In my last post I proposed that virtues or character qualities should be taught in our schools like any other curricular subject, but with one major difference.
Character education can’t be delivered once a week as PHSE or SEAL tried to do. It needs to become embedded in the daily life and routines of a school with opportunities for the students to practise and explore concepts such as tactfulness, justice and forgiveness. Exploring a virtue over two weeks has been very successful in my current school. The school assembly is a good place to introduce a virtue like truthfulness. A brief ‘what, why and how’ takes only a few minutes and RE themes are easily woven in, after all the major world faiths spend a good deal of time exhorting their followers to be virtuous as is recorded in the sacred books of Christianity , Buddhism and Islam, to name a few.
“But we can’t fit any more into a jam-packed curriculum!” I hear a thousand overworked teachers saying – well, here’s the thing: the daily interaction of staff and adults within our schools provides much of the practise that students need in order to develop good character. I will go into more detail in my next post The Teachable Moment.