Sunday, August 12, 2007

Character Development in the 21st Century: Part II

Last week we took a brief look at character development. In this brief look we found the best models are ones that are infused through the whole school. There is accountability at all levels. We found that JROTC was one such model.

However, I did not want to suggest that JROTC is the only model or the best model. There are many character development programs that are meeting with success, many without the involvement of the whole school. One emphasis for character development is a field called service-learning. This seems to be a very promising way of assisting in the development of character in our students.

The National Service-Learning Clearinghouse has a website article that lists many such programs and their benefits. The article is entitled, “Character Education and Service-Learning” written by the RMC Research Corporation in September of 2006. “RMC Research is a national leader in program research and evaluation, professional development, consultation, and product development” (RMC Home Page, 2007).

The RMC either conducted or looked at research done in various parts of the country and in various different types of school settings. They come to the conclusion “that service-learning provides an environment in which the goals and values of character education can be enhanced” (RMC, 2006).

This article goes on to give suggestions as to how one may develop and integrate a character development and service-learning at one’s own school. It also give several examples as to how it is being accomplished at the time of the publishing of the article.

I found this to be a very helpful and encouraging article in the quest for character development in the 21st Century.

Sources:

RMC Research Corporation (2006). Character education and service-learning. Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.org/resources/fact_sheets/k-12_facts/char_ed on August 12, 2007.

RMC Research Corporation (2006). RMC home page. Retrieved from http://www.rmcresearchcorporation.com on August 12, 2007.

3 comments:

Mike said...

Another school program that gets very little attention but has one of the best character building programs that has ever been created, in my humble opinion, is Band. Band members are taught discipline, leadership skills, and poise. In marching band, they are given a physical fitness program on top of the rest.
And lest we forget the fortitude that band students must have in order to withstand constant abuse by those who believe chasing sweaty, football carrying men in tights is a more manly past time.

The Former Head Band-Geek of DMHS,
Mike

Paul said...

I believe that some sort of character education should be mandatory. Either ROTC or some type of service learning. Something where you have to serve others for a greater good. I'm not sure if band qualifies as Mike suggests because it seems to me that band people are there because they love music and they love the band and they will do whatever they need to in order to be a part of it. To me thats a far cry from washing dishes at a homeless shelter or learning about the history of warfare which are things that you do not because you want to but indeed because they are are form of service to others.

Angela Nicholson said...

What could be more important than character development in schools? It is the foundation upon which our world is founded. How we treat each other as human beings is what living in our world is all about. It is the heart of peace education and social justice. Time was when schools counted on "society" and home to provide the character foundation. It is exciting to finally read about how character development is being supported and addressed. During the time when values and character were forbidden topics in schools, a violent, less that civilized society began to grow. I think we are on the right path now that the need for character education has become so apparent. Thank you for providing these great links!