Friday Group
Lauren A., Amy T., Adrienne T., Abigail P., Jeannette M.
characteredcollage.jpg

Outline for Character Education Project:
1. Adrienne- What is character education?
2. Amy- What is the history of character education?
3. Abigail- What are the character education traits?
4. Lauren- What are different ways to teach character education?
5. Jeannette- What resources are available for everyone to use and how should everyone be involved?

character.jpgfairness.jpghelpingothers.jpgcharacteredresponsibility.jpgrespect.jpgcharactereducation.jpg


Character Education Paper
“Statistics show that 8 million teens drink per week and 1.3 million teens are alcoholics. There are 2,748 teen drop outs per day. One out of every 10 teen boys will attempt suicide. 135,000 children carry a gun to school. There are 3,300 runaways per day.” (Abourjilie, 2001) These statistics show that children are in danger. How are parents, community members and teachers going to make a difference in children’s lives? It starts with effective character education that involved collaboration and effective, strong values to teach our children the right path.

Character education is a program used in the classroom to prepare students for the world around them. These character education programs must help students gain values that are helpful to them and society (National Center for Youth Issues, 2007). According to the Department of Education, one goal in education is to “promote strong character and citizenship among our nation’s youth” (2005). The Department of Education supports schools in teaching character education because they believe that teaching children ethical values is vital to their futures (Department of Education, 2005). The values taught through character education programs must follow the golden rule (due unto others as you would want done unto you), be helpful to society, and make people overall happy (National Center for Youth Issues, 2007). These programs are vital to the success of students in life. They are a significant part of the educational curriculum in schools today. Children need to be taught these values in order to make our country a better place. These children are our future; we want them to be the best citizens they can be.

Implementing and teaching Character Education in the schools is not a new idea. In fact, the importance of character education emerged in 4th century B.C.E. During this time, both Plato and Aristotle “believed the role of education was to train good and virtuous citizens” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). Since this time, many famous philosophers and educators have taken the same outlook on education.

During the 17th century, philosopher John Locke went as far as to say that teaching character should be held as more important than other learning. Locke stated “I imagine you would think him a very foolish fellow, that should not value a virtuous or a wise man infinitely before a great scholar” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). In the 19th century teaching character became so wide spread that the most read book outside of the Bible was McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers. These readers, which were usually used as school textbooks, were meant to teach moral lessons, including sobriety, responsibility, and self-restraint. Although these readers were once the second most read books, their popularity declined in the 20th century due to their emphasis and teaching of religion. (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004).

Character Education once again regained popularity in the 1960s. During this time, the areas emphasized when teaching character consisted of “six areas of human interaction: communicating, empathizing, problem-solving, assenting and dissenting, decision-making, and personal consistency” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). Most programs at this time were based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg. Through Kohlberg’s program, character would be taught through the telling of short stories that contained moral dilemmas. Since this time, Character Education has changed to how we know it today. Current character education teachings began to emerge in the 1990s. Currently, federal grants are provided for the teaching of character. One of the most popular character programs taught today is the Character Counts program. This program consists of teaching the six pillars of character, including responsibility, fairness, citizenship, trustworthiness, respect, and caring. (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). Although the ideas of how to teach character education have changed throughout history, schools’ responsibility of teaching character remains just as important.

Character education plays a vital role in schools today. It is helping youth develop necessary skills for when they enter the “real world.” Each school has a different method for teaching the values, but they all teach very similar values. Schools often name the values, such as the Six Pillars of Character or Character Counts! While they may be given different names the values are mostly the same. Some of the values found in all of the schools are: responsibility, caring, citizenship, honesty, self-discipline, respect, and fairness. Responsibility is doing the things that are expected of you, such as completing your homework on time. Caring is showing concern for others and being helpful. Citizenship means following rules and laws and supporting your community and country. Honesty is always telling the truth. Self-discipline means giving your best effort to everything you try and motivating yourself to do what is needed. Respect is shown through the “golden rule,” do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Fairness includes treating everyone equally, following the rules of games, and taking turns. These guidelines are crucial for everyone to learn and it is extremely important to start teaching them to children at a young age.

Teaching Character Education is a very important aspect of the elementary school curriculum because it helps children develop who they are. One way to teach character education implements a four step method; “Accept”, “Relax”, “Think”, and “Do” (www.goodcharacter.com, n.d.). The first step, “Accept”, means that kids should be taught to acknowledge the emotion/quality that they desire to possess. During the second step, “Relax”, students should be taught to take time and think about their desired emotion/quality. During the third step, “Think”, students are taught how to understand that particular emotion/quality and why they wish to possess. Finally, during the fourth step, “Do”, students are taught that they should wholeheartedly live by that specific emotion/quality in order to make themselves happy. For example, students can be taught that honesty is a very good quality to possess. The student should be asked to accept that being honest is a good quality to have, then relax and think about what it means to be honest, after relaxing they should think about what they can do to become and honest person, and finally they should do everything that they believe an honest person would do.

