Character Education

"If we want our children to possess the traits of character
we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are."
-
William Bennett

Through a collaborative effort between home, school and the community, character education guides students in developing positive ideals and good habits that will improve behavior, school climate and ultimately academic performance. Students are provided opportunity and example for becoming conscientious and productive citizens in their school, community and nation. 

By integrating character traits like caring, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship and fairness into all areas of the school experience, students will gain better self-awareness and the desire to become more socially responsible.

Effective character education creates a circle of trust and respect among students, school staff, parents and the community. All should make every effort to encourage individual good as well as common good.

Legislation and Guidance

Legislation

T.C.A. 49-6-1007(a). Character Education - (a) The course of instruction in all public schools shall include character education to help each student develop positive values and improve student conduct as students learn to act in harmony with their positive values and learn to become good citizens in their school, community, and society.

Definition (Developed by TN Character Education Partnership)

Through a collaborative effort between home, school and the community, character education guides students in developing positive ideals and good habits that will improve behavior, school climate, and ultimately academic performance. Students are provided opportunity and example for becoming conscientious and productive citizens in their school, community and nation. By integrating character traits like caring, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship and fairness into all areas of the school experience, students will gain better self-awareness and the desire to become more socially responsible.

Effective character education creates a circle of trust and respect among students, school staff, parents and the community. All should make every effort to encourage individual good as well as common good.

Download Quality Standardsrecommended by the TNCEP and adopted by the State Board of Education.

Best Practices in Character Education

As part of the legislative mandate (TCA 49-6-1007) revised in 2004, the Department of Education will be recognizing schools that have developed model instructional methods and administrative policies for the delivery of character education. The Department will showcase the chosen practices at an appropriate statewide venue. Recognized schools/districts will receive a certificate of merit and will become part of a mentoring network for high-quality character education initiatives.

Application Process

  • You may apply as a district or as individual schools. Provide the following information:
    • District name or official school name
    • Address
    • Contact person’s name, phone, fax, and email
    • Grade level and number of students
  • Respond, in narrative form, to the following questions. Responses should be double-spaced with one-inch margins and no more than 3 pages in length. Supplementary materials should not be included.
    • What is the instructional method or administrative policy being recommended? How is it being implemented in the school/district and how does it contribute to character development?
    • What impact is the method or policy having on students/staff?  Describe the skills, attitudes or behavioral changes that have occurred as a result of this practice.
    • Describe any community involvement related to the implementation of this strategy.  Discuss how the parents/community is involved in supporting the character education strategy. What methods are used to communicate the goal of the activity?
  • Submit three copies to:

Pat Conner

Executive Director, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools

710 James Robertson Parkway

9th Floor, Andrew Johnson Tower

Nashville, Tennessee 37243 

Phone: (615) 253-0018 

Fax: (615) 532-6638

Pat.Conner@tn.gov

Best Practices Applications must be received on or before June 30.

Tool Box and Related Links

Required Reports

Character Education and Conflict Resolution Report

Return to Artina Fossett no later than June 30

Best Practices Application

Return to Pat Conner no later than June 30

Last Update: July 16, 2014