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Category: Growing Character in Children
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By Brandon Juarez, MEd
Assistant Professor, College of Education

Character education is at the heart of a free and appropriate public education. If this seems commonsense and undisputable, one only has to search local district websites to see vast differences in how schools interpret the meaning, purpose and value of character education. Neighboring districts vary from collaborative initiatives that span from kindergarten through high school, while others make no mention or do not seem to display much effort.

Why is there such a difference?

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By Bethany Wilson
College of Education Student, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Emphasis in English)

Throughout a student’s life, it is important that they are given opportunities to volunteer their time and energy to help better their community and the lives of the people around them. These community outreach opportunities provide ways for students to make a difference in someone else’s life and realize the beauty of selflessness.

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By Bethany Wilson
College of Education Student, Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education (Emphasis in English)

Looking back and reflecting on my own classroom experiences over the years, I have had the chance to recognize how many times my teachers would integrate good character qualities and model moral development throughout the day. While I never took a particular class about having good character, my teachers were effective in incorporating it into almost every lesson.

In fact, building character in the classroom is one of the most important jobs of a teacher. Students spend more time in school and the classroom than they typically spend at home, so there is significant value in taking the responsibility on as teachers to guide them in making correct choices.

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By Lisset Pickens, EdD, LPC, NCC, NCSC
Adjunct Faculty, College of Education

I remember hearing an explanation at church one Sunday of what it means to be empowered and to succeed with perseverance. It’s the story of a young woman who went to her mother to complain about her tough life. She struggled with overcoming her problems.

On the advice of her mother, she went to the kitchen where her mother grabbed three pots, filling them with water. The wise mother placed three pots on the fire and waited until they came to a boil. Then, she placed some carrots in the first pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot, allowing them to continue to boil.

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By Tracy Vasquez, MEd
Clinical Practice Specialist, College of Education  

As we consider this month’s blog topic, Growing Character in Children, it prompts me to think of our GCU students. I also can’t help but reflect on their diverse experiences regarding character education.

Having taught in elementary school, I know there are different options for character education programs in schools. Each program has a slightly different framework for building character traits in children.

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By Sidney A. Vineburg, EdD
Adjunct Faculty and edTPA Clinical Practice Mentor, College of Education 

“Hey, Mr. V!” Billy said as he came into my resource room at a small Midwest high school on a Monday morning. “Guess what? I didn’t get arrested once this weekend!”

For Billy, this is an accomplishment. He is an at-risk freshman whose parents taught him to drink and steal by the time he was 11. Weekends usually involved being drunk or high and fleeing from or being arrested by the police.

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