Educational CyberPlayGround ®

Character Education

What does it mean to be an Educated Person


The modern character education movement emerged in the 1980s as a consequence of growing parental and public concern for moral drift.

What are the successes of the character education movement? What do best practices look like?

This essay by Paul J. Dovre explores these questions through the study of character education in six schools. His conclusion: So far, character education programs that are carefully designed and implemented appear to be succeeding. Undeterred by philosophical disputes on the one hand and the preoccupation with academic achievement on the other, character education finds its strength at the grass roots, in those individual schools and communities where teachers, administrators, and citizens initiate programs designed to improve civility and citizenship -- legitimate goals in their own right. If research continues to show that comprehensive character education has positive effects on student achievement as well, then the movement may in time gain more robust political and financial support from education policymakers.

Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway!



How college students think they are more special than EVER: Study reveals rocketing sense of entitlement on U.S. campuses 7 January 2013

  • The American Freshman Survey has been asking students to rate themselves compared to their peers since 1966.
    Roughly 9 million young people have taken the survey over the last 47 years.
  • Self-love: New data suggests students today are convinced of their own greatness regardless of whether they've accomplished anything.
  • Trends like social media, celebrity culture, and easy credit contribute to students feeling as if they're more successful than they really are.
  • Look out for No. 1: Narcissists often reach middle age and find their past full of failed relationships
  • Obsessed: Despite legions of self-help books advising belief in yourself, there's no evidence self-esteem causes success
  • 'What's really become prevalent over the last two decades is the idea that being highly self-confident - loving yourself, believing in yourself - is the key to success,' Twenge said. 'Now the interesting thing about that belief is it's widely held, it's very deeply held, and it's also untrue.'
  • Baumeister said. 'Self-control is much more powerful and well-supported as a cause of personal success. Despite my years invested in research on self-esteem, I reluctantly advise people to forget about it.' 'You need to believe that you can go out and do something but that's not the same as thinking that you're great,' Twenge said. Studies suggest weaker students actually perform worse if given encouragement at boosting their self-esteem.

Over the past 50 years American students have increasingly grown confident not only socially but also about their own writing and intellect skills and their confidence in leadership ability. Over the last four decades there's been a dramatic rise in the number of students who describe themselves as being 'above average' in the areas of academic ability, drive to achieve, mathematical ability, and self-confidence. But in appraising the traits that are considered less invidualistic - co-operativeness, understanding others, and spirituality - the numbers either stayed at slightly decreased over the same period. Researchers also found a disconnect between the student's opinions of themselves and actual ability.
While students are much more likely to call themselves gifted in writing abilities, objective test scores actually show that their writing abilities are far less than those of their 1960s counterparts. Also on the decline is the amount of time spent studying, with little more than a third of students saying they study for six or more hours a week compared to almost half of all students claiming the same in the late 1980s.
Though they may work less, the number that said they had a drive to succeed rose sharply. These young egotists can grow up to be depressed adults. A 2006 study found that students suffer from 'ambition inflation' as their increased ambitions accompany increasingly unrealistic expectations. 'Since the 1960s and 1970s, when those expectations started to grow, there's been an increase in anxiety and depression,' Twenge said. 'There's going to be a lot more people who don't reach their goals.'
Twenge is the author of a separate study showing a 30 per cent increase towards narcissism in students since 1979. 'Our culture used to encourage modesty and humility and not bragging about yourself,' Twenge told BBC News. 'It was considered a bad thing to be seen as conceited or full of yourself.' Just because someone has high self-esteem doesn't mean they're a narcissist. Positive self-assessments can not only be harmless but completely true.
However, one in four recent students responded to a questionnaire called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory with results pointing towards narcissistic self-assessments. Narcissism is defined as excessive self-love or vanity; self-admiration, or being self-centered. Twenge said that's a trait that is often negative and destructive, and blames its boom on several trends - including parenting styles, celebrity culture, social media, and easy credit - for allowing people to seem more successful than they really are. Despite a library's worth of self-help books promoting the idea we can achieve anything if we believe we can, there's very little evidence that raising self-esteem produces positive, real-world outcomes.
'If there is any effect at all, it is quite small,' said Roy Baumeister of Florida State University, who authored a 2003 paper on self-esteem studies. Baumeister found that while successful people did have high-self esteem in many cases, it was unclear what actual caused their success if the first place. Both self-esteem and success were often influenced by another factor. 'Coming from a good family might lead to both high self-esteem and personal success.' Baumeister said. 'Self-control is much more powerful and well-supported as a cause of personal success. Despite my years invested in research on self-esteem, I reluctantly advise people to forget about it.' 'You need to believe that you can go out and do something but that's not the same as thinking that you're great,' Twenge said. Studies suggest weaker students actually perform worse if given encouragement at boosting their self-esteem. 'An intervention that encourages [students] to feel good about themselves, regardless of work, may remove the reason to work hard,' Baumeister found. But if you found yourself bothered by a person always talking about how wonderful they are, remember that their future may not be bright. 'In the long-term, what tends to happen is that narcissistic people mess up their relationships, at home and at work,' Twenge said. Though narcissists may be charming at first, their selfish actions eventually damage relationships. It's not until middle-age they may realize their lives have had a number of failed relationships. And even if they recognize something is wrong they may have a hard time changing. 'It's a personality trait,' says Twenge. 'It's by definition very difficult to change. It's rooted in genetics and early environment and culture and things that aren't all that malleable.'



