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Character Development in the Classroom

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More frequently than not, character development has become part of the classroom curriculum. Character development is a term used in many educational systems to indicate a strategy for the maturation of individual students. (Wikipedia, 2011) Character is the sum of all qualities that make up an individual. It is one’s set of values, thoughts, words and actions. To be involved, or not to be involved, that is the question. This essay will address the issue of teaching character development in the classroom and whether this infringes on the rights of parents.

Character development ultimately is a parent’s responsibility.

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However, some students do not receive the necessary character development lessons from their parents that other students may be receiving. This is where teachers enter the equation. Teachers not only have the right, but the obligation to provide an education for their students that helps them develop into successful, moral adults. Though academics should be the primary focus of a teacher’s responsibility, some degree of character education should be integrated into every child’s education.

When public schools were established in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries, one of their stated missions was to teach moral virtues. “Teachers as Role Models”, 2008) Teachers in the 18th and 19th centuries were expected to be moral individuals who displayed good character. Today, it still seems to go without saying that teachers are role models for their students. Teachers are individuals students look up to and learn a great deal just by watching. Character encompasses being good and doing right. Teachers can easily model this without being pushy or pushing their ideas onto students. Certainly teachers need to avoid hot topics such as pro-choice and religious instruction.

But teachers should not be discouraged from shaping their students into thoughtful, productive moral citizens as they work with them in the classroom. Integration of character development is not difficult to implement, it can easily take place in any given situation in the classroom. (Skaggs & Bodenhorn, 2006) Some parents are critical of character development because they perceive that it infringes upon their right to be in charge of their children’s own moral development. Parents may feel that they don’t want the school district to tell their child what is right or wrong, they want to be in control of those moral instructions.

For some parents, it may be the religious influence that they are afraid of. Character development disappeared from public schools in the mid 1900’s after it became unjustly connected with teaching religion. (Social Issues Reference, n. d. ) By the 1970’s character education was back in schools, however teachers did not teach students right or wrong. Students were encouraged to think about, reason, and decide what was right or wrong. Today, the majority of character development programs are favorably looked upon, with many character building lessons intertwined in all subject areas.

Other critics have argued that character education programs are a waste of school funds or are entirely counterproductive. It is apparent that some schools with active character developments programs will see less dramatic results than others. However, the schools that have programs that are not as effective typically have not made the full efforts consistent in implementing their character development programs. Like any educational strategy, a character development program can only be successful to the degree that is embraced and applied in a consistent, professional manner by teachers, parents, administrators, and students. Ideally, the most effective character development program will take place when teachers and parents form a partnership with one another.


Skaggs, G. & Bodenhorn, N. (2006). Relationships between implementing character education, student behavior, and student achievement. Journal of Advanced Academics, 18. Retrieved from http://web. ebscohost. com. library. gcu. edu:2048/ehost/resultsadvanced? hid=10&sid=e07e262d-e4cc-4213-9d1c-096f5eb92568%40sessionmgr12&vid=2&bquery (Relationships+between+implementing+character+education%2c+student+behavior+AND+student+achievement)&bdata=JmRiPWVoaCZjbGkwPUZUJmNsdjA9WSZ0eXBlPTEmc2l0ZT1laG9zdC1saXZl

Cite this Character Development in the Classroom

Character Development in the Classroom. (2017, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/character-development-in-the-classroom/

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