Character Education at Aaron School
Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year and to the Aaron School community!
In his March 5, 2012 column in the NY Times, “The Rediscovery of Character,” David Brooks gives strong moral, intellectual and practical support for schools’ considering Social Emotional Learning and Character Development as essential for (and integrated with) academic competence and overall success. At Aaron School, we firmly believe that by making character education a priority, we are helping create a safe, caring and inclusive learning environment for each and every one of our students. We aim to focus on qualities that will both help our students be successful with the academic curriculum and be fulfilled, responsible citizens of their city and county as they grow towards adulthood.
What is character education?
Throughout history, character education has been the shared responsibility of parents, teachers and members of the community, who come together to support positive character development.
|…nothing is of more importance for the public weal,
than to form and train up youth in wisdom and virtue.
— Benjamin Franklin
Character education teaches the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together as families, friends, neighbors, communities and nations.
Character education is a learning process that enables students and adults in a school community to understand, care about and act on core ethical values such as respect, justice, civic virtue and citizenship, and responsibility for self and others. Upon such core values, we form the attitudes and actions that are the hallmark of safe, healthy and informed communities that serve as the foundation of our society.
What is a school’s role in character education?
Students spend much of their young lives in classrooms. This time in school is an opportunity to explain and reinforce the core values upon which character is formed.
In school, character education must be approached comprehensively to include the emotional, intellectual and moral qualities of a person or group. It must offer multiple opportunities for students to learn about, discuss and enact positive social behaviors. Student leadership and involvement are essential for character education to become a part of a student’s beliefs and actions.
To successfully implement character education, schools are encouraged to:
- Take a leadership role to bring the staff, parents and students together to identify and define the elements of character they want to emphasize;
- Provide training for staff on how to integrate character education into the life and culture of the school;
- Form a vital partnership with parents and the community so that students hear a consistent message about character traits essential for success in school and life; and
- Provide opportunities for school leaders, teachers, parents and community partners to model exemplary character traits and social behaviors.
In an effort to demonstrate to our students that CHARACTER COUNTS, we will be highlighting a vital character attribute/skill each month at Aaron School.