Many of the Hate songs being sung by "folk groups" at "folk music events" show the Intersection between Cultural Identity and Racist Ideology.


Teach Kind Free classroom materials and humane education resources from various nonprofit organizations and ideas on how to implement humane education in the classroom

International Institute for Humane Education, which provides training and resources for teachers and others.

National Association for Humane and Environmental Education, the youth education affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States

Just Choices encourages students to explore new ideas and reevaluate old ones while developing a strong understanding and appreciation of historical and contemporary social justice movements. Through this program, students will learn how their everyday choices affect others in society and will be inspired to take on issues with passionate civic engagement. Humane education encourages students to make the connection between the environmental, animal protection, and human rights movements and other social justice movements. It inspires students to live examined, intentional lives so that what they do today helps the planet, animals, and all people tomorrow.
Below is a list of sites that promote humane education and offer classroom resources to encourage critical thinking while empowering students to make a difference.

"I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study matematics and philosphy, geography, natual history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture . . . . ." -- This was written in a letter to Abigail Adams from John Adams on May 12, 1780.



Books, Film, have always been windows into culture and history.

Forever praised and forever controversial, "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" has been pulled from classes in Taylor because of complaints about its liberal use of common racial slurs. In a move that's sparking debate that's dogged Mark Twain's classic since its 1885 publication, Taylor School District officials halted instruction of the book some consider the Great American Novel after at least one African-American parent complained about the racial epithet that's repeated more than 200 times on its pages.

"Complaint Leads School To Drop `Pick a Bale of Cotton' From School Concert" Comment from From: Shantae Williams Detroit, USA Subject: A_bale_of_trouble
"Well, I am an African-American woman, and I think it is pathetic that these parents cried foul over something they did not take the time to understand. . .] "The song is a piece of history. It was written by African Americans, For African Americans, to be sung to make the day of work go by faster. By not keeping these songs alive, it will be much easier for the masses to forget how African Americans, though enslaved, still managed to create a distinct culture of their own. By a very diverse choir coming together and singing this song, it brings forth a wonderful message of racial equality, not of discrimination. The fact that we can all enjoy African American songs together, is a step in the right direction toward complete equality. I believe strongly that we are all equal and by singing this song together, we show that we have moved past a horrible event in our history, but we aren't forgetting it either. Slavery must never be forgotten and never be repeated."
Pick a Bale of Cotton
also see this one
"Pick a Bale of Cotton" from the recording entitled Get on Board: Negro Folksongs by the Folkmasters, Folkways FP 2028, provided courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. ©1952. Used by permission.
"Pick a Bale" has been classed as a work song but it also was used frequently during slave times as a dance tune or reel. As a work song it has a "John Henry" twist in that the lyric speaks of picking a bale of cotton a day, an impossible task for one person. This version of the song is credited to the late Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter and is more of a joyous dance interpretation than a work lament. Sonny Terry sings the verse over and over with the other two singers filling in a low chanted background.

