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Why Core Essentials?. How Core Essentials aligns with the acclaimed Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 guiding principles to provide a research based, “effective,” comprehensive character education program. .

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why core essentials

Why Core Essentials?

How Core Essentials aligns with the acclaimed Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 guiding principles to provide a research based, “effective,” comprehensive character education program.


Core Essentials provides you with the tools to change the values culture in your schools, families, and community. Research shows that character education isn’t something that should be taught in the confines of a one time “lesson” but is most effective when it is comprehensive and aims to equip everyone involved in a child’s life with tools to help lasting values go from inward attitudes to outward behaviors.

We believe that in order to take inward attitudes and transform them into outward behaviors, our curriculum is best utilized when practiced within the research based guidelines of the Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) 11 Principles of Effective Character Education. The following slides will walk you through each principle and show you how Core Essential’s curriculum provides you with the tools to successfully meet each objective.


Principle 1

Promotes core ethical and performance values

  • 1.1: Stakeholders select core values
  • 1.2: Core values guide everything
  • 1.3: Core values are visible
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • -common language
  • -tools to equip everyone involved regardless of their position/time constraints
  • ideas in e-newsletters for “teachable moments” and adult modeling suggestions
  • visual resources
  • - family communication tools
  • daily announcement scripts

Principle 2

Defines “character” comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.

  • 2.1: Thinking (understanding)
  • 2.2: Feeling (reflection, appreciation)
  • 2.3: Doing (behavior, students practice)
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • - Big 3 expectations and the foundation for school wide discipline and common language
  • inward to outward emphasis
  • lesson plans that include talking points, activities, and follow up suggestions
  • - recognition and celebration tools and examples
  • - daily announcement scripts
  • - relationship building is universal foundation that all of our curriculum starts with
  • - lessons designed to involve all and foster relationships

Principle 3

Uses a comprehensive, intentional, and proactive approach

  • 3.1: Intentional at all grade levels
  • 3.2: Integrated into academic content
  • 3.3: Integrated into classroom routines
  • 3.4: Integrated throughout total program
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • designated “implementer” is equipped with tools to teach and train everyone on board
  • - lessons span subject areas and academic content among the grade levels
  • Language Arts, Reading, Writing, Math, Science, and Social Studies are addressed in each lesson plan
  • Big 3 provides a common language for expectations and discipline
  • - lessons are easy to use due to the time increment format

Principle 4

Creates a caring community.

  • 4.1: Student – staff relationships
  • 4.2: Student – student relationships
  • 4.3: Peer cruelty prevention
  • 4.4: Adult relationships
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • our Professional Learning Training modules (call for more info)
  • - relationship focused curriculum
  • - e-newsletter full of staff buy-in ideas
  • -inward to outward emphasis
  • - recognition and celebration tools and examples
  • - Big 3 imparts a common language and expectation for all
  • - our 27 values are chosen with tolerance, respect, and peace in mind

Principle 5

Provides students with opportunities for moral action.

  • 5.1: Clear expectations
  • 5.2: Moral action within school
  • 5.3: Moral action in community
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • emphasis on inward attitudes becoming an outward behavior
  • - experiential in design so that students not only hear and see but do as well
  • *new* service learning ideas for each value/month
  • examples in each e-newsletter of ways to “catch” kids modeling the value
  • “Community Connection” event ideas detailing how to organize a gathering in the community with
  • the month’s value being the focus

Principle 6

Offers a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners

  • 6.1: Challenging curriculum
  • 6.2: Meeting student needs
  • 6.3: Performance character
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • Our curriculum provides the common language and relationship building tools essential to
  • cultivating a safe and caring school climate in which academics can best be approached
  • Our curriculum is respectful of all cultures, religions, and belief systems. We promote 27 values that all parents and teachers alike uphold as good for kids and the adults we want them to
      • grow to be.

