Character education

» Posted on Oct 26, 2006 in Blog | Comments Off on Character education

This will be the second time I’ve written this blog. I had it ready yesterday only to discover that blogspot was down for maintenance. I thought I saved it. I didn’t. Oh, well…

I met the other day at school about character education in schools. I wish we didn’t need to address character education, but we do in school (that’s why I wrote about bullying in my October book, Tidings of Joy). The problem is that with all the demands by the federal government (No Child Left Behind) for test scores to be high, the focus has been always totally on academics and preparing for these tests. Don’t get me wrong, academics should be the focus, but there are other things that need to be dealt with, too, because they affect a student’s learning. I read in this article that when character education is taught test scores go up.

Do you have character education in your schools? Is the program a good one? Why? I would love to hear what works since we are looking at various ways to teach everything from moral education to citizenship to life skills.

I do think my school is doing a good job integrating parts of character education into the curriculum. It is easier to do in history and English. It would be harder in a subject like math. For example, next week my students will be reading and discussing The Good Earth, a book read in World Literature. There will be quite a few opportunities to teach about morality in connection to this book.

So what works? What doesn’t work?