Character Education Presentation (Mar. 29th, 2008)

The following is a combination and also notes from the Academic Excellence Conference. Please e-mail with any comments. Thank you.

Main Questions
· What exactly are ...
· Character Education?
· Civic Education?
· What are the key features of each?
· What about the history?
· What about some strategies about implementing these within the classroom?
Research Plan
· Read numerous articles about both Character Education and Civics Education
· Interviewed multiple Middle School Teachers in the Monadnock Region (Keene and Wheelock)
· What is Character Education?
· “All teachers, no matter what their grade level, discipline, or years of experience, need information and guidance on how to demonstrate and implement positive character traits in the classroom”
– (Marshall 1, 2007)
Some Characteristics to Consider…
· Knowledge
· Understanding
· Reasoning
· Values
· Emotion
· Intentions
· Motivation
· Beliefs
· Standards
· Principles
· Conscience
· Empathy
– (Huitt 5, 2002)
Values Based Education
· Another term for character education
· Based on the "spiritual, moral, social and cultural aspects of the curriculum.”
– (Hawkes 1, 2002)

What is Civic Education?
· A subcategory within Character Education.
· The goals of civic education are “to educate students to understand…
·  the purpose, structure, and functions of government;
· the political process;
· the rule of law;
· and world affairs”
· “History, geography, and economics”
· Become “responsible, knowledgeable citizens, committed to participation in public affairs
– K-12 Social Studies New Hampshire Curriculum Framework 16, 2006.
The Red/Black Game
To Discuss After the Game:
· Cooperation
· “Score as many points as possible" NOT “Your team should score as many points as possible”
· Moral education and academic education went together.
· How critical “experiential learning [was] for building character”
· Should be accessible to all students regardless of ages and “all adults [should] provide moral guidance”
– (Huitt 2, 2002)
– (Vessels 40, 2005)
1940-1970 - Cognitive-Developmental Psychologists
· “Identifying levels of moral reasoning […forming…] moral development.”
· The moral reasoning came from the different developmental stages and where an individual was at that particular stage.
· “Individual freedom and self-improvement”
– (Huitt 3, 2002)
Late 1990s - Green
· Studied conscience and emotion.
· Thinking and feeling parts of the moral person
· “Five voices of conscience (craft, membership, responsibility, memory, and imagination)”
· Senses were essential to how a person thought about various issues
– (Huitt 5, 2002)
1995 - Berkowitz
· “The complete moral person”
o “Moral values (beliefs and attitudes with an affective component),
o Moral behavior (intentional moral acts),
o Moral emotion (energizing feelings),
o Moral character (a personality characteristic),
o Moral identity (being or trying to be moral),
o Metamoral characteristics like self-discipline”
– (Huitt 5, 2002)
1996 - Ryan
· “Morals, values and ethics”
· Adults, such as the parents or the teachers, should concentrate on helping to form these through teaching.
· “Matching the topic and level of intensity” to reach the “students’ developmental level”
· “knowing, loving, and doing the good”
– (Marshall 1, 2007)
– (Huitt 5, 2002)
· Many theories about character, values based and moral education.
· Many different perspectives
· One of the key themes that appears in most theories is the respect for all regardless of different values.
– (Huitt 5, 2002)
Long Range
· Goals and hopes of the curriculum.
· Many researchers believe that such curriculum should “build and strengthen assets that enable youth to grow and flourish throughout life”
· “Developing a set of skills and benchmarks that are designed to accomplish the above standard”
– (Park 40, 2004)
– (McMurphy. E-mail Interview. Oct. 29-30th, 2007)
· Can be accomplished through “using stories, moral exemplars, reinforcement, and lists of virtues as recommended by traditionalists”
· Should be dependent on and “model […] democratic values and provide […] a safe environment for learning, sharing, and cooperating”
· “Develop […] patience and tact”
· Participating members of the community
– (Huitt, 2002)
– (McDaniel 6, 1998)
Finding Oneself
· Bring out one’s sense of self
· Who they are as individuals within their society
