Moral education is not new, it used to be called the "Golden Rule". Schools, since the time of Plato, have made moral education a deliberate aim of schooling along with intellect. Academic skills and content remain the primary agenda of schools, however; Character Education, or Social and Emotional Learning, prepares students for life in an ever changing world. Experience and research show that promoting social and emotional development in children is an integral part of improving schools. We have a "Wise Skills" program that has provided us with a foundation, but one single program cannot be the sole response for the development of knowledgeable, responsible, and caring students. Character Education has a broad focus and takes place across settings and disciplines.
The social and emotional education of the children of Northeast is provided through a variety of diverse efforts and is being integrated throughout the curriculum at Northeast School. First, the moral development of students primarily depends on the adults with whom they interact, especially parents and staff. Adults do not transmit moral qualities, they continually emerge and evolve in relationships. Textbooks are now often reflecting the value dimension of school curriculum and awareness of ethical dilemmas. Some teachers have students make entries into journals on honesty, respect, kindness, and tolerance. Teachers use real life ethical and moral issues to model for students how to become problem solvers and create stewardship.
Some teachers have open circles for sharing out positive attributes about each other. Project-based work is implemented which helps to foster open-mindedness, rights of others, and a culture of cooperative learning. Opportunities such as Book Buddies, provides students with an opportunity to develop moral thinking and qualities of respect, fairness, and empathy. Our Student Assistance Counselor, speaks with all students about the well-known phenomenon of bullying at the beginning of the year, and plans special programs for our students.
Our Physical Education teacher addresses fairness, sportsmanship, positive attitudes, and teamwork in all his classes. Each month, every class honors a citizen of the month. Some attributes defining good citizenship are: responsibility, respect, fairness, self-control, courage, caring, trustworthiness, perseverance, a good work ethic, and a positive attitude.
The entire staff at Northeast School continues to grow morally and ethically and to search for new ways to strengthen in ourselves and our children a culture of caring.
Page Updated: Feb 26, 2013