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Character Education And Service Learning Essay

1605 words - 6 pages

What determines the components of a successful individual? Education is a critical part of what creates prosperous people, but positive character is just as important. "We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. " (Martin Luther King Jr. quoted in Haynes and Thomas) Character is not an inherited trait, and it is also not a part of most common core curriculums. Therefore, service learning and character education should be implemented in schools along with civic learning (textbook learning) to provide the most beneficial tools in molding future members of society.
Character is defined as, the aspects of a person that identifies them (“Character”). As H. Jackson Brown once said, “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece -- by thought, choice, courage, and determination.” (Quoted in Khurana).
In order to achieve exceptional character an individual must possess the six pillars of character. These pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship (“The Six Pillars of Character”). Success in life depends on good character. As Abraham Lincoln stated, "Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”(“Character is like a tree and reputation like”). In this quote Abe infers that one’s reputation is a direct reflection of their character. As a person’s character changes so does his or her reputation; which makes character a vital component in life. One’s reputation determines the level of respect and opportunities they may receive.
Incorporating the instruction of common morals and ethics, is specified as character education (“Definition”). It is a universal operation that focuses on highlighting and implementing core ethical values in schools (Abourjilie 2). The positive results concluded from teaching character education consist of the improvement of academic performances, decrease in sexual actions, and a decrease in violent actions (Tatman).
Several elements are essential to the long term benefits of character education, these elements include: community involvement, character education standards, specific traits, combined assessment, adult mentors, staff professional training, and implementing students. Community involvement actively engages families and community members in character education programs and further unites the students, faculty, and community. Setting standards and specifying traits aids the process in reaching allied goal by stating the points of which the school’s children need improvement. Joining the classroom course of study and character educational practices shows the students how these certain values can and will be used in their future lives after graduating from school. Mentors and professional...

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