Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Character Education

Character Education programs are mandated in about forty of the states in the US. According to our textbook “Teachers, Schools, and Society”, these character education programs focus on teaching students the characteristics of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. I believe that physical education class is a perfect place for these morals to be taught to students.
            In a regular classroom setting, these values can be taught through discovery in literature or history. But teaching these values in a physical education setting is a little bit different. I believe that one of the best ways to teach character education in physical education is during project adventure and orienteering experiences. These units may involve the students doing high or low ropes course, rock wall climbing, trust falls, and group cooperation activities. The skills that are taught in character education programs are part of the affective domain. In my opinion many physical education programs do not touch enough up this domain and thus character education is a great way to integrate characteristics such as trustworthiness and respect into physical education.
            In PED 434, Statistics in Sports and Physical Education, we learned how to integrate the affective domain into physical education. In order to assess students on a characteristic such as respect, the teacher needs to be able to see and to hear respect. In other words, teachers need something objective to assess. For example, it is not good enough for a teacher to simply say that a student showed respect for participation points that day. They need to justify the fact that the student showed respect by saying the student worked cooperatively with a group in a project adventure activity and listened to what classmates had to say as well as offered his/her own ideas.
            I believe that character education is something that is developed throughout life. Most children are taught from young age to play fair and to show characteristics such as respect and kindness. As I have gone through my journey in life thus far, I know that it is easier to show these characteristics in certain situations more than in other situations. Life is a journey about truly finding out who you are and what your purpose is in life. I believe that character education really aids in this self-discovery.

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