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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

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Difference between extinct and extici spicies
Amanpreet Reply
Researchers demonstrated that the hippocampus functions in memory processing by creating lesions in the hippocampi of rats, which resulted in ________.
Mapo Reply
The formulation of new memories is sometimes called ________, and the process of bringing up old memories is called ________.
Mapo 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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