Schooling for character when everyone is watching
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SCHOOLING FOR CHARACTER: WHEN EVERYONE IS WATCHING. ACIS 2012 TRUSTEE/HEAD WORKSHOP Daniel Hettleman, Ph.D. October 12, 2012. The true test of a person's character is what he/she does when no one else is watching . .

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Schooling for character when everyone is watching

SCHOOLING FOR CHARACTER:WHEN EVERYONE IS WATCHING

ACIS 2012 TRUSTEE/HEAD WORKSHOP

Daniel Hettleman, Ph.D.

October 12, 2012


The true test of a person s character is what he she does when no one else is watching

The true test of a person's character is what he/she does when no one else is watching.

The best way to teach character is to create an environment where it as if everyone is watching.


Outline

OUTLINE

  • Why Character Matters in Independent Schools

  • Family and School Influences on Character

  • Uniqueness of Independent Schools

  • What you can do better in schools than at home

  • Examples of Programs

  • Discussion: What to take home?


Schooling for character when everyone is watching

Character education is a national movement creating schools that foster ethical, responsible, and caring young people by modeling and teaching good character through emphasis on universal values that we all share. It is the intentional, proactive effort by schools, districts, and states to instill in their students important core, ethical values such as caring, honesty, fairness, responsibility, and respect for self and others (Character Education Partnership)


Why does character education matter

Why does character education matter?


Recent independent school study

RECENT INDEPENDENT SCHOOL STUDY

Independent School Association of the Central States completed an alumni survey with data from over 5,000 alumni and alumni parents:

  • The strongest predictor of likelihood to recommend one’s alma mater to a friend was the strength of character development imparted by the school.

  • Second strongest predictor was the strength of ongoing connection with the school community

  • Both of those factors are stronger predictors than any academic factor

    Source: www.measuring-success.com/archive/alumnisurvey/


2006 west coast study

2006 west coast study

Jacques Benninga and colleagues, California elementary schools.

  • Schools scoring higher on implementation of a variety of character education aspects also had higher state achievement scores.

    “Character and Academics: What Good Schools Do” (2006), Benninga, J.S., Berkowitz, M.W., Kuehn, P., and Smith, K. Phi Delta Kappan, Vol, 87, No. 6, pp. 448-452.


Benninga and colleagues cont d

BENNINGA AND COLLEAGUES (cont’d.)

Higher scores were most consistently and strongly related to the following four aspects of character education:

1. Parent and teacher modeling of character and promotion of character education

2. Quality opportunities for students to engage in service activities

3. Promoting a caring community and positive social relationships

4. Ensuring a clean and safe physical environment.


How does one s family parents influence one s character

How does one’s family/parents influence one’s character?

  • Attachment security

  • Religious values

  • Modeling

  • Teaching/guiding

  • Family identity


What s similar to schools

What’s similar to schools?

  • Attachment security

  • Religious values

  • Modeling

  • Teaching/guiding

  • School identity


And what s different

And what’s different?

An INSTITUTION is:

  • larger than a family

  • replicates the larger culture

    PEER ACCOUNTABILITY:

  • Greater interdependence

  • Attachment shift

  • Dis-identification with family


We want students to be asking themselves

We want students to be asking themselves:

  • How can my improved character benefit my community?

  • What does it enable me to contribute that I didn’t know I could contribute before?

  • How much can I ask of myself?

  • What standards do I want to hold myself to?

  • What standards do I want my community to hold me to?

  • How do I participate in interactions that exact high character from my peers?

  • How do I respond when my community-mates make mistakes?


What is unique about independent schools

What is unique about independent schools?

