The New Zealand Foundation for Character Education has no religious or political affiliations. The Foundation advocates the restoration of character education to its historical and rightful place at the centre of the school curriculum

What is the Cornerstone Values approach to Character Education?

  1. 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.
  2. A simple, rational, manageable and inexpensive approach to character formation.
  3. The teaching content is small – the definitions of eight objective values, the law of consequences and rational decision making.
  4. The eight cornerstone values are: honesty and truthfulness, kindness, consideration an concern for others, compassion, obedience, responsibility, respect, duty
  5. 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
  6. The school’s supports of the teaching content by advocating and modelling the eight cornerstone values.
  7. The eight cornerstone values inform and influence everything that happens in a school.
  8. The approach is not an addition to the curriculum but uses the curriculum and existing resources to communicate and build character.
  9. Acknowledges that while parents are the first and most important teachers of character the school has a pivotal role to play.
  10. Acknowledges that character education is a team effort involving the home, the school – trustees, principal, teachers, support staff, children – and the community.
  11. Recommends that one cornerstone value be taught per term.
  12. Inexpensive and teacher friendly resources have been developed to support the teaching component of the approach.
  13. Emphasises the importance of stories, heroes and community service in character formation.
  14. Approach applicable to all levels of schooling
  15. While the definitions remain constant throughout schooling the resources and teaching methodology change to remain age appropriate.
  16. Recognises the inextricable link between character and behaviour.
  17. 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?

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