Character education is summed up by one line in a wonderful song by Aretha Franklin that says all she wants is respect.
Respecting your environment, your family, your community, your school and yourself can make a difference in how you live your life.
The term ‘social responsibility’ is sometimes treated like a buzzword. But it is important to understand the very basic moral qualities that make a good citizen of the world. Drugs, street crime, domestic violence and white-collar crimes are all on the rise.
As a retired member of the United States Armed Forces (26 years in the U.S. Navy) I spent a lot of time assessing and helping to develop character in new recruits. One of the fondest memories I have is to witness the success of military members as they progress through the ranks, serve their country with honor and then help to develop similar character traits in others.
Children must be prepared to live their lives in the face of constant threats to their very self-esteem. Building a strong base while in school and getting a good education can make all the difference over the years.
Character Ed – On My Honor
Character-style education is a broad term that covers a lot of territory. It deals with issues like being trustworthy, honest, diligent, having integrity and a social conscious. These character development terms can be incorporated in Character Education lesson plans.
It also deals with life skills issues such as preserving values and dealing with peer pressures. Character-style education can address many different kinds of issues.
- Community service through service based instruction
- Ethics in the workplace for students going from school graduation to work or working jobs while still in school
- Creating positive school environment conducive to instruction
- Sex education in the context of making responsible choices
- Anti-drug and alcohol programs
- Sports ethics
- Family participation and behaviors
- Teaching core ethical values
Schools teach character development so that children can learn the basic values that will serve as a moral foundation for the rest of their lives. Character-style education is about developing student responsibility.
Character Education – Justice For All
Irresponsible responses at points in our lives where important decisions must be made can create ethical problems. At any stage of our lives, justice is an issue. We all want to be treated fairly and with dignity.
Whether you are five years old and must decide whether to do your chores or are fifty years old and are deciding if you should volunteer at the local charity, character is developed through training. Teachers develop these programs. Fortunately, today there is a wide choice of available programs to assist with the creation of these types of lessons.
And here are some more fun activities for kids ideas.
- Real life lessons by modern day heroes that appeal to children and young adults – inspirational stories of success
- Discussion topics
- Techniques for identifying strengths and ways to build those strengths into strong character
- Life skills programs teaching responsible living
- Lesson plans that involve students
- Writing assignments on the qualities of character
Character development is an integral part of any instructional program.
Character Education – Staying In Character
Teaching character-style education in the classroom can be a challenging task. Keeping the attention of the students is the first step. The second step is offering a program that keeps their interest and will be considered relevant to their lives. Programs are available in any format.
- Printed Material
- Downloadable programs
- Lesson planning software
The teacher of character education can choose the character trait they want to discuss and create a lesson plan that is based on that trait.
This allows the teacher to gear the program to address specific issues related to the students or the school. By teaching character-style education, students will be able to stay ‘in character’ all their lives.
Often rural communities are seen as places where students enjoy smaller class sizes, maintain special relationships with teachers, fellow students and their entire community.
The citizenry of those special places take particular pride in sharing the benefits and pleasures of living away from the hustle and bustle of most metropolitan areas.
Quality education can be a significant concern in some rural areas and student character building initiatives receive wide support as the country community is very much a part of the entire education family.
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