21 July 2009

Character Education

One of the discussion threads that I have been ignoring this week was one where people were discussing character education in the schools. Where the entire school gets rewards for staff members seeing certain behaviors, etc... I do not have other peoples' permissions to post their responses here, so I won't. However, I found myself drawn to the discussion, and made my response to the idea of character education:

I don't mean to be a downer, but I have never been of the school of thought that thinks that something as intrinsic and God-given and parentally bestowed as character can be taught. Behaviors can be learned, but that is not character. consider any celebritant who is a "role-model in front of the cameras, but when they hit adversity (which does not teach character, but reveals it) they show their true self. Character is simply the responsibility of the parent... Now, I won't have these kids until they are 14 and 15, and they will have their character by then, but many of them don't know their character, and people (namely teachers) misinterpret their behaviors for their character. Character is not built in the schools, and if you are trying, then you are trying to reteach something that they have ingrained in them already. The military claims to build character. However, all they do is shatter all your previously learned behaviors, and indoctrinate you with new ones. My daughter is 2.5 years old, and I am proud of the character i see in her, and her spirit as she continues to try at things that scare her, and make her uncomfortable. To presume something like character can be taught in the school is funny to me, and I have seen many try. But call it what it is... an attempt to create new communally learned behaviors.

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