  • Institution often more powerful

  • Mission

  • Values

  • Selection

  • Smaller community


Thoughts on interdependence

THOUGHTS ON INTERDEPENDENCE

  • My own research on cooperative group learning

    • Improved conflict resolution skills, cooperation, academic achievement

  • Student leaders at Colorado Academy

  • Schools with Honor Codes

  • Bully-proofing: role of the bystander


  • Research supporting cooperative group learning

    RESEARCH SUPPORTING COOPERATIVE GROUP LEARNING

    • Seattle Social Development Project

      • http:www.ssdp-tip.org/ssdp/findings.html

    • Child Development Project

      • http:wch.uhs.wisc.edu/13-Eval/Tools/Resources/Model%20Programs/C%20DP.pdf

    • Robert Slavin; David and Roger Johnson

      • http://www.co-operation.org/?page_id=65

      • Slavin, R (1994). Cooperative Learning: Theory, Research, and Practice, 2nd Ed. (published by Pearson)


    Variables to consider when choosing programs

    VARIABLES TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING PROGRAMS

    • Age/division (lower, middle, upper)

    • Site of intervention

      • Advisory/homeroom (every single ACIS school without exception)

      • Health class

      • Integrated into other subjects (voice coach, service learning)

      • assemblies

    • Target of intervention

      • Social skills, problem-solving skills

      • Conflict resolution

      • Ethical thoughtfulness/understanding


    Variables cont d

    VARIABLES (cont’d.)

    STYLE OF INTERVENTION

    • Didactic:

      • Second Step www.secondstep.org

      • Life Skills http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/

      • PATHS http://www.prevention.psu.edu/projects/paths.html

    • Experiential: service learning (SBPS)

    • Discussion

      • “Moral Dilemma Discussions”

        • http://www.schoolclimate.org/guidelines/documents/moraldilemmadiscuss.pdf

      • Zubay, B., and Soltis, J.F. (2005). Creating the Ethical School: A Book of Case Studies. NY: Teachers College Press

      • Text learning: The Curriculum Initiative: http://www.tcionline.org/

    • Studying leaders/historical figures


    Why homerooms

    WHY HOMEROOMS?

    “The ongoing nature of advisory groups and the ability to build trust and rapport has really allowed for more in-depth discussion and exploration of core values.”

    ---Byrna Cunningham, K-8 counselor, Alexander Dawson

    “The small size of advisory, 8-9 students, creates a trusting and bonded atmosphere for students to talk about and practice many issues, such as integrity, diversity, compassion, critical thinking, perseverance, etc. Students get to contribute, have fun, and even run advisory, giving them ownership.”

    ---Ben DeVoss, middle school counselor, Graland Country Day


    Your acis schools open ended responses from eight school counselors

    YOUR ACIS SCHOOLSOpen-ended responses from eight school counselors

    • Part of advisory/homerooms (100%)

    • Discussion of ethical traits/values (50%)

    • Part of school/classroom culture (37.5%)

    • Focus on Leadership training (25%)

    • Skills training (25%)

    • Bully-proofing (25%)

    • Utilizing texts (12.5%)

    • Smart Girls/Smart Guys (12.5%)

    • Other classes (e.g. Wellness class – 12.5%)

    • Friendship groups (12.5%)


    An exemplary program the responsive classroom

    AN EXEMPLARY PROGRAM:THE RESPONSIVE CLASSROOM

    • Class meetings first thing every morning

      • Greeting each other, eye contact

      • Team building activities

    • Creating routines (attachment, predictability, accountability)

    • Kids come up with rules, norms for behavior

    • “Social conferences”

    • Positive language

    • Social skills training

      Kathy Riley, Graland Country Day School

      http://www.responsiveclassroom.org/


    A comprehensive resource

    A COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCE

    What Works in Character Education:

    A research-driven guide for educators

    Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D., Melinda C. Bier, Ph.D. (2005), Character Education Partnership

    http://www.rucharacter.org/file/practitioners_518.pdf


    What can you do

    WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    • Sharpen your school mission to link with character traits you want developed

    • Involve all stakeholders: teachers, students, parents, coaches, maintenance

    • Require participation


    James comer says

    JAMES COMER SAYS…

    It takes at least three years to begin to make a positive impact on a school-wide culture; substantial effects are often only seen after five to seven years.


    Small group discussions

    SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS

    • Think of the key elements of your school’s mission statement

    • Is anything missing that touches on character development or interdependence?

    • Based on what you’ve heard today, which elements of our discussion fit your mission best?

    • Plan a meeting with your school administrators and school counselors


    Contact information

    CONTACT INFORMATION

    Daniel Hettleman, Ph.D., P.C.

    1115 Grant St. #204

    Denver, CO 80220

    (303) 912-6632

    [email protected]

    http://danielhettleman.com/


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