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“Students remember little of what we say, but most of what we do”


In a Yuma, Arizona elementary school located in a very poor part of the city, the faculty decided to use problem solving instead of discipline. Following the training, the faculty worked together because they wanted to ensure there was a high degree of consistency in what they were teaching the children. Several of the teachers believed a character education program would be beneficial in helping students learn to problem solve and make better decisions . So, they went to the Internet and downloaded several state and national character education programs . They then met with students and parents and decided on nine aspects of character. One aspect was highlighted each month throughout the school. They used posters, class discussions, and even had a couple of films. The teachers felt that this part of their overall program was very beneficial in attaining the results that they did.

Our students today live in a world of TV, videos, and movies. The women are degraded, male heroes are shooting or assaulting others, and the winner is the one that ends up with the most money. Many years ago in a rural middle school, the principal overhead two middle school girls talking about the popular movie Pretty Woman with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. The one girl remarked that it was a Cinderella story. The other girl said,“I guess today if you’re going to meet a prince, you have to be a prostitute first”. Although the movie industry claims to only be entertainment, the fact is that students learn from them.

Are we down to only one value–attaining wealth, no matter how? We certainly hope not, but we do have to take a stand against the competition from the entertainment industry. It is not only our responsibility but essential if we hope to teach children to problem solve and make honorable decisions. The task here is to devise a means of teaching accepted values, morals, and character.

In all honesty, it is almost impossible to compete with movies and TV. It is close to a perfect learning environment. It is auditory, visual, includes emotion and action, and has the complete focus and attention of the viewer. Once a visual medium like TV becomes fully interactive, it will be the perfect learning environment. Lecture and presentation will fall short of changing the attitudes and perspectives learned from the videos and movies. The only way to win is to teach and model character and strive to get a majority of students to learn the value of character. Students typically believe their friends instead of what is said in the media, regardless of how popular a celebrity might be. So, as each student learns character, morals, and accepted values, they influence and teach other students.

The good news is that it can work. The teachers at the Yuma elementary school proved it. They included their chosen aspects of character in their student expectations. They used the nine aspects while working with the students going through the problem solving steps (This was mostly done at the finding alternatives and decision-making steps). Because of their efforts, in the first semester of the year before the training, 215 students were sent to the office for misbehavior . In the first semester of the following year, 14 students were referred to the office. The data also showed that classroom disruptions dropped by two-thirds.

Practical application

Teach about morals and character when teaching students to solve their problems.

With students who have healthy self-concepts , you can discuss an aspect of character or moral value with defining the problem and what did you choose to do steps. But this has the potential of turning into a criticism–sort of kicking them when they are down. It is usually more positive and students are more willing to think about and discuss an aspect of character when discussing what they plan to do in the future.

Like most tasks principals and teachers have, devising something is only part of it. The next steps are to implement , monitor , evaluate , and adjust accordingly. If you choose to include character education, be sure it is something you believe in. Be sure it is something that the community can believe in. Make sure you are willing to teach it, model it, and use when interacting with the students. When the students learn and accept these beliefs, your job is much, much easier.

Expected outcomes

  • Students learn more about morals, values, and character.
  • Students learn to consider character prior to making decisions and taking actions.
  • Principals and teachers are reminded of character and morals and begin to use them more in their work with the students.
  • Inappropriate behavior is greatly reduced or eliminated.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, A learning approach to school discipline: problem solving instead of punishing. OpenStax CNX. Sep 07, 2007 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10443/1.5
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