This is a sampling of the breakout sessions offered at this year’s Forum:
School Safety, Climate and Culture/Bullying Prevention
Using Data to Drive the Development of Character and Culture
This session shares the Culture of Excellence & Ethics Assessment (CEEA) assessment process as a practical strategy for driving the development of character & Culture. Participants will see applied case studies using the CEEA tools and processes from K-12 schools across the U.S. and internationally for creating an intentional culture of safety and engagement.
Reduce Bullying By Teaching Empathy and Transform School Culture
Kalyn Mace-Guilloux, Helen Stiff-Williams
Lifelong negative effects of bullying compel schools to implement a comprehensive approach. See how to reduce bullying, advance awareness of youth sexual abuse/assault by teaching empathy and crafting restorative justice discipline policy to replace ineffective zero-tolerance policies. Apply the Systems Change Process to transform your school culture. The five-step process addresses character development to connect students as caring members of the school. Receive handouts on evaluating, designing and improving prevention programs to reduce bullying and other negative behaviors, while “growing” the character of bullies, victims, and witnesses.
Strengthening School Climate: A Framework for Safer Bully-Free Schools
Bullying, cyberbullying and harassment related incidents continue to negatively impact schools, affecting student achievement and character. This presentation will showcase the benefits of a whole school climate approach as the” bricks and mortar” for building safer and high-performing schools. This presentation will provide resources including; best-practice prevention strategies, effective discipline policies/practices, programs that reduce bullying, improve school climate and boost academic performance, all within a comprehensive whole school climate framework. Handouts will be available and group interaction will be utilized.
Academic Integration/CE and the Common Core
That’s YOUR Perspective! Using Characters to Build Character
When character education and literacy are linked in schools, all students establish their voices and express themselves as they read, write, and speak in a safe classroom and school community. Learn about six character education themes -Identity Awareness, Perspective Taking, Conflict Resolution, Family, Friends and Community, Social Awareness, and Democracy-and how to link them to culturally responsive literature. We will highlight perspective taking using characters from award winning books in this interactive session.
Making it Work! Developing an Effective, Viable Character Education Initiative
Margaret Rose Goodman
Learn how to develop or strengthen a viable character education initiative that meets the needs of your learning community. Workshop participants will explore essential elements and best practices in character education. Time also will be devoted to how character education can be embedded in the curriculum, especially through the medium of quality children’s literature and lesson plans which incorporate ELA Common Core content skills and understandings.
Character Curriculum Integration: Teaching Strategies
The best way to successfully implement an effective character education program is to ensure it fits with your existing curriculum and activity models, not adds to them. The most successful implementations are when character education is the plate, not another item to add to it. This session describes how schools can combine academic, social and emotional learning and character development into one fully integrated program.
Character at the Core
How do you relate the responsibility of decisions at the Presidential level to the social responsibility of students? How can students improve their understanding of graphs by plotting school year highs and lows on an x/y axis? This workshop will introduce a variety of engaging strategies for integrating character education and academic themes and offer differentiated learning “modalities” that educators can use to engage students more deeply in day to day learning and character development.
The Mindset Revolution: How a Change in Mindset Can Radically Improve Character Education
What do the world’s happiest and most successful people have in common? Scott Shickler and his team spent many years researching, interviewing and studying thousands of success stories across the globe, and what emerged were seven mindsets that have literally changed the course of people’s lives. In this presentation, Scott will introduce the 7 Mindsets, discuss actual strategies for applying them to your schools, and how sharing them with your students will have a positive, long-term impact on their success.
Developing Resiliency: The Power of Words and Music
How do we develop resiliency in students, instilling protective factors that can help them bounce back from trauma, stress or change? How do we reinforce social-emotional development that will impact academic achievement? This session will elaborate on ways to develop resiliency in young students by focusing on three critical protective factors; attachment, initiative, and self control, using the tools of music and song. The session will include sample video clips, sharing of resources, and audience participation using the resources.
