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Character Education





Former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige once said, "We have to remind our students of a lesson taught in Ancient Greece: the character of the person is the primary product of education. Good character is the product of good judgments made every day. Good character is a reflection of someone with good judgment, seeking wisdom, acting virtuously. Good character becomes the second nature of the person who values truth, wisdom, hard work, compassion, empathy, and enlightenment. In Plato's time, the word 'character' meant something like 'the mark, the stamp or the impression on the person.' When the educational system works well, the best indicator is the character of its students. We see the indelible mark of the school upon the student."

Learn More About Character Education

Education World has published a number of articles about schools that are educating students about good character, and about some of the character education programs schools are using. Check them out!

Is Character Education the Answer?
As incidents of in-school violence become more common, and strict disciplinary techniques and increased security measures fail to control the problem, many parents, educators, politicians, and social leaders are looking for reliable methods of prevention. Is character education the answer?

Three Ways to Make Values Last at Your School
Elaine L. Lindy, an expert on storytelling for character education, documents the process and benefits of creating a set of core values at school. Included: Tips for helping your school team develop a dynamic list of core values.

Youth Frontiers: Changing the Way Young People Treat One Another!
Youth Frontiers President Joe Cavanaugh brings the virtues of kindness, courage, and respect to schools in daylong retreats in which "MTV meets Aristotle!" Education World writer Leslie Bulion speaks with Cavanaugh about his brand of character education for public schools.

Books of Character: Eighteen Books for Teaching About Character Across the Grades
National Character Counts Week is celebrated every year during the third full week of October, providing teachers with the opportunity to initiate discussion and projects that examine the meaning of character. Education World offers a selection of books that might be used -- in or out of the classroom -- to spark discussion about character.

Character Education Getting a Boost
Some schools that received federal funding to pilot character education programs are now going to their state legislatures or local communities to continue them. Included: Links to character education resources from Utah and New Jersey.

Folktales of Cooperation For Your K-3 Class
Are you looking for a fun and effective way of promoting the spirit of cooperation in your K through 3 classrooms? Elaine Lindy, creator of the Absolutely Whootie Web site, shares three favorite folktales to get kids talking about the importance of cooperation. After you use the tales in the classroom, why not send them home so the discussion about cooperation can continue? Included: Lindy shares follow-up activities and tips.

Singing for Societal Change... Again
Disrespect has become rampant in U.S. society, according to singer/songwriter activist Peter Yarrow of the trio Peter, Paul & Mary. Yarrow's curriculum, Don't Laugh at Me, teaches children to respect themselves and others. Included: A description of the Don't Laugh at Me curriculum.

The Giraffe Project: Encouraging Kids to 'Stick Their Necks Out' for Others
Everyday heroes are toasted by the Giraffe Project! This organization shares news of individuals who are making a difference in their communities. The heroes, called "giraffes," stick out their necks to help other people. With the guidance of the program, children are learning not only that they can find giraffes in their own communities, but that they can become giraffes themselves!