Class discussion is also a very powerful tool when teaching character education. By holding class discussions students will begin to interpret and process the feelings of others, and in return they will learn how to develop character. For example; when discussing bullying some students will explain how they feel when they are bullied. While the other children are listening to their peers they will hopefully understand that bullying hurts people’s feelings, therefore they will think before they bully someone in the future. Additionally, role playing activities are also very useful when teaching character education. By asking one student to take on one role and act with another student, they will learn how to develop that character trait, and hopefully understand what it would be like if they did not possess a positive trait. One example could be having students act out citizenship. One student could be a good citizen and help someone else in the class. This will show students that when you are a good citizen and help others, the world is a better place. Character education can be taught in many different ways, and the more creatively it is taught the better. Students benefit from character education lessons, and it is necessary for them to learn if they are to become successful individuals.

Character education can be that tool to teach children to become honest and generous human beings. Character education will also teach children to have a sense of justice. It is the responsibility of parents and community members to help children learn the right path by giving them time and attention. Parents can monitor what their child is watching on T.V. and who they are spending their time with. Last, children need good role models. Parents, teachers, and other community members need to make character habits part of their lives, so children can imitate them. They can promote these moral habits by having good work habits ourselves, being kind and considerate to others, and by participating in community service. (Ryan, 2002)

Character Education continues to play an important role in eventually shaping our society. With 8 million teenagers drinking every week, 2,748 dropping out per day, and many other alarming rates of negative behavior (Abourjilie, 2001), it becomes critical for our schools to correctly implement character education programs. By involving parents, teachers, and the community, schools can help to teach students good character education.

Resources

Abourjilie, C. (2002). Children and danger: a look at the statistics. Retrieved on September 24, 2009 from http://charactered.net/parent/parentdanger.asp.

Department of Education. (2005, May 31). Character education…our shared responsibility. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from [[[[http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/ character/brochure.html]]]].

Editorial Projects in Education. (2004). Character Education. Retrieved on September 17, 2009 from http://www.edweek.org/rc/issues/character-education/
Elkind and Sweet Communications Inc. (n.d). Teaching Guide: Dealing With Feelings for Grade K-5. Retrieved from http://www.goodcharacter.com/GROARK/Bullying.html
National Center for Youth Issues. (2007). Charactered.net. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from http://www.charactered.net.

Ryan, K. (2002). Character education handbook and guide. Retrieved on September 24, 2009 from http://charactered.net/parent/parenttentips.asp.

Thinking Media. (2007). Character education network. Retrieved September 16, 2009, from http://charactered.net/main/overview.asp.

Article edited by:
Monica Custer, Aimee Slider, Jodie Lewis, Sarah Bucchino, and Jana Lybarger



What are different ways to teach character education?
By: Lauren Abbazia
Teaching Character Education is a very important aspect of the elementary school curriculum because it helps children develop who they are. One way to teach character education implements a four step method; “Accept”, “Relax”, “Think”, and “Do” (www.goodcharacter.com, n.d.). The first step, “Accept”, means that kids should be taught to acknowledge the emotion/quality that they desire to possess. During they second step, “Relax”, students should be taught to take time and think about their desired emotion/quality. During the third step, “Think”, students are taught how to understand that particular emotion/quality and why they wish to possess. Finally, during the fourth step, “Do”, students are taught that they should wholeheartedly live by that specific emotion/quality in order to make themselves happy. For example; students can be taught honesty is a very good quality to possess. The student should be asked to accept that being honest is a good quality to have, then relax and think about what it means to be honest, after relaxing they should think about what they can do to become and honest person, and finally they should do everything that they believe an honest person would do.
Class discussion is also a very powerful tool when teaching character education. By holding class discussions students will begin to interpret and process the feelings of others, and in return they will learn how to develop character. For example; when discussing bullying some students will explain how they feel when they are bullied. While the other children are listening to their peers they will hopefully understand that bullying hurts peoples feelings, therefore they will think before they bully someone in the future. Additionally, role playing activities are also very useful when teaching character education. By asking one student to take on one role and act with another student, they will learn how to develop that character trait, and hopefully understand what it would be like if they did not possess a positive trait. One example could be having students act out citizenship. One student could be a good citizen and help someone else in the class. This will show students that when you are a good citizen and help others, the world is a better place.Character education can be taught in many different ways, and the more creatively it is taught the better. Students benefit from character education lessons, and it is necessary for them to learn if they are to become successful individuals.
Source: Elkind and Sweet Communications Inc. (n.d). Teaching Guide: Dealing With Feelings for Grade K-5. Retrieved from http://www.goodcharacter.com/GROARK/Bullying.html

What is character education?
By: Adrienne Tracey

Character education is a program used in the classroom to prepare students for the world around them. These character education programs must help students to gain values that are helpful to them and society (National Center for Youth Issues, 2007). According to the Department of Education, one goal in education is to “promote strong character and citizenship among our nation’s youth” (2005). The Department of Education supports schools in teaching character education because they believe that teaching children ethical values is vital to their futures (Department of Education, 2005). The values taught through character education programs must follow the golden rule (due unto others as you would want done unto you), be helpful to society, and make people overall pretty happy (National Center for Youth Issues, 2007). These programs are vital to the success of students in life. They are a significant part of the educational curriculum in schools today. Children need to be taught these values in order to make our country a better place. These children are our future; we want them to be the best citizens they can be.

