EDF 112.docx - EDF 112 CHARACTER EDUCATION AND INTEGRITY...

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EDF 112: CHARACTER EDUCATION AND INTEGRITY TOPIC 1: INTRODUCTION TO CHARACTER EDUCATION AND INTEGRITY Overview : A general introduction to character education and integrity; Meaning of the concepts: Education Character; Integrity; Character education. Relationship between the terms `character,’ `integrity,’ and `character education.’ A general Introduction to Character Education and Integrity The concept `character’ "Character" comes from the Greek "kharakter",`to engrave’ or `to mark.’ Thus character speaks of the active process of making marks or signs (i.e. good habits) on one’s personality and therefore refers to an inclined disposition to behave in particular ways. Character is "the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person." Good character is associated with positive habits, or virtues (e.g. such as honesty, justice, empathy, integrity and trustworthiness), and bad character with negative habits, or vices. One's character may be comprised of good and bad traits. Thomas Lickona defines character as “knowing the good, desiring the good, and doing the good.” Hence, the three aspects/components of character are knowing, feeling, and behaving. Implicit in the concept of character is the recognition that adults begin the engraving process of habituation then teachers and others contribute to the work, but eventually the young person takes over the engraving or formation of their own character. Children’s school years are a prime opportunity for the positive and negative (virtues and vices) character formation. What virtues constitute good character? The concept `character education’ Character education is an umbrella term for all explicit and implicit educational activities that help young people develop positive personal strengths called virtues. Character education is more than just a subject. It has a place in the culture and functions of families, classrooms, schools and other institutions. Character education is about helping students grasp what is ethically important in situations and to act for the right reasons, such that they become more autonomous and reflective. Students need to decide wisely the kind of person they wish to become and to learn to choose between already existing alternatives or to find new ones. In this process, the ultimate aim of character education is the development of good sense or practical wisdom: the capacity to choose intelligently between alternatives. This capacity involves knowing how to choose the right course of action in difficult situations and it arises gradually out of the experience of making choices and the growth of ethical insight’ In other words, Character education is the development of knowledge, skills, and abilities that enable the learner to make informed and responsible choices. Character education enables students to come face to face with the realities of life. It encourages them to think critically and then act responsibly 1

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