Born for Hard Luck: Peg Leg Sam Jackson A film portrait of the last Black medicine-show performer, Arthur "Peg Leg Sam" Jackson, black harmonica player, singer, and comedian who made his living "busking" on the street and performing in patent-medicine shows touring southern towns. Footage includes excerpts from one of his last medicine shows, videotaped at a county fair in 1972, and material filmed near his home in South Carolina in 1975. The performance includes harmonica solos, songs, a parody of a chanted sermon, folktales and reminiscences, and three buck dances.



SAFE SCHOOLS: Learn how to stop Bullies in your school.

Many of the Hate songs being sung by "folk groups" at "folk music events" show the Intersection between Cultural Identity and Racist Ideology.

Just Be Your Own Person - that is the definition of cool.

Mainstream does not mean compromised, it means quality! Something so good that it cannot be denied!

American School Counselor Association (ASCA). [1]
Guidance counselors are called school counselors now. ASCA recommends no more than 250 students per counselor, the ratio in Florida is closer to 500 to one. School Counselors are responsible for three domains: academic achievement, personal and social development, and college and career planning."

  • Elementary school counselors work primarily on character education, self-esteem and conflict resolution.
  • Middle school counselors assist with career identification and options,
  • High school counselors must make sure students have completed all the requirements for graduation. That includes coordinating standardized tests.

Adolescent Character Development - struggling with Social Pressure in the online and offline world.

Adolescent Empowerment: Teach, Discuss, & Learn to recognize the different kinds of pressure techniques.

How do you get manipulated? Learn to recognize when you are being manipulated.

1) If you feel manipulated.
If you feel pushed by anything that doesn't feel right to you, Don't do it. You are not obligated to do anything they asked you to do.

2) When you are given something and you feel you have to give something back. You don't have to.

3) You have been told to trust someone or think you have to trust someone. You don't. Think for yourself. If it doesn't feel right then don't trust them.

4) They tell you that you have to do it.
You don't have to do it.
They manipulate you by saying you said you'd do it. You can change your mind and say no anytime you want.

5) Everyone thinks so or is doing it.
Think for yourself.
You can do what you want you don't have to do what everyone else does or think what they think. You decide for yourself.

6) Telling you what to do or think.
Don't worry about what they think.
Are they an expert? Who are they anyway? Why should you believe what they are telling you? Who are they to tell you anything?
You do what you think is best for you.

7) You can't have it.
They make it hard to get on purpose making you think it is something great. Don't get fooled into thinking it is valuable when it isn't.


(1) Readers of literature;
(2) Poets whose words envision new ways of being;
(3) Writers who reflect thoughtfully;
(4) Problem solvers who can use mathematics;
(5) Observers who sense the wonder of science:
(6) Citizens who study history and take action;
(7) Speakers of at least two languages who cross cultural borders;
(8) Workers who can create with their hands and use technology;
(9) Artists who sculpt, draw or paint;
(10) Musicians who sing or play an instrument;
(11) Leaders who recognize the moral dimension.

Recasting the definition of a successful learner from one whose achievement is measured solely by academic tests, to one who is knowledgeable, emotionally and physically healthy, civically engaged, prepared for economic self-sufficiency, and ready for the world beyond formal schooling.

Moral Flexibility, Spin, Damage Control, how can you learn to determine what the truth is?
The answer to the question guides curriculum and instruction in powerful and lasting ways. Charles Slater outlines twelve educational ideals worth pursuing. They become powerful when we apply them not only to students but to everyone in a learning community of students, teachers, parents, administrators and staff.


FASHION - Low Class vs. High Class.
Why do the runways of Europe and the US take the low class street culture for Haute Couture?
What it means to be emotionally healthy.

Two Long Island high schools that canceled their senior proms after years of burgeoning excess that included limos and weekend house rentals in the Hamptons announced a cut-rate compromise Tuesday that will involve bus rides and other more modest arrangements. Instead of hiring chauffeurs, students will takes buses to a Manhattan pier for a dinner cruise. Instead of tuxedos and fancy ball gowns, the dress code will be jackets and ties for boys and dresses for girls. The cost is expected to be about $100 per student -- a fraction of the cost of the wild parties of the past.

Principal Kenneth M. Hoagland sparked a national debate about the ostentatiousness and debauchery that accompany many senior proms when he said last fall that his school would no longer sponsor a prom. Hoagland sent a 2,000-word letter last fall to Kellenberg students and parents, decrying the "bacchanalian aspects" of that schools prom.