11 Principles of Character Education

The 11 Principles of Effective Character Education are the corner­stone of Charac­ter.org’s philosophy on effective character education. Each principle outlines vital aspects of character education initia­tives that should not be overlooked in program implem­ent­ation. From curriculum integr­ation to extra-­cur­ricular activi­ties, from parent and community partne­rships to staff develo­pment, the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education offer fundam­ental guidance for educators and community leaders to maximize their character education outcomes.

Effective Schools:

  1. The school community promotes core ethical and perfor­mance values as the foundation of good character.
  2. The school defines “chara­cter” compre­hen­sively to include thinking, feeling, and doing.
  3. The school uses a compre­hen­sive, intent­ional, and proactive approach to character develo­pment.
  4. The school creates a caring community.
  5. The school provides students with opport­unities for moral action.
  6. The school offers a meaningful and challe­nging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed.
  7. The school fosters students’ self-m­oti­vation.
  8. The school staff is an ethical learning community that shares respon­sib­ility for character education and adheres to the same core values that guide the students.
  9. The school fosters shared leadership and long-range support of the character education initia­tive.
  10. The school engages families and community members as partners in the charac­ter­-bu­ilding effort.
  11. The school regularly assesses its culture and climate, the functi­oning of its staff as character educators, and the extent to which its students manifest good character.


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