May 2017 Blog
A CHARACTER EDUCATION FRAMEWORK: AN EXAMPLE
Many schools and school districts use “VAMP” to frame their character education programs. VAMP is an acronym for the “Virtues- A- Month Program.” VAMP helps all school personnel, students, and parents/guardians focus on a specific virtue. VAMP encourages everyone to be on the same page in the teaching, learning, and practicing of that particular monthly virtue.
|The Cobb County Character Education program is an example. Note that the district’s framework is centered on a monthly virtue (RESPECT), then defines elements of the “respect “ (self- respect) and over a 4-week period intending to integrate these “character traits into the total school environment, as well as into the community.”
|RESPECT: Showing regard for the worth of someone or something
||Pride and belief in one’s self and in achievement of one’s potential.
||Respect for Others*
||Concern for and motivation to act for the welfare of others.
||Respect for Authority
||Respect for those individuals who are in positions of responsibility.
||Respect for Learning and Punctuality*
||Appreciation for the importance of and effort involved in acquiring knowledge. Showing high regard for the worth of promptness.
|INTEGRITY: Steadfast adherence to a strict code of moral, ethical or artistic values; to consistently be truthful, sincere, and fair. Keeping one’s word.
||Truthfulness and sincerity; free from deception.
||Worthy of confidence; reliable; dependable.
||The power to direct or regulate your actions and emotions.
||Justice / Fairness*
||Correct, proper, and reasonable treatment of behavior and viewpoints of others.
|RESPONSIBILITY: Taking care of one’s self and others; to carry out a duty or task carefully and thoroughly
|Good humored, bright and pleasant. Realistic positive confidence of feeling toward one’s self.
||Being responsible for your decisions and actions; dependable.
||A sense of what is right, just and true; privilege.
||School Pride / Cleanliness*
||Care and satisfaction in your school’s environment, achievement and success.
|CITIZENSHIP*: Respectful devotion or allegiance to one’s country and/or school
||Individual, responsible participation in decision making; government by the people.
||Respectful devotion or love to one’s country.
||Service* to Others
||Useful, usable, and required duty to others.
|COMPASSION*: Showing concern or sympathy for others
||A feeling of thankful appreciation for benefits received.
||Unselfish willingness to give and share your time and talents in your community.
||Being gentle, willing to help, friendly, courteous, and considerate.
|RESILIENCE: The capacity to successfully manage high levels of change
||Willingness to admit mistakes and take responsibility; not pretentious.
||Self-confidence / Empowerment
||Realistic positive attitude about, and trust in one’s self; sense of security, and self-assurance.
||Adaptability and versatility; clever, imaginative, and inventive.
||Initiative / Effort
||Proactive; thinking and taking action on your own; industry.
||Relying on one’s own abilities, efforts, or judgments.
|TOLERANCE*: Consideration for the individual differences, views and beliefs of other people
||Recognition of the diversity of others, their opinions, practices, and culture.
||Benefiting yourself and others by ceasing to feel resentment towards others.
||Working together for a common purpose. The ability to take winning and losing without gloating or complaining.
||Courtesy / Civility*
||Polite, civil, and courteous behavior towards others in words and action.
|COMMITMENT: The obligation or pledge to carry out some action or to support some policy or person
||Dedication / Loyalty
||Sense of commitment and duty.
||Respect for the Environment*
||The conservation and care of your surroundings and planet earth.
||The desire to move towards a goal.
||The ability to take on every task with a sense of purpose and caring for those around them.
|ACCOMPLISHMENT: Pride and appreciation for attaining one’s goals
||Working hard without giving up.
||To meet a challenge without giving in to fear.
||Patience* / Moderation
||The power to wait calmly without complaining; avoiding extremes.
||Good judgment; ability to make reasoned decisions; insight.
||Reflect on your Understanding (Thinking), Caring About (Feeling), and Acting Upon (Behavior) in becoming a good example of positive character this year. A summary.
|In every high school in Cobb County the Character Education program is supplemented with positive leadership development class called “Principled Thinking,” that focuses on development of positive student leadership skills created “to establish and promote character driven student leaders for the community and school. “
In schools and school district across the country there are variations to the ”Virtues- a –Month” framework or in this case the Cobb County’s “Virtues-a -Week” pattern. For example, many teachers have lessons and activities that encourage students to study and celebrate that month’s holidays or recognition days. For this month that would probably include Cinco De Mayo, National Teacher’s Day, Mother’s day, and Memorial Day.
Edward DeRoche, Ph.D., Character Education Resource Center, Director, University of San Diego —-firstname.lastname@example.org