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In Search of the Novel:Teacher-TalkNovel

Subject: Re: Character Education through Literature and Language Arts

From: Barbara Patch (Barbara.Patch@valley.net)
Date: Wed Apr 12 2000 - 18:21:16 EDT

Character Education is a requirement for teacher certification in New
Hampshire. Character Education is the deliberate proactive effort to help
persons (students) develop good character. In my opinion it is to help kids
do what is right not just stop them from doing what is wrong. We try to
intregrate universal traits that go beyond our culture. Traits that would
affirm human worth and dignity. A society could not exist without these
basic values. We can not teach personal traits such as personal beliefs or
religious preference.

At 12:03 PM 04/10/2000 -0400, you wrote:
>This is a thought-provoking question. I guess that I'm not totally sure I
>know how you (or your state?) define character education. Does that mean we
>just help them determine what is right or wrong as we now perceive it or are
>we helping them to learn to think for the future through consideration of the
>blizzard of new ideas and technologies that they will have to face? Brave
>New World comes to mind. I spend a lot time asking questions of them
>regarding their beliefs and the future as I lay the groundwork for going back
>to the classics later in the term. One of the basic tenets of BNW flies in
>the face of most their thinking. Many of them believe that all they seek is
>happiness. BNW demonstrates that happiness as an end in itself is not
>worthwhile. Do the classics make them happy as popular culture and the
>entertainment industry does? If not, why not? Can they find the intrinsic
>value in these works that so many others have found or are they just
>mutterings from (mostly) dead white guys who really don't understand what's
>going on right now? We talk a lot about the human condition and from that
>springs self-analysis. Is that character education?


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