Principle 7

Fosters students’ self-motivation

  • 7.1: Motivation and rewards
  • 7.2: Behavior management and discipline
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • Self-motivation (according to the CEP) is fostered through developing students’ understanding of rules (Big 3 - Make Smart Decisions), their awareness of how their behavior affects others (Big 3 – Treat Others Right), and character strengths (Big 3 – Maximize Your Potential). Our Big 3 provides the common language and expectations to help foster students’ self-motivation.
  • Through our curriculum there are many ideas and tools to help celebrate and recognize students that display the value in their life. We also offer suggestions in our e-news on how to recognize the value in action and encourage you to help students look for and identify when people around them and in their world use the value.
  • - Staff Training provided by CE on the Big 3 is available and instrumental in kicking off the program. Helping students sort existing rules into the Big 3 categories makes our program adaptable to all.

Principle 8

Staff is an ethical learning community that adheres to core values

  • 8.1: Staff modeling
  • 8.2: Staff development
  • 8.3: Staff planning and reflection
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • Our curriculum fosters a school climate change. Whatever is great is enhanced and areas needing work and attention can be easily talked about and reshaped with purpose using our values and resources.
  • common language
  • - Core Essentials Training available for your staff that assists in evaluating, reflecting, and making a plan for change from the current values culture into a healthier school climate.
  • - e-newsletters provide staff buy-in ideas
  • - parent communication tools
  • - feedback forms and suggestions on conducting data digs provided

Principle 9

Fosters shared leadership

  • 9.1: Leaders champion effort
  • 9.2: Leadership group plans
  • 9.3: Student leadership
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • Overview Guide that suggests ways to develop a team
  • principal letter sent out to each participating school
  • - Student leadership is a natural result of the relationships and self-motivation that occurs when inward attitudes become outward behaviors.

Principle 10

Engages families and community members as partners

  • 10.1: Engages families
  • 10.2: Communicates with families
  • 10:3: Involves community
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • - parent communications tools – newsletters, twitter and facebook scripts, blurbs
  • School XP component *new* in 2010
  • - tools to help foster relationships with community/business members
  • ideas for events outside of the school building that focus on values
  • Visual Resources
  • Core Essentials Training (module 2) that focuses on the family/community connection

Principle 11

Assesses school culture/climate, staff’s functioning, and students’ character

  • 11.1: Assesses culture/climate
  • 11.2: Staff report on progress
  • 11.3: Assesses student progress / behavior
  • Core Essential’s Aligning Components:
  • before and after survey for students, teachers, families, and community partners
  • - endorsement for CE schools to go through the NSC application process
  • Core Essentials Training (module 3) focusing on data collection and program assessment and action planning
  • Student Rubric provided in August’s curriculum where the focus is on the Big 3 expectations
why we trust cep as our research authority
Why we trust CEP as our Research Authority

Tom Lickona, Ph.D, Eric Schaps, Ph.D, and Catherine Lewis, Ph.D., wrote the Eleven Principles of

Effective Character Education in 1995. It has since become the cornerstone of Character Education

Partnership’s philosophy on Effective character education, well respected in the field, and widely used

by practitioners.

To provide an assessment tool based on the 11 principles and a scoring rubric by which to evaluate

National Schools of Character (NSOC) award applicants, CEP developed the Character Education Quality

Standards. CEP revised the Quality Standards document in 2003 and again in 2006, with Kathy Beland

writing the 2006 revision after coordinating feedback from the NSOC blue ribbon panel, NSOC site

visitors, and other experts in character education. In a 2008 reprinting, CEP added “performance

values” language to the document.

In 2009, CEP decided to combine the Eleven Principles and Quality Standards into a single document

and update its language to reflect current movements within education and better reflect the best

Practices being implemented in model schools as revealed in NSOC applications and site visits. Rebecca

Sipos and Lara Maupin led a staff committee that included Janice Stoodley, Dr. Merle Schwartz, Barbara

Luther,and Michael Shreve. The committee worked in consultation with experts in the field of character

Education and experienced character education practitioners as it wrote the 2010 revision.

proof is in the data
Proof is in the Data
  • Information requested of National Finalists in the NSOC includes the following and award winners have shown that comprehensive character education programs like Core Essentials can achieve the following:
  • State test scores, achievement gap, other evidence of academic achievement (grades, failures, honor roll, etc.) goes up
  • Attendance, suspensions, referrals, involvement in service learning, graduation / dropout rates improve
  • Climate survey results that show:
  • bullying rare / students feel safe
  • students respect each other
  • students and teachers respect each other
  • adults respect each other