What is the Cornerstone Values approach to Character Education?
- Accepts the historical understanding that schooling has two main goals: to help children master basic skills and to help them become good and responsible people.
- A simple, rational, manageable and inexpensive approach to character formation.
- The teaching content is small – the definitions of eight objective values, the law of consequences and rational decision making.
- The eight cornerstone values are: honesty and truthfulness, kindness, consideration an concern for others, compassion, obedience, responsibility, respect, duty
- Recognises that character is communicated through relationships and is learned by being observed, modelled and experienced. For this reason the approach places a premium upon building a positive school culture
- The school’s supports of the teaching content by advocating and modelling the eight cornerstone values.
- The eight cornerstone values inform and influence everything that happens in a school.
- The approach is not an addition to the curriculum but uses the curriculum and existing resources to communicate and build character.
- Acknowledges that while parents are the first and most important teachers of character the school has a pivotal role to play.
- Acknowledges that character education is a team effort involving the home, the school – trustees, principal, teachers, support staff, children – and the community.
- Recommends that one cornerstone value be taught per term.
- Inexpensive and teacher friendly resources have been developed to support the teaching component of the approach.
- Emphasises the importance of stories, heroes and community service in character formation.
- Approach applicable to all levels of schooling
- While the definitions remain constant throughout schooling the resources and teaching methodology change to remain age appropriate.
- Recognises the inextricable link between character and behaviour.
- Addresses the big questions of life: What sort of person do I want to become? What sort of a person am I becoming? How can I live with others and the environment? How can I become the best person possible?