Character education includes and complements a broad range of educational approaches such as whole child education, service learning, social-emotional learning, and civic education. All share a commitment to helping young people become responsible, caring, and contributing citizens.
Because students spend so much time in school, our schools offer a critically important opportunity to ensure that all students get the support and help they need to reach their full potential. Schools that embrace character education become places people want to be because they bring out the best in everyone.
To be effective in schools, character education must involve everyone—school staff, parents, students, and community members—and be part of every school day. It must be integrated into the curriculum as well as school culture. When this happens and school communities unite around developing character, schools see amazing results.
Character education is not new—and it is something we can all agree on. It was an important objective for the first U.S. public schools and today it is mandated or encouraged in most states. The current movement is simply a reminder of education’s long history of stressing shared values and character.
Effective character education takes time, as Aaron Chalker, of 2011 National School of Character Pierce Elementary School, can attest. But the results are well worth it. Watch this video to learn more about effective character education.
The 11 Principles of Effective Character are the cornerstone of Character.org’s philosophy on effective character education. Each principle outlines vital aspects of character education initiatives that should not be overlooked in program implementation. From curriculum integration to extra-curricular activities, from parent and community partnerships to staff development – the 11 Principles of Effective Character offer fundamental guidance for educators and community leaders to maximize their character education outcomes.
Learn more about the criteria Character.org uses to determine its National Schools of Character by downloading our 11 Principles of Effective Character Introductory Guide.
Additional resources to learn more about character education: