On an early morning school climate team meeting, a group of ten educators crowd around a conference table sipping coffee and crafting a plan. They are discussing a kick-off event for their new character education initiative with the theme “kindness counts.” A buzz of excited chatter ensues as staff discuss various ideas for recognizing students for kind behavior. Then, a teacher raises a concern, “Will students like the idea of being recognized during morning announcements? Perhaps they would prefer to receive a certificate and applause at our monthly assembly?” Another teacher chimes in, “Shy kids might not like that kind of attention. What about giving out kindness wristbands?” The discussion around recognition continues another 10 minutes until the meeting adjourns. As a next step, the Principal requests that team members do some online research about kindness campaigns.Read More
What's Happening in Character?
I spent four months in Washington, D.C. to pursue a fellowship at Character.org. I wanted to gain experience in the nonprofit education management in the US and deepen my knowledge on character education. The ideal place for this was at the national headquarters of the character education movement in the US: Character.org.
I am from Amman, Jordan. Back home, I am working on developing StoryWalks; a project focused on growing the social and emotional skills of children through elements of storytelling and drama. In a region turmoiled with conflict, I hope to take part in nurturing children to become adults who accept differences, collaborate in building their communities and bring positive change to our world. My project, an instrument in character education, was furthered by the new perspectives I gained during my fellowship at Character.org.Read More
At the 2015 National Forum on Character Education, I visited the Center for Civil & Human Rights with a group of educators. I ran into another conference attendee and asked her how she was liked the museum. She excitedly informed me that she was able to videochat one of the classes at her school, using Skype. A group of elementary school students in New York experienced part of this amazing museum in Atlanta, right from their very own classroom. I was amazed by the power of technology to enhance education when you think creatively.
During February, we’ll be posting about how you can harness these powerful technology tools to enhance your teaching and students’ learning.
Still unconvinced you need to enhance your use of technology in the classroom? Start by reading 10 Reasons Today’s Students NEED Technology in the Classroom.
Technology can help you and your class connect with others, build relationships and learn about the world.
As the educator at the conference demonstrated, Skype is a powerful tool. There are plenty of other video-chatting options, but Skype is one of the most popular. You can skype to connect with your class’s favorite authors, interview an expert on a topic your class is researching or even stay in touch with a student who moved away. Check out the Skype in the Classroom blog for more great ideas.Read More
As you have likely noticed from our recent posts, “A Collaborative Curriculum: The Strengths of PBL,” “How Real World Lessons Lead to Academic Achievement,” and our latest, “4 Tips for Providing Effective Feedback,” this month Character.org is focusing on Principle 6, how to link your character education initiatives to a rigorous curriculum.
With the recent passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act, states have the opportunity to reexamine their curricula and reassess what will work best for their students. It is an exciting time to be learning more about best practices in education and advocating for the whole-child approach to education.
Well, you know what they say, great minds think alike and our friends at the Journal of Character Education have also decided to focus on Character & Academics for their upcoming issue. Below you’ll find a special message from its editor, Dr. Jacques Benninga:
The Journal of Character Education is the only educational journal specifically devoted to research and practice in character education and should be a boon to both practitioners and researchers. Topics are varied, but include both reports of research and practical applications as well as book reviews and Character.org news and announcements. This is THE journal in our field.Read More