· How they can move forward
· Many of us are still trying to find ourselves
Interactions / Relationship Building
· Teamwork
· “Cross-age grouping and cross-age tutoring”
· Reduces categorization of students
· Increases “peer interaction”
· “Family and community involvement”
· “Use cooperative learning activities to help students develop social interaction skills”
– (McDaniel 6, 1998)
– (Schwartz Abstract, 2006)
Morning Meetings
· Greeting
· Sharing
· Activity
· Announcements
“Tough Talks”
· Issues that concern students:
· Sex, drugs, etc.
Conflict Resolution
· Peer mediation
Overcoming Adversity within the Classroom
· Interpretation
· What kind of learner one is
· Different classroom settings
Working on Awareness Issues
· Lunch period
· Various “booth [s] in the cafeteria with information for students” about different movements and issues.
· “Last year, they made a paper chain that they put up in the cafeteria which represented how many kids would die from malnutrition/hunger during their lunch time which is half an hour”
· Awareness ribbons and bracelets
· Signs
· Fundraisers to raise money for teams and charities.
– (Greg Croteau, November 1, 2007. Personal Communication)
Community Service
· Book Fairs
· Can tabs for David’s House
· Nursing homes
· Historical education
– (Christine Archer, October 26, 2007. Personal Communication)
· How the government is set up
· “The establishment of U.S. government and history”
· Study history so that mistakes are not repeated but instead learned from
– (Sarah L. McMurphy, October 29-30, 2007. Personal Communication)
Mock Elections
· Forum
· Many sponsors  - I.e. NHPTV
· Simulations
· Registered voters
· At Keene Middle School, teachers use the same “ballot […] as the one the city of Keene uses. All of the names are listed and in the same order. We announce the results etc.”
· “Middle School kids are very issue oriented and not terribly abstract thinkers”
– (Sarah L. McMurphy, October 29-30, 2007. Personal Communication)
· Implementation within one’s classroom
· Interrelationships between the development within the classroom, country and the governmental system
· Positive examples
· Active learning
· Making a difference in the world
Teachers Interviewed:
· Christine Archer. Teacher at Wheelock Elementary school. In person interview on Oct. 26th, 2007.
· Greg Croteau. School Counselor at Keene High School. Advisor for Youth Outreach. Interview through e-mail on Nov. 1st, 2007.
· Sarah L. McMurphy. Teacher of Social Studies at Keene Middle School. Interview through e-mail on Oct. 29-30th, 2007.
· Susan Theberge. Professor of Education at Keene State College. Commentary throughout on the paper Nov., 2007.
· Hawkes, Neil and Linda Heppenstall (2002) LIVING VALUES - ONE PRIMARY SCHOOL'S WAY OF ENCOURAGING A VALUESBASED EDUCATION. Retrieved December 3, 2007. The Royal College of Psychiatrists. Web site:
· Huitt, W. G. & Vessels, G. G. (2002) Character Education. Retrieved October 8, 2007. J. Guthrie (Ed. ) , Encyclopedia of Education (2nd ed. ) New York: Macmillan. Web site:
· K-12 Social Studies New Hampshire Curriculum Framework. (2006 June) Web site:
· Marshall, Dr. J. (2007) Character Education in Preservice Education: One Institution's Response. NASPA: Journal of College and Character. Retrieved October 8, 2007. Web site:
· McDaniel, A. K. (1998 April) Character Education: Developing Effective Programs. Journal of Extension. Volume 36 Number 2. Retrieved October 8, 2007. Web site:
· Noddings, N. (2005 September) What Does It Mean to Educate the Whole Child? Educational Leadership, v63 n1 p8-13 Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Web site: Retrieved October 8, 2007.
· Park, N. (2004) Character Strengths and Positive Youth Development. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 591, No. 1, 40-54. Retrieved October 8, 2007. Web site:
· Schwartz, M. J. ; Beatty, A. & Dachnowicz, E. (2006 December) Character Education: Frill or Foundation? Principal Leadership, v7 n4 p25-30 National Association of Secondary School Principals. Retrieved October 10, 2007. Web site:
· Theberge, Dr. S. & Reed, Dr. J. EDUC 200: Social Contexts of Education Syllabus: Fall 2007.
· Vessels, G. , & Huitt, W. (2005) Moral and Character Development. Presented at the National Youth at Risk Conference, Savannah, GA, March 8-10. Retrieved October 10, 2007. Web site: