As we all agree, character education is the main and essential part of education around the world. If we want a world with high ethics, virtues and peace, then governments, schools, families and communities all must promote, educate, evaluate, and try so hard to work for it.
What's Happening in Character?
It seems like everyone just can’t get enough of Les Miserables. It’s the world’s longest running musical, now seen by 60M people in 42 countries. Along the way, it’s received 96 major international awards. The most recent movie version is a box office smash, earning eight Academy Awards nominations.
Note: This is one in a series of excerpts from Jason Ohler’s book, Digital Community, Digital Citizenship, which explores the development of character education for those living a digital lifestyle.
PARTYCIPATION: SETTING THE STAGE
Digital citizenship is the term the world of K12 education has adopted to describe the many ethical and character education issues associated with living a digital lifestyle. While it might seem that the values associated with character education are eternal and wouldn’t change with the evolution of technology, the fact is that enough has changed that we need to call special attention to the unique issues associated with living side by side with the immensely powerful machines of our own creation, within a massively interconnected digital community. This is particularly true for our children, for whom technology and the issues associated with its use are largely invisible.
When I was growing up, I heard adults say: “Do as I say, not as I do.” After spending the last decade as a public school superintendent, it didn’t take me long to realize that the kids of this millennium don’t have much use for that approach. Instead, they prefer role models whom they can emulate in every way, every day -- folks who "walk the talk" and live their own message.
As you have probably heard by now, Penn State’s illustrious football program is in shambles following allegations that several boys were molested by Jerry Sandusky, former defensive coordinator, in a Penn State facility as part of a program hosted by the school.
The school officials’ decision not to report the assault to the police is disappointing, shocking, and unfathomable for many.
The events are not only an embarrassment to the school, but raise serious issues about the school’s quality of ethics in its leaders. The university fired legendary coach Joe Paterno and several other high-ranking officials since they failed to report the abuse to authorities.
A letter from Penn State University president Rodney Erickson stated his commitment to reinforce the moral imperative of doing the right thing, to lead by example, to be transparent during investigations, to respect the victims and their families, and to provide resources to help prevent future attacks.
Sadly, however, this is not the first time Penn State (and other colleges and universities nationally) has turned a blind eye to sexual offenses.