Why Character Matters

“Nearly every parent on earth operates on the assumption that character matters a lot to the life outcomes of their children. Nearly every government antipoverty program operates on the assumption that it doesn’t.” – David Brooks, New York Times columnist and 2013 CEP Forum keynote speaker. David Brooks wrote a recent column about the importance of character … Continue reading “Why Character Matters”

Literature as a Path to Good Character and Better Decisions

By Stephen Ellenwood Good literature can help us understand both a range of nuances regarding key virtues such as kindness, persistence, or honesty and the complexities of how to answer questions that require, for example, both kindness and honesty. This approach is based in part on Jessamyn West’s wise counsel, “Fiction reveals truths that reality … Continue reading “Literature as a Path to Good Character and Better Decisions”

The OCHO Project: Read for a Need–Teaching Children to Help Others

By Marilyn Perlyn The OCHO Project: Read for a Need(Opportunities for Children to Help Others) exposes children to the joys of reading while teaching them that they can help others less fortunate than themselves. It is an elementary school program in which students embark on a 6-8 week literacy journey that is infused with eighteen … Continue reading “The OCHO Project: Read for a Need–Teaching Children to Help Others”

Taking Your School from Good to Great

Character education is often misunderstood. It is more than a word of the month or an assembly to honor students with good character. It exceeds catching students being good and helping those who are less fortunate. Character education is not a program, but a philosophy about how we ought to treat one another and why.  The fundamental lessons … Continue reading “Taking Your School from Good to Great”

Education as the Key to Equality: Where Does the Department of Education Stand?

I was privileged to attend the Washington Post’s summit on families and children earlier this month. What did I learn? That education remains the key ingredient for success for all American children, especially those living in poverty. While experts and politicians continue to debate the role of government in helping families, children, and communities, all … Continue reading “Education as the Key to Equality: Where Does the Department of Education Stand?”

Model Good Character with Eco-Friendly Holiday Gifts

Unless your pantry closely resembles the Back to School department at your local Walmart, buying new school supplies each year is something every parent can count on. Not only does it cost money, but supplying students with paper and other school-related items can put a damper on the environment and the world’s resources.

What Does It Mean to be a Character Role Model?

In my last blog I challenged myself, and probably meant to challenge you as well, by asking, “What am I going to do about my character development that will have a positive impact on my students?” In this blog I will explain one example of how I have attempted to answer this question in my … Continue reading “What Does It Mean to be a Character Role Model?”

How can we create more just and democratic schools?

In Marvin Berkowitz’s Hot Topic discussion this afternoon, he didn’t hesitate to cut right to the point. “We need to make schools less like prisons,” he said. “When you think about it, it’s disconcerting how much the analogy fits. How can we create more enlightened and just schools?” Marvin’s talk focused on utilizing empowerment and … Continue reading “How can we create more just and democratic schools?”

Where the Spirit of Learning Soars & Character Grows: a Good-to-Great Story

Eight years ago, Crestwood Elementary School in St. Louis, Missouri, became truly engaged in character education. We were already a pretty good school and doing some character education, but a district decision directed all schools to do more character education following the Caring School Community (CSC) program with its emphasis on autonomy, belonging, and competence. … Continue reading “Where the Spirit of Learning Soars & Character Grows: a Good-to-Great Story”

When Is It Okay to Reward Children for Doing the Right Thing?

CEP asked the experts when it would be appropriate to reward children in our latest National Schools of Character publication. Here’s what David Hulac, Marvin Berkowitz, and Russ Sojourner had to say:

President’s Post: Can Character Be Taught? In a Word, “Yes!”

“Intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education.”  – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At the Character Education Partnership (CEP), we certainly believe character can and should be taught. So I have been particularly thrilled by all the attention and wide praise that has been garnered by the important new … Continue reading “President’s Post: Can Character Be Taught? In a Word, “Yes!””

Back to School and Back to Stress for Some Students

It’s a fresh start. A chance to start over. An opportunity to be successful, to put the past behind, to forge a new reputation and to have perfect attendance. The new school year offers students new teachers, new friends, new challenges and new rewards. Sadly, for many middle and high school students, it’s another year … Continue reading “Back to School and Back to Stress for Some Students”

Why Do You Do Character Education?

We asked our 2012 National Schools of Character why they do character education. Some replied:

Solutionary Education Reform

Education is in the news these days, with feature-length documentaries such as “Waiting for Superman” and “Bully” at theaters alongside “Toy Story III” and “The Avengers.” Tom Friedman at The New York Timescalls the education beat the most exciting one of our time for journalists. Never in my lifetime has education been such a hot topic. … Continue reading “Solutionary Education Reform”

What Graduates Really Need to Know

This excerpted blog article is reposted with permission from Zoe Weil, an honored and esteemed speaker at our upcoming National Forum on Character Education. It was originally posted here. Zoe was also recently featured in Forbes Magazine, discussing the heart of education.

Resistance to Character Education

The mere mention of the words “character education” inevitably sparks resistance among certain populations.If my students don’t get certain test scores, my job is in jeopardy, asserts the overworked teacher. I don’t have time to teach math AND character.

15 Serious Facts about High School Stress

Every parent and educator must know these troubling facts about our teens. Each fact is a wake-up call, but together they should mean: “Time for Code Red” This blog was written by the Bachelor’s Degree Online and published with its permission. One of the greatest lies ever perpetuated about the teen years is that they’re … Continue reading “15 Serious Facts about High School Stress”

Common Core: Building the Moral Infrastructure through Character Ed

The Common Core has now been adopted by all but five states in the U.S., making it the topic of discussion in faculty rooms all across the country. It touts high standards that encapsulate the knowledge and skills students need for college, career and civic readiness in a 21st century global society, but will it … Continue reading “Common Core: Building the Moral Infrastructure through Character Ed”

Character Integration – authentic or artificial?

Which is best? Or does it matter? In our preK-3 character building, the character lessons serve as something tangible for our young students to connect with and hold on to as they learn all about the pillars of character. Because of their developmental age, trustworthiness, for example, is kind of an abstract concept, but when … Continue reading “Character Integration – authentic or artificial?”

PBIS and Character Education: An Evolution towards Best Practice

From Merle Schwartz, CEP director of education and research Before I came to CEP in August of 2002, I was a school psychologist in Maine, a learning & behavior specialist, and wrote the first graduate course at that time on PBIS for the University of Southern Maine. Before that, I was a special education teacher … Continue reading “PBIS and Character Education: An Evolution towards Best Practice”

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