Character Education

Adopted 1968 – Revised January 2013 – Education Commission

California State PTA believes the responsibility for character education is shared by the home, the place of worship, the school, and the community. In order to build the foundations for the development of conscience, research shows that in the early years it is critical for each child to develop a close relationship with at least one person who is willing to celebrate the child’s life with joy and tenderness and willing to make a long term commitment and the necessary sacrifices for the child’s health and well being. When parents and other family members consciously assume this responsibility, the home stimulates effective development of attitudes and values which are important to family living and which will be reflected in school and community behaviors. These examples set by parents, religious leaders, teachers, and community leaders have a profound influence on the kind of person a child becomes.

A character education curriculum should include the concepts of responsibility, respect, integrity, compassion, understanding, honesty, justice, empathy, perseverance and courage, and should be developed in the context of the basic values which have personal day-to-day application. These concepts should include:

  • Respect for one’s own worth and dignity;
  • Respect for parents, teachers and those in authority;
  • Development of self-discipline, self-responsibility and civility to others;
  • Respect for home, school and community members;
  • Respect and understanding of differences in socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, language ability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and physical abilities for all individuals;
  • Consideration of the rights of the group as well as of the individual;
  • Development of integrity, honesty, loyalty, trustworthiness, fairness and compassion;
  • Development of self-discipline; and
  • Ability to think independently, critically, objectively, and creatively.
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