Education & Literature

    Character Education

    The Hawk
    May4/ 2023

    Character Education

    The character stands for an attribute or a quality that defines persons moral and ethical actions and reactions. Though the character is used in different senses here we deal with What is Wrong and What is Right in general. Moreover, it is character education in particular that this article deals with. Character Education is an educational system imparted to kids for developing in them those qualities which are universally accepted desirable by a society. To have good character and developing such personal qualities is, therefore, the purpose of Character Education.

    The concept of Character Education is very old as it is taught to us by Parents and Religion. In the west, these are vying for adoption by, schools and businesses. Some are commercial, some non-profit and many are uniquely devised by states, districts and schools, themselves. A common approach of these programs is to provide a list of principles, pillars, values or virtues, which are memorized or around which themed activities are planned. It is commonly claimed that the values included in any particular list are universally recognized. However, there is no agreement among the competing programs on core values (e.g., honesty, stewardship, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, justice, equality, and respect) or even how many to list. There is also no common or standard means for assessing, implementing or evaluating programs.

    Methods of Character Education

    There is no common practice of imparting Character Education or Values Education to children. It is mainly because there is a lack of standards in character education and how and by whom it is to be imparted.

    Broadly we can consider some approaches towards this education which are a part of schooling. These are mainly as follows:

    Praise and Reward: This approach seeks to make virtue into habit using Positive Reinforcement. Elements include At The Spot Deliberate Praise of students and Awarding for Constructive Skills.

    Forced Formality: It focuses on strict, uniform compliance with specific rules of conduct, (i.e., walking in lines, arms at one's sides), or formal forms of address ("yes sir," "no ma'am"), or other procedures deemed to promote order or respect of adults.

    Define and Drill: It teaches students to memorize a list of values and the definition of each. Students' simple memorization of definitions seems to be equated with their development of the far more complex capacity for making moral decisions.

    Cheerleading: It involves multicoloured posters, banners, and bulletin boards featuring a value or virtue of the month; lively morning public-address announcements; occasional motivational assemblies; and possibly a high-profile event such as a fund-raiser for a good cause.

    Counselling: It requires school counsellors to impart moral values through individual or group sessions.

    These approaches aim for quick behavioural results, rather than helping students better understand and commit to the values that are core to our society or helping them develop the skills for putting those values into action in life's complex situations. Also, the real significance of the student's actions is lost, as the reward or award becomes the primary focus. Though these are not useless they need Fine Tuning.

    Effective Approaches

    Refined Curriculum: It can be achieved by Integrating a certain amount of Character Education in the Curriculum.

    Mode of Implementation: There is a need to diversify the means of implementing these can be done through faculty, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, maintenance staff, etc. 

    The sense of Enthusiasm: The education needs to be Enjoyable and Informal so that it is not Boring and Imposing. It can be done through Practical Activities outside the classroom

    Parent Participation: By holding certain workshops parents can be taught to reduce the negative effects of TV, movies, video games, and other media on children’s moral growth. -- Vijay GarG