
    burden their students with all of their ethical

Seven Competencies to Developing Good Character
  • Fifth, educators must be able to help students
    empathize with the experiences of others
  • Sixth, educators must be able to establish in
    their schools a positive moral ethos, an
    environment with high ethical standards and where
    respect for all is exhibited.

Seven Competencies to Developing Good Character
  • Seventh, teachers must be able to provide
    students with the opportunity for activities in
    school and in their communities that will give
    them the experience and practice in behaving
    ethically and altruistically

What does Character Education Look Like at School
  • Successful Character Education programs come in
    of all forms including
  • use of literature, drama, art, and music
  • story-telling
  • sports
  • experiential, cooperative, and service learning
  • study of heroes

School-Wide Character Education Activities
  • Word/trait of the month
  • Morning Announcements
  • Recognition Wall for Student Achievement
  • Six Pillar Character Clubs
  • School Murals
  • Parent/Staff Task Force
  • School Service Projects
  • Cafeteria table tents and signs

Implementing a Character Education Program
  • Identify Challenges
  • Strategic Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Identify Challenges By Using Your Current Goals
  • Mission Statement
  • Vision
  • Shared Commitment
  • Climate surveys
  • Behavior Goals

Strategic Planning
  • Identify planning strategies for school, family
    and community involvement in Character Education.
  • Organizing a planning meeting.
  • Key Focus Areas
  • Committees

  • Training and Staff Development
  • Action Ideas
  • Culture
  • Discipline
  • Curriculum
  • Community

Evaluation and Assessment
  • 10 Steps for Developing Your Character Education
  • Improvement plans

Funding a Character Education Initiative
  • Grants
  • Private Donors
  • Fundraising

Final Thoughts
Character is higher than intellect - Ralph
Waldo Emerson