The Character Education curriculums were evaluated recently in 193 schools in all 55 counties. As part of the evaluation process, interviews and focus groups with teachers and students were used, as well as surveys conducted with teachers and students and interviews with central office personnel. According to the report, 16 counties have fully integrated character education into their existing curriculum and 39 counties have partially integrated
“Students who develop strong character at an early age demonstrate responsibility for their academic performance, respect for others and respect for themselves,” said State Schools Superintendent David Stewart.
With character behavior and student achievement appearing to be directly linked, the report outlines effective strategies for changing student behavior. A system of rewards and consequences for behavior for both individual students and groups of students could be utilized. In addition, parents and community should be involved to support all character education initiatives.
The 11 principals of effective character education, which measures how effective the character education program is being implemented and the West Virginia Trait Report, which measures how students see/hear other students performing on 16 sets of character traits were the two instruments used to evaluate the program.
The next evaluation is due in September 2005 with the results from this survey used as baseline data.
For more information about Character Education, contact Lisa Burton, Character Education Coordinator, at (304) 558-8830.