They say that the character is something you develop. It is born out of John Locke’s famous line that a child’s mind is a tabula rasa (Locke, 2014). If a child is born devoid of any knowledge of anything, then perhaps it is true that concepts and ideals as character can be taught. However, this has been an ongoing debate for years, nurture vs. nature. Are children simply born with innate qualities or do they acquire this from their environment? It is easy to assume but provided that it can be learned, character should be taught in school just like any other subjects with a structured curriculum. This is in the belief that it is imperative that a person develops a good character in order to survive and succeed in life.
Schools form a structured curriculum in the objective to standardized education. They provide a benchmark that would measure the degree of learning that a student acquires as days progresses. Similarly, this is also what needs to be done if teaching character education be a part of the academic curriculum. It is necessary to apply a structured system that would guide teachers and educators on what is necessarily required to establish a well-rounded individual.
In the case of teaching character, an instructor who would be assigned to teach the class should be able to use a system that would identify how character can be effectively taught to the students. Normally, these things are best seen than heard. You cannot teach a person that it is bad to steal if the child observes the school officials collecting fees that are not being used by the students. In the same way that a good character is not something that is developed in the course of the semester. Like in teaching science, the teacher does not stop at teaching simply about the basics because there are complex principles that require further understanding. In the same manner, that Trigonometry is taught first with Basic Mathematics because a child may not be able to perform complex quadratic equations without having to learn how to perform the basic mathematical operations as addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.
The same principle is applied in teaching character. The teacher has to know which value should be taught first. In the same manner as what technique is the most effective. It is, however, important to establish that character education is already being taught in some academic institutions particularly in some countries. A good example would be the Philippines. There is a class on the country called Good Manners and Right Conduct or GMRC. This class teaches students how to develop good manners and proper conduct in the goal of creating a responsible individual who possesses the quality of kindness, honesty and proper behavior. Others have Christian Living subjects teaching about Christian values.
Locke, J. (2014, March 7). An Essay COncerning Human Understanding. Retrieved June 26, 2014, from The University of Adelaide Web site: http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/l/locke/john/l81u/index.html