C106 – Character Education

Community Partnerships in the School
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Welcome to Character Education, the sixth course in the series Fundamentals of School Counseling.

student volunteersThis course examines strategies and programs that assist students in developing as moral, ethical, socially conscious and responsible contributors to their community and society as a whole.

There is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes character education in schools. Many programs claim to be based on universally accepted values but “definitions… vary widely… though many promote that such education advocates the development of strengths, virtues, life and citizenship skills, and the ability to utilize such skills in real settings” (Grant, 2009).

Because of its historical links to predominantly Protestant religious education in 17th and 18th century public schools, the term “character education” is derided in some communities and worn like a badge in others.

In the United States, it goes back as far as the founding of the colonies and likely farther in Native American culture.”
(McClellan, 1999)

The cultural complexities involved when promoting character education in a pluralistic society require thoughtful consideration of what constitutes representative morals, beliefs, and values in the school community.

To create a true science of character education, we need to back up and explore what we mean by character, how it develops, and what we know about how schools can effectively foster its development.”
(Berkowitz, 2002)

The American School Counselors Association (ASCA) endorses and actively supports character education programs in the implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program. “The school counselor also promotes the infusion of character education in the school curriculum by encouraging the participation of the entire school community” (ASCA, 2016).

This course examines the status of character education in schools and the role of the counselor in helping to define and articulate character in the school community.

This course should take 10-16 hours of study time to complete all assignments and the reflection questions as directed. There are three written assignments including the reflection questions at the end of the course.