April 16, 2014 18:33 Age: 4 yrs

Building Future Leaders: Five Resources for Character Education

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At Achievement First, we work to make sure all students gain the academic and character skills they need to graduate from top colleges, to succeed in a competitive world and to serve as the next generation of leaders in our communities. That’s why we teach character skills as explicitly as we teach academics.

Each week, our school teams at Achievement First spend one afternoon focused on professional development. We at AF care about constant growth and reflection, and we want to make sure all of our teachers have the resources they need to build their careers. This week, we offer five character education resources recently shared with Achievement First teachers:


  • Are you looking for an easy way to keep track of your elementary school students' character development? This Achievement First REACH rubric is a great tool for monitoring growth in behavior and citizenship.
  • This TNTP resource includes several methods for encouraging positive behavior and recognizing student character growth through a "Caught Being Good" campaign.
  • How do you measure something as complex as the stages of character development? Achievement First approaches character education using Kohlberg's theory of moral development, which identifies six stages, from level one (whereby moral action is motivated by the external rewards or the desire to avoid getting in trouble) to level six (whereby students do right as guided by their internal ethical codes).
  • Paul Tough, author of "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character," answers a Washington Post reporter's questions about the importance of teaching non-cognitive skills.
  • Do you want to celebrate character development with a special assembly? This Achievement First REACH Circle template provides a schedule for an engaging ceremony.
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