Study Skills Blog


Posted October 19th, 2021

For me, the need for Character Education began with the speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963 during the ‘March to Washington’ rally in Washington D.C. when he stated he has a “dream that one day my four little children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Throughout his life he asked us to “remember that intelligence is not enough – INTELLIGENCE PLUS CHARACTER – that is the goal of true education.” In today’s multicultural and multilingual schools and society this has never been more important.


During my teaching career, I heard Dr. King’s message echoed from other highly respected progressive-thinking leaders, who motivated me to develop my own 2-hour Character Education training program in 2002. Today, Character Education is referred to as Social Emotional Learning (SEL). What I have learned from teaching this course to more than a thousand diverse high school students and teachers is that most people are admired and respected for their character than intelligence. In other words, attitudes are more important than aptitude in the determination of leadership, respect and admiration. In fact, research during the last decade has shown that good Character Education training contributes to the development of the ‘whole student’ in the following three important ways: Increases academic performance, reduces bullying and harassment, and improves health and well-being.


For the training to be effective and achieve those goals there are two very important pedagogical strategies that must be utilized during implementation: FIRST, the training must be ‘highly interactive’ because the students must provide the input and take ownership for the characteristics and attitudes they feel are most important to be admired and respected by others. SECOND, teachers need to be trained how to capture, analyze, and effectively use the student input so it clearly shows what Dr. King proclaimed 58 years ago, “intelligence is not enough, it’s intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.” When students realize that from their own input it makes a huge positive impact. Also, teachers need to be trained how to sustain and enhance that message throughout the year to change student behavior.


To learn more about our Character Education (SEL) training program and how it can be combined with our 21st Century Study Skills program to educate the ‘whole student’ in one day of exciting Professional Development training. Please look over the outline and benefits for these courses and contact me with questions. Thank you, Robert Goss, M.Ed:

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