Character Education Resource Center News You Can Use - April 2019

When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That’s if you want to teach them to think. – Bertrand Russell

About CERC

  • We offer character education elective courses for USD’s undergraduate and graduate students and teachers-in-training, as well as professional development (extension) courses that lead to a Specialist Certificate in Character Development.
  • We are a national and international resource center for educators and related groups. Our Motto: If we don’t have it, we can get it, or create it.
  • Our social media includes Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and our website.
  • We have a 14-member Advisory Committee of professors and elementary/middle/secondary school administrators and teachers.
  • We offer a Saturday Morning Seminar Series three times each semester.
  • We keep national and international constituents informed about character education and related topics and issues through a monthly newsletter and blog, and many, many emails.
  • We offer summer conferences on the topic “Why Character Matters,” inviting “experts” to engage with local educators and others.
  • We are listed on the California Department of Education Youth Development: Resources for teachers, parents, & other stakeholders.
  • We have an “ informal” partnership with The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation.
  • We are a member of the Bonner Center, Fresno State’s plan to establish a statewide network of educators to create modules on character and virtues education (including SEL and civic education) for credential and administrative/leadership programs.


Parent Involvment

Standards identified by the National PTA build on six types of parent involvement identified by Dr. Joyce L. Epstein of the Center on School, Family, and Community Partnerships at Johns Hopkins University include: Parenting, Communicating, Volunteering, Student Learning, Shared Decision-Making, and Collaborating with Community. The benefits of family involvement are: higher test scores, better grades, better attendance, higher levels of homework completion, more positive student motivation, and improved attitudes about school work. © 2019 Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)

Three essential elements for successful collaboration efforts are:

  1. Enthusiasm: a keen interest in the people and project and commitment to success. Enthusiasm signals care and commitment. When collaborators on a project care, they make efforts to surpass differences in style, skills, or training in order to contribute to mutual success. Engagement is infectious, and as team members demonstrate their interest and dedication they infuse that care in their surroundings.
  2. Open mindedness: a willingness to listen, explore, and be intensely curious. Open-mindedness is critical for everyone to contribute their ideas and perceptions. When team members speak out freely, disagreement and debate is guaranteed. People want a safe space to look stupid while thinking out loud or contradicting the group think. They don’t want to confront entrenched positions or group humiliation.
  3. Trust: belief in one another’s timely follow through and mutual safety. In the absence of trust people are defended and guarded. It is intellectually impossible to be both defended and connected. i.e., when members don’t trust they pull back and away from one another. Each member is silently thinking, “do I believe he/she has my best interest at heart?” A ‘yes’ answer generates trust, and a ‘no’ answer brings about detachment into safety. (Copyright Sagatica 2014--July 28, 2014 by staff)

Thinking Positively

According to the Mayo Clinic, positive thinking is linked to a wide range of health benefits including:

  • Longer life span
  • Less stress
  • Lower rates of depression
  • Increased resistance to the common cold
  • Better stress management and coping skills
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related death
  • Increased physical wellbeing
  • Better psychological health


The Question: Do teachers get better with more experience? 

This report reviews 30 studies concluding that teaching experience is positively associated with student achievement gains throughout a teacher’s career. Gains in teacher effectiveness associated with experience are most steep in teachers’ initial years, but continue to be significant as teachers reach the second, and often third, decades of their careers. As teachers gain experience, their students not only learn more, as measured by standardized tests, they are also more likely to do better on other measures of success, such as school attendance. Teacher effectiveness increases at a greater rate when they teach in a supportive and collegial working environment, and when they accumulate experience in the same grade level, subject, or district. More experienced teachers support greater student learning for their colleagues and the school as a whole.

CERC Advisory Committee Member, Bobbi Hansen, EdD., Associate Professor, Department of Learning & Teaching, has published a new book: The Heart and Science of Teaching: Transformative Applications that Integrate Academic and Social–Emotional Learning. The Heart and Science of Teaching shows readers why and how to connect essential social– emotional factors and critical cognitive aspects of learning for all students. Blending the latest research in education, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, this text is a practical resource that will assist K–12 teachers in creating an emotionally supportive classroom environment that makes a positive difference in student learning.

Book Features:

  • Explores the transformative power of SEL on student learning and well-being.
  • Highlights the critical importance of the teacher-student relationship in the classroom.
  • Examines the implications of current research in neuroscience for classroom teaching.
  • Describes evidence-based models of teaching and how they positively affect student engagement and learning.


    Edward DeRoche


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