Character education

In Part III of Digital Community, Digital Citizen, I create a hypothetical "ideal school board" whose members want to pursue digital citizenship in their school district. This leads them to consider how "character education" - a pre-digital age era movement to infuse ethics and character development into public education - can be adapted to the issues of living in the digital age.

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Primary sources used for the book

Character Education Partnership (CEP) is a national advocate and leader for the character education movement. Based in Washington, DC, we are a nonprofit, nonpartisan, nonsectarian coalition of organizations and individuals committed to fostering effective character education in our nation's schools.

We are an umbrella organization for character education, serving as the leading resource for people and organizations that are integrating character education into their schools and communities.

CEP's membership includes the nation's leading education organizations, and its board of directors is made up of corporate leaders and experts in the field of character education.

CEP focuses on defining and encouraging effective practices and approaches to quality character education and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas.

Here are quick links to CEP resources referenced in Digital Community, Digital Citizen:


Important books, articles


Character Education & Ethics Inventories


There are many "ethics inventories" that groups have created to guide organizations and educational efforts. Listed below are just a few of them.
  • HeartwoodEthics.org. Heartwood has collected a number of inventories that are worth considering:
    • Other ethical attributes. A list of other ethical attributes to be considered in developing an ethical inventory.
    • Other codes of ethics. A collection of ethical codes that come from diverse groups, including the Boy Scouts, Confucious and TAE KWON-DO.


Other approaches, resources

  • Character Development Center, University of San Diego School of Leadership and Education Services. From the website: "Mission statement: To serve teacher educators, students in teacher education programs, K-12 teachers, administrators, counselors, parents and caregivers who desire to participate in the character development of children and youth....To promote among the young and those who work with them the development of life skills necessary for a productive personal and social life."
  • Character Education State of Education Address 2007, from Superintendent O'Connell on the status of education in California. From the website: "Is our only objective to get students ready for success in the workforce? Do we not also have a responsibility to prepare students to be active and engaged citizens? Don't we want our next generation to be caring neighbors, effective parents, and strong role models for the generation after theirs? Aren't we obligated to provide them with the skills they need to successfully pursue and achieve happiness and joy in their lives? I think we are, and I believe technological change and the global economy make it more important than ever that we focus on these things." State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.
  • Character Plus Local Education Agency, St. Louis, MO. From the website: "Our Mission: To develop positive character traits in young people by providing a high quality character education process and resources to schools, homes, and communities." Includes lesson plans.
  • Definition of Character Education, from The Language of Learning: A Guide to Education Terms, by J. L. McBrien & R. S. Brandt, pp. 17-18, 1997, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • Good Character.com, by Charis Denison. From the website: "If you work with kids, and you need to implement character education tomorrow, and you want some immediate help, this is where to start. But if your character education program is cruising, and you just want some additional ideas and materials, this is also where to start." Includes "The Daily Dilemma," a series of moral and ethical discussion starters to be used with students.
  • Six Pillars of Character, from the Josephson Institute. From the website: "Mission: To improve the ethical quality of society by changing personal and organizational decision making and behavior."


Readers' Character Education Resources


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