I recently began a course hosted on Coursera about teaching character. It’s an important topic that is also serves to help teachers reflect on their own methods and message. The course is four weeks long and each week focuses on different aspects of teaching character strengths.
So, what are character strengths?
Six major character strengths of fairness, trustworthiness, respect, citizenship, responsibility, and caring are definitely important to child’s educational and personal development. The best way to teach these strengths is by living them. Kids learn better by following what they see instead of being talked to. I especially like this topic because often I try to show my students how to be respectful, loving, and responsible. I am not perfect and have not always shown such qualities each day, but I also show how to admit when I make mistakes.
The video lectures for each week are engaging, informative, and really make you think about the issues they present. Course participants are also encouraged to be active on the discussion boards and I enjoy reading different people’s posts and responses. I can learn something new, or add my own experiences that may help another person.
Teachers are in a position to really have a great impact upon their students’ lives, and great teachers not only teach their subject(s), but also care for their students’ well-being. If students can learn how to be better people as well as core subjects, then all the better!