What is Character Education?
Character Education holds, as stated in philosophical principle, that there are widely shared, pivotally important core values that form the basis of good character. A school committed to character education explicitly names and publicly stands for values; promulgates them to all members of the school community; defines them in terms of behaviors that can be observed in the life of the school; models these values; studies and discusses them; upholds them by making all school members accountable to standards of conduct consistent with the core values. Good character consists of understanding, caring about, and acting upon core ethical values. (National Definition of Character Education)
Character Education Research
A core belief in Hays CISD is that effort creates ability. Research indicates that students who are absent from the core instruction due to truancy and misbehaviors resulting in serious discipline or inappropriate referrals to special education cannot sustain the effort required for achievement at high levels. Minimizing these distracters to student effort requires campus wide involvement in actively teaching, reinforcing and modeling character skills in a positive learning environment. All of our campuses are recognized by the Texas Education Agency as “Character Plus Schools”, indicating that we infuse and teach, reinforce and model Character Education skills with our students.
Principles of Character Education
The district character education Touchstone (set of character skills to be taught) supports positive relationships among students, teachers and staff through the implementation of eleven nationally recognized Principles of Character Education. Character Education teaches, reinforces, and models character skills in a positive learning environment.
- Promote core ethical values as the basis of good character.
- Define “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and behavior.
- Use comprehensive, intentional, proactive and effective approaches to character development.
- Create a caring school community.
- Provide students with opportunities for moral action.
- Include a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.
- Strive to foster students’ self-motivation.
- Engage school staff as a learning and moral community that shares responsibility for character education and attempts to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of the students.
- Foster shared moral leadership and long-range support of the character education initiative.
- Engage families and community members as partners in the character-building effort.
- Evaluate the character of the school. All of the school's staff is to function as character educators. And then to what extent do the students manifest good character.