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Keep It Simple, Make It Real
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Keep It Simple, Make It Real
Character Development in Grades 6-12

Edited by:

Foreword by Philip Fitch Vincent



May 2009 | 192 pages | Corwin

"This exceptionally well-organized, practical, and impressive work should be on every administrator's and character educator's desk. Olsson redefines the lens through which educators view the factors that impact school climate, teacher-student relationships, student behavior, and ultimately the character development of young people."
—Edward DeRoche, Director
Character Development Center, University of San Diego

"Needed in the character education movement for a long time, this book is written by a principal who's been leading the way and now shows how we can help students develop their character without sacrificing academic standards. It's easy to read, well organized, and, most important, contains hundreds of practical strategies that work."
—Hal Urban, Teacher and Speaker, Redwood City, CA
Author, Lessons From The Classroom

A powerful tool for influencing students' attitudes and behaviors!

Based on current research, solid theory, and real experiences, this resource provides school leaders with a comprehensive yet practical framework for creating and sustaining a schoolwide character development program. Real-world scenarios tackle tough issues such as vandalism, truancy, chronic tardiness, and bullying, and demonstrate how to bring about positive change. The book thoughtfully addresses factors that may keep students from developing positive attitudes and helps educators:

  • Evaluate student behavior, staff morale, and school climate
  • Target real problems with commonsense strategies that can dramatically turn around student behavior
  • Assess a character development program's effectiveness

 
Foreword by Philip Fitch Vincent
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
1. Living, Learning, and Leading in Harmony: Character Development in Middle and Secondary Schools
Current Perspectives on Character Development  
Introduction  
Current Perspectives on Character Development  
Academic Achievement and Students' Beliefs, Attitudes, and Behaviors  
Keept It Simple, Make It Real  
A Character Development Framework for Schools  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
2. Safe and Inviting Physical Environment: Physical Environments That Change Behavior
Aspects of the Physical Environment That Impact On Achievement and Character Development  
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Health  
Aspects of the Environment Affecting Safety  
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Physiological Needs  
Aspects of the Physical Environment Affecting Morale  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
3. Modeling Good Character: The Role of Principals and Teachers
Introduction  
Modeling the Three Es  
The First E: The Power of Experience  
The Second E: The Power of Exchange  
The Third E: The Power of Empowerment  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
4. Establishing Rules and Procedures for Civility: Creating a Positive School and Classroom Environment
Introduction  
The Need for Discipline in Establishing a Positive School Climate  
Progressive Discipline  
Positive Behavioral Interventions, Supports, and Consequences  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
5. Making Curricular Connections: Teaching Opportunities That Connect Student Learning to Character Development
Introduction  
Curriculum Priorities in Character Development  
The R.I.T.E. of Curriculum Passage  
Curricular and Cocurricular Opportunities That Connect Student Learning to Character Development  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
6. Assessing Character Development
Introduction  
Monitoring Character Development  
Creating the Assessment Tool  
Some Final Thoughts  
Quotes  
 
Resource A: Sample Character Development Framework for Schools: Trillium Lakelands District School Board
 
Resource B: Sample Assessment and Evaluation Tools for the Character Development Framework for Schools
 
Resource C: Sample Strategic Plan for Schoolwide Character Development
 
Resource D: Sample Lesson Plans
 
Resource E: Sample Assessment and Evaluation Poster Embedding Character Development
 
Resource F: Sample Code of Behavior
 
References

“Jan Olsson uses his experience as a teacher and administrator to offer educators and community leaders a must-read, what-works-and-what-doesn’t book on character development in schools. This exceptionally well-organized, practical, and very impressive work should be on every administrator’s and character educator’s desk. Olsson redefines the lens through which educators view the factors that impact school climate, teacher-student relationships, student behavior, and ultimately the character development of young people.”

Edward DeRoche, Director
Character Development Center, University of San Diego

"This is a book that's been needed in the character education movement for a long time, one written by a principal who's been leading the way. Jan Olsson lives up to his title by keeping it simple and by keeping it real while showing us how we can help junior high and high school students develop their character without sacrificing academic standards. It's easy to read, well organized, and, most important, contains hundreds of practical strategies that work."

Hal Urban, Teacher and Speaker
Author, Lessons From The Classroom

"Nuts-and-bolts advice supported by real-life examples makes Jan Olsson’s how-to manual an invaluable tool for school leaders. There are gems of wisdom here you won’t find in other character education guides."

Tom Lickona, Director, Center for the 4th and 5th Rs
Coauthor, Smart & Good High Schools

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface

Chapter 1


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