Department of Education. (2005, May 31). Character education…our shared responsibility. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from [[http://www.ed.gov/admins/lead/ character/brochure.html]].
National Center for Youth Issues. (2007). Charactered.net. Retrieved on September 15, 2009 from http://www.charactered.net.


The History of Character Education- Amy Thompson

Implementing and teaching Character Education in the schools is not a new idea. In fact, the importance of character education emerged in 4th century B.C.E. During this time, both Plato and Aristotle “believed the role of education was to train good and virtuous citizens” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). Since this time, many famous philosophers and educators have taken the same outlook on education.
During the 17th century, philosopher John Locke went as far as to say that teaching character should be held as more important than other learning. Locke stated “I imagine you would think him a very foolish fellow, that should not value a virtuous or a wise man infinitely before a great scholar” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). In the 19th century teaching character became so wide spread that the most read book outside of the Bible was McGuffey’s Electic Readers. These readers, which were usually used as school textbooks, were meant to teach moral lessons, including sobriety, responsibility, and self-restraint. Although these readers were once the second most read book, their popularity declined in the 20th century due to their emphasis and teaching of religion. (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004).
Character Education once again regained popularity in the 1960s. During this time, the areas emphasized when teaching character consisted of “six areas of human interaction: communicating, empathizing, problem-solving, assenting and dissenting, decisionmaking, and personal consistency” (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004). Most programs at this time were based on the work of Lawrence Kohlberg. Through Kohlberg’s program, character would be taught through the telling of short stories that contained moral dilemmas. Since this time, Character Education has changed to how we know it today. Current character education teachings began to emerge in the 1990s. Currently, federal grants are provided for the teaching of character. One of the most popular character programs taught today is the Character Counts program. This program consists of teaching the six pillars of character, including responsibility, fairness, citizenship, trustworthiness, respect, and caring. (Editorial Projects in Education, 2004).
Although the ideas of how to teach character education have changed throughout history, schools’ responsibility of teaching character remains just as important.

Editorial Projects in Education. (2004). Character Education. Retrieved on September 17, 2009 from http://www.edweek.org/rc/issues/character-education/

What are the character education traits? -Abigail Phelps

Character education is becoming more prominent in schools nationwide. It is helping youth develop necessary skills for when they enter the “real world.” Each school has a different method for teaching the values, but they all teach very similar values. Some of the values found in all of the schools are: responsibility, caring, citizenship, honesty, self-discipline, respect, and fairness. Responsibility is doing the things that are expected of you, such as completing your homework on time. Caring is showing concern for others and being helpful. Citizenship means following rules and laws and supporting your community and country. Honesty is always telling the truth. Self-discipline means giving your best effort to everything you try and motivating yourself to do what is needed. Respect is shown through the “golden rule,” do unto others as you want them to do unto you. Fairness includes treating everyone equally, following the rules of games, and taking turns. These guidelines are crucial for everyone to learn and it is extremely important to start teaching them to children at a young age.

Thinking Media. (2007). Character education network. Retrieved September 16, 2009, from http://charactered.net/main/overview.asp.

Parent and Community Involvement by Jeannette Milburn

“Statistics show that 8 million teens drink per week and 1.3 million teens are alcoholics. There are 2,748 teen drop outs per day. 1 out of every 10 teen boys will attempt suicide. 135,000 children carry a gun to school. There are 3,300 runaways per day.” (Abourjilie, 2001) These statistics show that our children are in danger. How are we as parents, community members and teachers going to make a difference in children’s lives? We need to start by collaborating together to teach our children the right path. Character education can be that tool to teach children to become honest and generous human beings. Character education will also teach children to have a sense of justice. We as parents and community members can help children learn the right path by giving them our time and attention. Parents can monitor what their child is watching on T.V. and who they are spending their time with. Last, we all need to be good role models. We need to make character habits part of our lives. We can promote these moral habits by having good work habits ourselves, being kind and considerate to others, and by participating in community service. (Ryan, 2002)

Abourjilie, C. (2002). Children and danger: a look at the statistics. Retrieved on September 24, 2009 from http://charactered.net/parent/parentdanger.asp.
Ryan, K. (2002). Character education handbook and guide. Retrieved on September 24, 2009 from http://charactered.net/parent/parenttentips.asp.