2013-14 Character Education

Boys and Character Education

We would all undoubtedly agree that “building character” is at the heart of our mission, and is inscribed in the DNA of the tradition shared by boys’ schools everywhere. However diverse our understanding of “character” and however varied our approaches to character education, we share this same conviction.

Over the past years, “character education” has come to span an ever-growing range of school initiatives and activities – inside the curriculum, as in the choice of texts and topics; alongside the traditional curriculum, as in specifically designed “character courses”; outside of the curriculum, as in service learning, sports or outdoor education; in student life programs, as in honour codes or leadership and advisory programs; in the public life and culture of the school, as in awards programs and ceremonies; and even in the physical face of the school – as in boards, displays, banners and special spaces that invite reflection on the content of character.

Even with all of this energetic work, the realities of modern life, especially for contemporary boys, put pressure on us to ask how well we are doing, to do better, and even to do more. The challenge may feel all the greater because perhaps by their very nature character education practices are often resistant to evaluation. And some of us may wonder whether we listen to and involve boys enough: is character education “done to” them, or “done with” them?

Team members reported at the 21st IBSC Annual Conference in Nashville, USA, June, 2014.

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2013-14 Character Education: 13 Reports

Reports ordered alphabetically by title. Click/tap on report titles to read full report posting.