11 Principles of Character
The 11 Principles of 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.

A Framework for School Success

The 11 Principles of 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 offer fundamental guidance for educators and community leaders to maximize their character education outcomes. This document serves as an excellent outline for program planning and can easily be integrated into staff development and self-evaluation.

Character.org’s 11 Principles of Character reflects current movements within education and the best practices being implemented in our model schools, Schools of Character. It includes key indicators that outline what constitutes an exemplary level of implementation for each Principle. In fact, find out from one educator how influential implementing the 11 Principles has been. Watch video

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The 11 Principles at a Glance

The 11 Principles of Character explains each of the 11 Principles and includes a scoring guide. It defines each principle more specifically in terms of two to four items that describe what the principle should “look like” when implemented.

  1. Core values are defined, implemented, and embedded into school culture.
  2. The school defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.
  3. The school uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach to character development.
  4. The school creates a caring community.
  5. The school provides students with opportunities for moral action.
  6. The school offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.
  7. The school fosters students’ self-motivation.
  8. All staff share the responsibility for developing, implementing, and modeling ethical character.
  9. The school’s character initiative has shared leadership and long-range support for continuous improvement.
  10. The school engages families and community as partners in the character initiative.
  11. The school assesses its implementation of character education, its culture and climate, and the character growth of students on a regular basis.