It is our belief as educators that parents and the family play the predominant role in teaching, modelling, and instilling character attributes in children. Parents are children's first teachers, and hold the position of greatest influence in their lives. Character development at school is intended to support efforts being made at home, and to meet the expectations of parents as evidenced in recent research studies.
According to the study "The Schools We Need" (2003), "the highest priority of parents is for schools to help students develop as responsible citizens and learn how to make ethical decisions." In the study entitled "Beginning Reading: The Views of Parents and Teachers of Young Children" (2004) parents consistently rated character development as a high priority.
Our vision for education in Ontario is one of excellence in academic achievement and the development of both character and the competencies of responsible citizenship. Developing character is a shared responsibility. There is a need for families and schools to work cooperatively to encourage students' learning and maturing as social beings. Students are at the centre of every thing we do. Family and school alliances are necessary to create a web of support for the continuous improvement of our schools. (Finding Common Ground 2008)
Together we can make this happen.
- It contributes to and is dependent upon a safe and caring learning environment.
- It calls for all members of the school community to model character attributes.
- It is embedded in a positive school climate, strengthened by clear behavioural expectations for everyone.
- It is reflected through the curriculum in multi-dimensional ways.
- It is embodied in the attributes identified through schools and communities.
- It culminates in personal and shared success as captured in the mission of the Lambton Kent DSB: Student Achievement / Community Success
Student Achievement is multi-dimensional, encompassing not only academic success, but the shared belief in the need to develop character and prepare students for their role in society as engaged, productive, and responsible participants.