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Keep It Simple, Make It Real
Character Development in Grades 6-12

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May 2009 | 192 pages | Corwin

"This exceptionally well-organized, practical, and impressive work should be on every administrator's and character educator's desk. Olsson redefines the lens through which educators view the factors that impact school climate, teacher-student relationships, student behavior, and ultimately the character development of young people."
—Edward DeRoche, Director
Character Development Center, University of San Diego

"Needed in the character education movement for a long time, this book is written by a principal who's been leading the way and now shows how we can help students develop their character without sacrificing academic standards. It's easy to read, well organized, and, most important, contains hundreds of practical strategies that work."
—Hal Urban, Teacher and Speaker, Redwood City, CA
Author, Lessons From The Classroom

A powerful tool for influencing students' attitudes and behaviors!

Based on current research, solid theory, and real experiences, this resource provides school leaders with a comprehensive yet practical framework for creating and sustaining a schoolwide character development program. Real-world scenarios tackle tough issues such as vandalism, truancy, chronic tardiness, and bullying, and demonstrate how to bring about positive change. The book thoughtfully addresses factors that may keep students from developing positive attitudes and helps educators:

  • Evaluate student behavior, staff morale, and school climate
  • Target real problems with commonsense strategies that can dramatically turn around student behavior
  • Assess a character development program's effectiveness

 
Foreword by Philip Fitch Vincent
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Living, Learning, and Leading in Harmony: Character Development in Middle and Secondary Schools
Current Perspectives on Character Development

 
Introduction

 
Current Perspectives on Character Development

 
Academic Achievement and Students' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors

 
Keept It Simple, Make It Real

 
A Character Development Framework for Schools

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
2. Safe and Inviting Physical Environment: Physical Environments That Change Behavior
Aspects of the Physical Environment That Impact On Achievement and Character Development

 
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Health

 
Aspects of the Environment Affecting Safety

 
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Physiological Needs

 
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Morale

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
3. Modeling Good Character: The Role of Principals and Teachers
Introduction

 
Modeling the Three Es

 
The First E: The Power of Experience

 
The Second E: The Power of Exchange

 
The Third E: The Power of Empowerment

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
4. Establishing Rules and Procedures for Civility: Creating a Positive School and Classroom Environment
Introduction

 
The Need for Discipline in Establishing a Positive School Climate

 
Progressive Discipline

 
Positive Behavioral Interventions, Supports, and Consequences

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
5. Making Curricular Connections: Teaching Opportunities That Connect Student Learning to Character Development
Introduction

 
Curriculum Priorities in Character Development

 
The R.I.T.E. of Curriculum Passage

 
Curricular and Cocurricular Opportunities That Connect Student Learning to Character Development

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
6. Assessing Character Development
Introduction

 
Monitoring Character Development

 
Creating the Assessment Tool

 
Some Final Thoughts

 
Quotes

 
 
Resource A: Sample Character Development Framework for Schools: Trillium Lakelands District School Board
 
Resource B: Sample Assessment and Evaluation Tools for the Character Development Framework for Schools
 
Resource C: Sample Strategic Plan for Schoolwide Character Development
 
Resource D: Sample Lesson Plans
 
Resource E: Sample Assessment and Evaluation Poster Embedding Character Development
 
Resource F: Sample Code of Behavior
 
References

“Jan Olsson uses his experience as a teacher and administrator to offer educators and community leaders a must-read, what-works-and-what-doesn’t book on character development in schools. This exceptionally well-organized, practical, and very impressive work should be on every administrator’s and character educator’s desk. Olsson redefines the lens through which educators view the factors that impact school climate, teacher-student relationships, student behavior, and ultimately the character development of young people.”

Edward DeRoche, Director
Character Development Center, University of San Diego

"This is a book that's been needed in the character education movement for a long time, one written by a principal who's been leading the way. Jan Olsson lives up to his title by keeping it simple and by keeping it real while showing us how we can help junior high and high school students develop their character without sacrificing academic standards. It's easy to read, well organized, and, most important, contains hundreds of practical strategies that work."

Hal Urban, Teacher and Speaker
Author, Lessons From The Classroom

"Nuts-and-bolts advice supported by real-life examples makes Jan Olsson’s how-to manual an invaluable tool for school leaders. There are gems of wisdom here you won’t find in other character education guides."

Tom Lickona, Director, Center for the 4th and 5th Rs
Coauthor, Smart & Good High Schools

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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