Character Education Charter
The members of the New Zealand Foundation for Character Education Incorporated believe that the following guiding principles ought to be at the heart of character education in New Zealand schools. Education in its fullest sense is inescapably a moral enterprise - a continuous effort to guide students to know and pursue what is good and worthwhile
We strongly affirm parents as the primary moral educators of their children and believe schools have the obligation to foster in their students personal and civil virtues such as integrity, courage, responsibility, self control, diligence, duty and respect for the dignity of all persons.
Character education is about developing virtues good habits and dispositions that lead students to responsible and mature adulthood. Virtue ought to be our foremost concern in educating for character. Character education is not about acquiring the 'right' views - currently accepted attitudes that are politically correct or ideologically charged.
The school principal and the teacher are central to this enterprise and must be educated, selected and encouraged with this mission in mind, in truth, all of the adults in the school must embody and reflect the moral authority, which has been invested in them by the parents and the community.
Character education is not a single course, a quick-fix programme or a slogan posted on a wall; it is an integral part of the school life. The school must become a community of virtue in which responsibility, hard work, honesty and kindness are modelled, taught, expected, endorsed, and continually practised. From classroom to playground. from principal's office to staffooom, the formation of good character must be the central concern. The human community has a reservoir of moral wisdom, much of which exists in our great stories, works of arts, literature, history and biography. Teachers and students must draw from this reservoir both within and beyond the academic curriculum.
Finally, young people need to realize that forging their own characters is an essential and demanding life task. And the sum of their school experiences - in successes and failures, both academic and athletic, both intellectual and social - provides much of the raw material for this personal undertaking.
Character education is not merely an educational trend or the school's latest fad; it is a fundamental dimension of good teaching, an abiding respect for the intellect and spirit of the individual. We need to re-engage the hearts. minds, and hands of our children in forming their own character, helping them
to know the good, love the good, and do the good. That done, we will truly be a nation of character, securing freedom and justice for all.
Building Character through Cornerstone Values, which has been developed for The New Zealand Foundation for Character Education Incorporated enables schools and their communities to fulfil this charter.