Friday, March 09, 2007

Character Education at School and Home

On Thursday, March 8, 2007 the Secacus Board of Education hosted Character Education at School and Home at the Arthur F. Couch Performing Arts Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

This event followed last week's presentation on Myspace and Internet Security Concerns and was the second part of a three-part educational series on issues important to parents, students, educators and law enforcement. Part Three, Parenting Skills – Insights and Training, will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 2007 at 7:00PM.

[Reprinted from the Character Education Partnership –]

What is character education?

Character education is a national movement creating schools that foster ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through emphasis on universal values that we all share. It is the intentional, proactive effort by schools, districts, and states to instill in their students important core, ethical values such as caring, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect for self and others.

Character education is not a "quick fix." It provides long-term solutions that address moral, ethical, and academic issues that are of growing concern about our society and the safety of our schools.

  • Character education not only cultivates minds, it nurtures hearts.
  • Character education gets to the heart of the matter - literally.

Why do we need character education?

As Dr. Thomas Lickona, author of Educating for Character, stated,

"Moral education is not a new idea. It is, in fact, as old as education itself. Down through history, in countries all over the world, education has had two great goals: to help young people become smart and to help them become good."
Good character is not formed automatically; it is developed over time through a sustained process of teaching, example, learning, and practice – it is developed through character education.

The intentional teaching of good character is particularly important in today’s society since our youth face many opportunities and dangers unknown to earlier generations.

What Does Strong Character Mean?

Character is a set of qualities, or values, that shape our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions that help us become responsible citizens.

People with strong character

  • show compassion,
  • are honest and fair,
  • display self-discipline in setting and meeting goals,
  • make good judgments,
  • show respect to others,
  • show courage in standing up for beliefs,
  • have a strong sense of responsibility,
  • are good citizens who are concerned for their community, and
  • maintain self-respect.
The Language of Character
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Kindness
  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Courage
  • Self-Discipline
  • Perseverance
  • Good Judgment
  • Trustworthiness
Principles of Communicating Character
  • Sincerely Care
  • The Splendor of Truthfulness
  • Perform Dynamically
  • Be Comfortable with Criticism and Disagreement
  • Avoid Underhanded Power Plays
  • Appreciate Others
  • Remain Cool, Calm and Collected
  • Be a Paragon of Character
The program paused to honor the memory of Rachel Scott, the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999 and to reflect on Rachel's challenge:
  1. Eliminate Prejudice by Looking for the Best in Others
  2. Dare to Dream — Set Goals — Keep a Journal
  3. Choose your influences — input determines output
  4. Kind Words — Small Acts of Kindness = HUGE impact
  5. Start a Chain Reaction with family and friends
It all comes down to character as the heart of the matter and remembering that a school is a community of hearts not bricks.


Character Education Partnership Click here to visit site
Rachel's Challenge Click here to visit site

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