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What is Character Education
Employers (NZ Herald, 15th Feb 2018 – Education Focus) are looking for people with a positive attitude, good communication, and self-management skills to name a few. They are also looking for people that are honest and diligent. So where do people get these qualities? Can schools help? What is character education? What are its benefits? And how can it be implemented?
I’ll help you answer these questions in this post. You will see why schools play an important part and how to use character education.
What are values?
Some of the skills employers look for are basic skills of good character. These are the same as what we would all look for when we decide if someone will be our friend or not.
These skills can often fall within a set of values that define who we are or our character. For example, if we want to be able to trust someone, we look for an honest person.
Other values include integrity, empathy, responsibility, and courage. The list is extensive. Values define the type of person we are and our character. So how are these developed? This is where we return to our first question …
What is character education?
Character Education is unlike other subjects as it isn’t taught directly. It should be seen as a way to enhance the ethos or community spirit of your school. Character Education should become the backbone of how your school operates.
The principles of good character – values or virtues – must be seen to take the forefront in the daily life of your school. Talk the talk of character – openly discuss actions and occurrences within your school as they relate to virtue in class, at assembly and in the staff room.
The teaching of subjects prescribed by a curriculum is fine but we need to guide students of all ages on how to develop skills for themselves as they learn and to enable them to learn for themselves.
Why should schools use character education?
What better education can a school provide than to help a student improve themselves and give them a better chance in life?
Subject matter and intellectual skills can be learned at any stage in a person’s life, such as with on-the-job training or through Interweb Education courses, but character is developed during youth. It is good character that gives the student the advantage of being the more favourable choice by prospective employers.
Examples in Education and Life
Character for the IT industry: Did you know that most IT departments in companies around now use the “Agile” method for developing solutions? A major part of this method involves teamwork and these teams are expected to follow the values of commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.
Therefore any student interested in technology or even games will need to know about values development and character!
We can not let it be by chance that our kids will pick everything up as they move through life but if schools all become conducive to developing good character, not only will it eliminate bullying and bad behaviour, but graduating students will be ready to face life as a contributing member of society.
Get involved now and make a start: Ready more and get your copy of our Character Education Kit.
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