Character Counts, but Does Character Education?

//Character Counts, but Does Character Education?

Character Counts, but Does Character Education?

Schools in the United States and other developed countries have been teaching character for some years now. At least they say they have. Teachers have learned to tell students that character counts. They are right. Character counts. The question is, does character education count?

Character counts, but does character education count when it is “outsourced” to a teacher such as a guidance teacher? How important do students consider a character education program when the classroom teacher is involved only secondarily? It appears that character education is on a par with physical education classes, many of which have been crowded out of the budget. It has an “outside-the-classroom” teacher. Character education is somewhat akin to music courses, which have faded into oblivion in most public schools. It has an “outside-the-classroom” teacher. Any school that “outsources” character education to a teacher other than the “home” or “homeroom” teacher is sending a clear message to students that character does NOT count for much.

Character counts, but does character education count when it is given so little time in the schedule? How important do students consider a character education program when it is awarded so much less time and attention than are other subjects? Maths, sciences, and history are commonly presented on a daily basis. Character education is weekly or, in some cases, monthly. It is usually given the least desirable part of the day or week. If the schedule must be abbreviated on a given day or week, character education is likely to be the first subject to go. This all shouts to students that character does NOT count for much.

Character counts, but does character education count when it is taught in the least serious manner of any subject? How important do students consider a character education program when it is done with skits, puppets, videos, games, and other forms of entertainment? How important do they consider character education when no tests are given to assess how well they have mastered the material? When schools tell students it is their responsibility, but give no accountability, they are writing in bold letters that character counts for very little in that school.

Character counts, but does character education count when it is given the smallest piece of the budgetary pie? How important do students consider a character education program when it is done with such limited resources compared to other subjects in the curriculum? They receive no character books to study, either at home or at school. They see no evidence of a teacher’s manual on character. There are no lesson plans in sight. Obviously, we are saying that character education is not worth any financial investment.

Schools are meant to impart wisdom. That is their mandate. Wisdom. And what is wisdom? Wisdom is the power to understand the varied qualities of character, to be inclined to choose the highest road of moral excellence, and follow the surest means of getting onto that road. Wisdom is character.

Wisdom in character. Without character, the greatest academic achievements are meaningless. The most talented mathematician becomes a swindler without character. The most knowledgeable scientist will abuse scientific findings without character. The most literate, studious, scholarly young people leaving our schools are hopelessly lacking in wisdom without strong character.

Character counts, but the only way to impart character is to invest daily quantities of time, the best human resources, whole-hearted, serious commitment, and financial assets.

 

Leave A Comment

Powered by WishList Member - Membership Software