“Intelligence plus Character – That is the goal of true education.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Sunday, February 9th, Relay GSE will launch, “Teaching Character & Creating Positive Classrooms.” Taught by Dave Levin (Co-Founder, KIPP; Co-Founder, Relay GSE), the course explains how educators and parents can bring psychology’s cutting-edge research on character into the lives of young people.
This journey starts with word choice. Instead of using the term “character trait,” try “character strength.” “Trait” often makes us think about fixed characteristics like eye color or height. But “strength,” or even “skill” implies that character can increase over time.
Most character strengths can be developed
Chances are that your favorite teachers helped you build character strengths. They provided you with opportunities to try hard after experiencing failure, to adapt to different social situations, and to believe that effort will improve your future. Experiences like these aren’t flukes; they’re transformational moments that when harnessed, can help a person flourish.
We’ve designed this course so that parents, coaches, teachers and school leaders can weave character lessons into their daily interactions with young people. We’ll start with a broad overview of the research, and then we’ll pivot away from the academy and get down to brass tacks. Along the way, we’ll shift the conversation from “Why teach character?“ to "How should I teach character?”. See subject matter experts speak to these points below.