1), defines good character as involving “understanding, caring about, and acting upon core ethical values”, and thus takes a holistic approach to the development of character in students by developing the “cognitive, emotional, and behavioral aspects of moral life.” Through character education, students can gr...
However, the root of character education in the United States extends back to Horace Mann in the 1840’s who advocated that “character development was as important as academics in American schools” (USDE, 2011, para.
Many of the journal articles that I have come across in researching character education and student achievement indicate more of an indirect relationship where for example, an increase in student achievement is considered a product of improved attendance resulting from character education participation.
The need for character education lies in the fact that a sustained process of teaching, being shown examples of good character, and constant by practicing what they learned is the things needed to instill good character traits in students. And since students spend most of their time at school, it is the perfect place to instill moral values in them.
I have never seen a school in Britain, state or independent, with such a high focus on development of character and lofty aspiration. The oldest pupils in the school have just entered year nine. It will be fascinating to see how they respond through the awkward years, and where their destinations will be when they sit A-levels in 2016.
Character education is a teaching method which fosters the development of ethical and responsible individuals by teaching them about the good values that people should have. It teaches the students the values of caring about other people, honesty, responsibility, and other important traits that make for an upstanding citizen.
ike it or not, character-building is becoming an increasingly important issue for schools. Since the riots in August, it has also come increasingly to the attention of Michael Gove at the education department and indeed of the prime minister and Nick Clegg. An in for the Guardian recently produced a lively response online and in the letters page. My argument was that schools of all kinds have become too much like exam factories, concentrating their energies on securing passes at A to C at GCSE level, and have given too little attention to the overall development of the child and their character (the scramble for results has also been at the cost of genuine learning and creative teaching). The government should embrace character-building and all-round education not as an alternative to academic attainment but as an essential adjunct of it. The opportunities open to those of independent education for wider enrichment should be available to all, regardless of school.
Another school that focuses heavily on the development of character is Kings Langley in Hertfordshire, with a similarly charismatic head, Gary Lewis. The school was relaunched in 2003 after being heavily criticised by Ofsted for behaviour problems and low achievement.
The focus since has been unremittingly on "excellent character". Students are taught that accepting responsibility for behaviour is more important than their individual rights, and the parents are told that the school values the development of strong character above all else.
Seligman was a big influence on Riverdale School in New York City, which was featured in the New York Times on 14 September. Another key influence has been the experience of KIPP Schools. It would appear that the US is ahead of Britain in realising the importance of character development – which has value, above all, for the most disadvantaged of students.