Cracking the Character Code

EL Education Unveils K-12 Character Framework

NEW YORK, Sept. 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — How can schools build character in their students? After 25 years of partnering with public schools to transform teaching and learning, leading K-12 non-profit EL Education has developed a Character Framework that illustrates how the elements of a school can work together to develop effective learners and ethical people who contribute to a more equitable, better world.

For EL Education students, character is part of student achievement–something woven throughout every part of their educational experience: their lessons, their interactions, and their goals.

“Character is one pillar of EL Education’s three dimensional view of student achievement, which also includes mastery of knowledge and skills and creation of high-quality student work,” said Scott Hartl, President & CEO. “In our view of character, children become great scholars and great citizens through challenging and engaging work that empowers them to make a positive impact on their communities.”

Under the EL Education Character Framework, students build character by doing challenging work and reflecting on successes and failures. They become:

Effective learners who do more than they think possible, developing the mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life. (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration).
Ethical people who treat others with respect and compassion, and stand up for what is right. (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion).
Contributors to a better world putting their learning to use as active citizens, working for social justice, environmental stewardship, and healthy, equitable communities. They put learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service, advocacy).
These outcomes are the result of several critical layers of support, starting with the development of positive student identity:

Purpose through engagement in challenging and meaningful learning experiences.
Sense of Belonging as a valued part of an inclusive learning community.
Agency that empowers students to take responsibility for their own growth and leadership with their peers.
Student identity is forged by teaching and learning that includes:

Student-Engaged Assessment in which students track their progress toward standards-based goals.
Deeper Instruction through lessons and learning experiences that challenge, engage, and empower students in impactful work.
Compelling Curriculum that inspires all students to grapple with demanding, meaningful content and produce high quality work.
At the foundation of all of this work is:

Crew Spirit that emphasizes working together as a team for the common good.
Empowering Leadership among administrators, teachers, students, and the community that are committed to working together to ensure all students succeed.
In EL Education schools, leadership and all staff are committed to addressing issues of unconscious bias, understanding student experience, and decreasing societal, systemic bias to ensure that all students have the opportunity to develop their full potential.

“I hear colleagues sometimes say ‘We don’t have time for that SEL stuff.’ But what I think they miss is that if you don’t get at the heart of a child, they’re not going to learn,” said Dr. Diamond (Jack) Ford, Principal, Hollis Innovation Academy, an EL Education school in Atlanta, GA.

About EL Education
Developing great schools in diverse communities across America, EL Education promotes active classrooms that are alive with discovery, problem-solving, challenge, and collaboration. Founded in 1992 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in collaboration with Outward Bound USA, EL Education drives results: teachers fulfill their highest aspirations and students achieve more than they think possible.

EL Education’s expert educators work with public schools—both district and charter—across 35 states, serving over 200,000 students and 16,000 teachers in our school network and literacy partnerships. Rigorous impact studies by Mathematica Policy Research demonstrate that EL Education’s approach works: teachers significantly improve their craft and students achieve more, regardless of background.

Grounded in decades of in-depth work with educators, EL Education creates highly respected and widely distributed open educational resources, including an acclaimed literacy curriculum that has been downloaded more than 10 million times, the world’s largest collection of exemplary student projects, and hundreds of free online resources.

SOURCE EL Education

CONTACT: April Hattori, 646-517-6911, [email protected]


Associated Links

  • HGSE
  • mathematica policy research
  • Education
  • Learning
  • Behavior modification
  • Educational psychology
  • Pedagogy
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Philosophy of education
  • Music education
  • Sociomusicology
  • Culturally relevant teaching
  • Student voice

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