and Strategies for Positive Behavior:
School-Wide Programs & Strategies:
School-wide or Class-wide
Character education is a general term that is used to describe many
aspects of using teaching and learning to enhance student personal
development. Character education encompasses various aspects of
moral education, civic education, and character development, which
makes it a difficult concept to address in schools. Character education
seeks to foster in students a commitment to living and acting in
accordance with core ethical values such as caring, honesty, fairness,
responsibility, and respect. It has demonstrated positive changes
in student behavior and academic performance. School systems across
the country have implemented elements of character education and
have seen such results as a more civil school environment, fewer
absentees, and improved academic outcomes.
is no single script for effective character education, but there
are some important basic principles. The following eleven principles
by the Character Education Partnership serve as criteria that schools
and other groups can use to plan a character education effort and
to evaluate available character education programs, books, and curriculum
education promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character.
must be comprehensively defined to include thinking, feeling,
character education requires an intentional, proactive, and comprehensive
approach that promotes the core values in all phases of school
school must be a caring community.
develop character, students need opportunities to practice problem-solving
and positive behavior.
character education includes a meaningful and challenging academic
curriculum that respects all learners and helps them succeed.
education should strive to develop students' intrinsic motivation.
school staff must become a learning and morally focused community
in which all share responsibility for character education and
attempt to adhere to the same core values that guide the education
education requires strong pro-social leadership from both staff
school must include parents and community members as full partners
in the character-building effort.
of character education should assess the character of the school,
staff functioning as character educators, and the extent to which
students manifest good character.
Post-intervention data indicates that implementation of character
education programs encourages positive student interactions, increased
academic success, reduced incidents of violence, and improved teacher
& Support Information
There are many curricula that are commercially available that include
character education. Second Step, a violence prevention program
developed by the Committee for Children, has included a Character
Education program that follows the eleven principles that the Character
Education Partnership has identified as being key in effective character
education. There are also many free character education resources
for educators available at www.goodcharacter.com.
The Character Education Partnership
Character Education Center
& Additional Resources
Cafo, Z., & Somuncuo, D. (2000). Global Values in Education
and Character Education. ED449449.
Education Partnership & Boston University's Center for the Advancement
of Ethics and Character. (2000). 2000 National Schools of Character
and Promising Practices Citations. Washington, DC: CEP.
M. (1997). Character Education and the curriculum. ERIC Document
E. (2000). Character Education: ERIC Digest. ED444932.
of character: Reclaiming America's values for tomorrow's workforce.
The 1998 Ninth Annual "Business Week." Awards
for Instructional Innovation. NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Educational
and Professional Publishing Group.
has a list of key organizations working for the advancement of character