Educators: For character education programs to count, parents and teachers must work together

Most schools strive to turn out responsible citizens—people who not only know how to read, write and compute, but are guided by basic moral and ethical principles. To help instill these principles, schools implement character education programs. Perhaps the most successful programs have at least two things in common: They focus on students’ moral development, and they get parents involved. When you implement a values program, it shouldn’t be just for students. The entire school community must be living the values and modeling them for students. Teachers must develop a common moral language that’s used at school, and work with parents to ensure they’re speaking that same language at home. Everybody must have a good understanding of what it is, what’s going on, and why.

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