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Must Read Articles
Concerned about justifying the time and resources for character education? These articles will not only inform you, they will help you make your case. Although many were written some years back, they have been recently reviewed by a subject matter expert for relevancy and are as important today as ever before. The bottom line? The focused and intentional character, social, and emotional development of our students produces outstanding results, transforming individual lives as well as entire campuses.
Below are some MUST READ articles.
"The Project Wisdom resources have become an important part of our school ... especially as we have grown in size over the past several years. We see the daily readings and other resources as a means of humanizing and infusing our students and staff with a positive spirit."
Dr. Thomas, Assistant Principal - Connecticut
The Rebirth and Retooling of Character Education in America
"The Rebirth and Retooling of Character Education in America," by Russell J. Sojourner, Ph.D., December 2011. Character Education Partnership and McGraw Hill Research Foundation.
"While it is no doubt true that the American educational system was originally focused just as much (or more) on the development of student morality, virtue and citizenship as it was on improving student acumen in reading, writing and arithmetic, it is also true that by the middle of the 20th century, schools deliberately chose to back away from the traditional role as character educators. . . . Schools, parents and community members are grappling with the importance of virtues such as civility, respect, integrity and hard work, and trying to determine how these relate to success in life and in our nation's capacity to flourish in the century ahead."
Leaders Nurture the Soul
"Leaders Nurture the Soul," by Dennis Sparks, as first appeared in Phi Delta Kappa, February 9, 2009. Reprinted with permission from the author.
Schools possess "souls," an awareness that struck me recently when I heard someone describe a school she obviously admired as "a place with soul." Soulful schools are places that members of the school community experience as authentic, profound, personally meaningful, and emotionally stirring. Schools with soul have a uniqueness and integrity based on the principles and moral imperatives that guide their efforts. A soulful school's aspirations, commitments, and, as Mary Pipher expressed it, "passion for the good," are both informed by and expressed in its symbols, rituals, ceremonies, and spirit.
America's Crisis of Character
"America's Crisis of Character - And What to Do About It," by Sanford N. McDonnell, as first appeared in Education Week, October 8, 2008. Reprinted with permission from the author.
"Day after day, we are bombarded with stories of greedy corporate leaders, corrupt politicians, and sports stars using drugs. Indeed, every sector of our society is confronted by a crisis of character, most tragically among young people, all too many of whom are plagued with problems of a poor work ethic, drug abuse, sexual activity, violence, lying, cheating, stealing, and bullying."
"What can schools do?," by Charles C. Haynes and Marvin W. Berkowitz, February 2007, USAToday.com.
"After the endless headlines involving corrupt politicians, corporate cheats, doped-up sports stars and Internet predators, you might think that the American people would be demanding more character education in schools. Think again. . . . And then we move on to more important things. Test scores, for example."
"Smart and Good Schools - A Paradigm Shift for Character Education," by Matthew Davidson, Thomas Lickona, and Vladimir Khmelkov, November 2007, Education Week.
"Throughout history and in cultures around the world, education rightly conceived has had two great goals: helping students become smart and helping them become good. They need character for both."
"Character Education on the Cheap," by Peter R. Greer, November 2007, Education Week.
"Schools have a primary duty to educate students on what good character means and how to develop it . . . . Schools serious about helping students form good character rely heavily on the Character Education Partnership's '11 Principles.'"
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