Before even talking about this big idea: character education, let us define the words separately. The Cambridge Dictionary defines character as “the particular combination of qualities in a person or place that makes them different from others”. Character, once developed becomes part of our nature and is what makes us individuals. It highly influences the choices we make in our life.
Education is the process of developing the abilities of one’s mind. Quora.com defines it as “the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.”
If we put these two concepts together, we can conclude that character education is learning or acquiring whatever an individual intrinsically needs to develop values and beliefs that will make him or her not only unique but also a “good” individual even when no one is watching.
Ethaca.com defines it as “education that nurtures and promotes the ethical, intellectual, social and emotional development of individuals. It is a continuous learning process that enables young people and adults to become moral, caring, critical, and responsible individuals.” It is the teaching or learning of one’s core values, the heart of what we do.
Character education is important and needs consistency and effort to be successful. The purpose of education is not only to make someone smart and knowledgeable but also to help individuals develop strong character. Character development is not just points in the syllabus and of plans of implementation of learning in the school. It is more than that as these should be put into practice. In school, the students can start developing character by learning to obey school and classroom rules and through discipline.
Character education is an effort that involves not only the school but also the home and other parts of society. The first step needed is to build close partnerships between family, school and the community. The establishment of character education would not be successful if there is no harmony between these three components. In the school, students are taught or shown standards of good character but the help of parents and guardians are essential so these become a pattern and a habit. All parents, thus, have to be exemplary models of good character to their children. The family is the first layer in the process of the establishment of character education. The schools may have set rules but if these are not supported at home, the inconsistency leads to confusion and later on indifference and disobedience.
The last but definitely, not the least component in character education is the society or community we move around in. The society also has a big influence in a person’s character. Usually, in the society we also learn values, norms, customs and ethics. While the children learn teamwork, discipline, determination, and responsibility from school and home, they practice these in the community. If the good values one learns is supported and implemented in both school and home, the child remains consistent and firm even when faced with conflicting values in society.
In the end, individuals who have high and good moral character are what a nation needs to become great and for a government to have a good impact in its citizens lives.
talkingtreebooks.com / definition / what-is-character-education.html: Talking With Trees Character Education Books for Kids
ethaca.com / character-education: What is Character Education and Why is it Important by Eva Sakellaridi
dictionary.cambridge.org / dictionary / english /character
quora.com / What-is-education-2: Response from Parm Layal