Telling HERstory: Empowering Adolescent Girls To Find Their Voice
A 2012 CEP Promising Practice, HERstory is a preventative intervention that fosters the identity formation and future orientation essential to healthy character development. This after-school initiative employs community building, writing workshops and creative output (an ethnographic theater production and/or literary journal) to explore central themes of adolescent female character development. Through the exploration of evidence-based curriculum and a hands-on practicum that will offer a takeaway toolkit, participants will have the opportunity to make some HERstory of their own.
Everyday Ethics: Values and Decision Making
Barb Bergseth, Joyce Swenson
What guides your decision making? How do values affect your ethical behavior? When values underpin our decisions, ethics is at work in our everyday lives. Join us for an interactive session where participants will identify their core values, learn a five-step ethical decision making process and apply the new process to examples of ethical dilemmas. Take away new skills to use with your staff, students and families.
Family and Community Involvement
From Theory to Practice: Success of State-Wide Regional Centers in Spreading Character
William Trusheim, Eileen Dachnowicz, Nina Kemps, Cynthia Westhead, Mona Noyes
How can schools help one another in shaping quality character programs? Three regional centers, established by the New Jersey Alliance for Social, Emotional, and Character Development, have found that teaming, coaching and sharing strategies have helped educators in this large state hone their programs. This workshop provides an update on this initiative that has been instrumental in producing 11 NJ Schools of Character. “Teachers from the Trenches” will share their progress, and an interactive audience session will explore challenges, solutions and successes.
Implementing and Sustaining a Comprehensive, Community-based Character Initiative
This presentation will illustrate how to do use research-based strategies to develop, implement and sustain a comprehensive character initiative. Particular attention will be given to the importance of identifying and nurturing leaders and involving school-community stakeholders. Specific examples from Peters Township School District, A CEP 2010 National School District of Character will be shared. In addition, information regarding how traditions and effective communication strategies serve to sustain a character initiative will be provided. No Tune Left Behind will participate as panelists and share insights from the teacher and student perspectives. Raising Children of Character: 10 Things Parents Can Do Tom Lickona Drawing on stories from his own fathering experience, four decades of working with parents, and contemporary childrearing research, psychologist-educator Tom Lickona will describe and illustrate 10 tested principles of promoting character development through everyday family life. He’ll also describe 10 strategies for reaching out to parents to strengthen the school-home partnership. Handouts and recommended resources included.
Service Learning/Student Voice
The 9/12 Generation Project
Lori Sullivan Mia Toschi Maria Davis
The 9/12 Generation Project is a Service – Learning project that provides teachers with lessons on character and critical thinking. The Project focuses on nine core values: citizenship, compassion, kindness, resilience, humanity, diversity, volunteerism, empowering survivors, and transforming tragedy into hope. Through these core values and engaged service students learn how to break out of identity roles such as the bully, the victim, and the by-stander in a safe environment. Students learn how their peers have survived and rebuilt after natural or man-made disasters like 9/11. The 9/12 Generation Project is a toolbox of opportunity to reduce aggression and offers valuable resources for teachers to discuss 9/11 through the kind acts of 9/12.
Service Learning: It’s the Real Thing!
Pam Mitchell, Jennifer Braafladt, Marie Sumrall
Empower your learners to change the world as they serve others! Hear from a first grade educator, fourth grade educator, and principal about how to move your campus from performing great community service to creating authentic, meaningful service learning projects. Participants will walk away with a planning template and a number of practical ideas as well as an understanding about how to develop incredible SL projects in grades K-5 using a Project Based Learning model.
Becoming Proactive about Academic Integrity: A Service-Learning Project for Secondary Schools
Students and educators are invited to participate in a session that uses the strategy of service learning to proactively advance academic integrity within the school community. Many studies confirm the epidemic of cheating in our secondary schools and colleges. Research has also revealed the topic of academic integrity is best advanced as a collaborative effort of adults and students. This session will support the drafting of a service-learning plan as a student-adult collaboration to promote academic integrity and resist the widespread practice of cheating in all its forms.