Character Education is a national movement to create schools that foster ethical, responsible,and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through an emphasis on universal values that we all share.It is the intentional and proactive effort by schools, districts and states to instill in their students important core, ethical values such as respect for self and others, responsibility, integrity and self-discipline. It is not a “quick fix” or cure-all. It provides long-term solutions that address moral, ethical and academic issues that are of growing concern about our society and the safety of our schools.
Character Education may address such critical concerns as student absenteeism, discipline problems, drug abuse, gang violence, teen pregnancy and poor academic performance. At its best, character education integrates positive values into every aspect of the school day.
Essential character traits
- Courage: Having the determination to do the right thing even when others don't; the strength to follow your conscience rather than the crowd. Attempting difficult things that are worthwhile.
- Good Judgment: Choosing worthy goals and setting proper priorities. Thinking through the consequences of your actions. Basing decisions on practical wisdom and good sense.
- Integrity: Having the inner strength to be truthful, trustworthy, and honest in all things. Acting justly and honorably.
- Kindness: Being considerate, courteous, helpful and understanding of others. Showing care, compassion, friendship and generosity. Treating others as you would like to be treated.
- Perseverance: Being persistent in pursuit of worthy objectives in spite of difficulty, opposition, or discouragement. Exhibiting patience and having the fortitude to try again when confronted with delays, mistakes or failures.
- Respect: Showing high regard for authority, for other people, for self, for property and for country. Understanding that all people have value as human beings.
- Responsibility: Being dependable in carrying out obligations and duties. Showing reliability and consistency in words and conduct. Being accountable for your own actions. Being committed to active involvement in your community.
- Self-discipline: Demonstrating hard work and commitment to purpose. Regulating yourself for improvement and refraining from inappropriate behaviors. Being in proper control of your words, actions, impulses and desires. Choosing abstinence from premarital sex, drugs, alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances and behaviors. Doing your best in all situations.
Board Policy 5130
At its April 5, 2005 meeting, the Board of Education put into policy what has been practice in the classroom for more than 10 years. The board gave final approval to Character Education Policy 5130, which formalizes practices and beliefs related to the importance of character education and a positive learning environment in the Wake County Public School System. This policy reflects the eight character traits adopted by WCPSS in 1993 and focuses on curriculum, climate and community involvement as core components of the Character Education Program.