Mr Kemp NZ

What is School? What is Good Character?

#whatisschool will be fast and action packed as we welcome Laura Hill back – my #whatisschool partner in crime and co-founder! She has been away for most of 2016 but is back and ready to inspire once more. Come and join us this week to discuss what makes good character and how we can support and cultivate it in our schools.

It is such an honor to have Adam join me this week. Adam is a principal in Virginia, USA. As a 2016 ASCD Emerging and Influence Leader, he strives to learn from educators around the world in order to make a bigger impact on students. defines the pillars of good student character as Trustworthiness; Respect; Responsibility; Fairness; Caring; and Citizenship, going on to say that each of the six character traits helps create a positive learning environment for students and a “culture of kindness” making schools a safe environment for students to learn.

While this is true, students do not always come to class with these traits instilled and it falls to the teacher to integrate them into lessons, which is not always an easy task.  So how do we teach good character?

John Holt, one of the leading US educational and social critics, was the author of ten influential books that were translated into fourteen languages before his death in the mid 1980s.  In his book, How Children Fail, Holt questions the meaning of good character and it’s interpretation by educators saying,

Teachers and schools tend to mistake good behavior for good character. What they prize is docility, suggestibility; the child who will do what he is told; or even better, the child who will do what is wanted without even having to be told. They value most in children what children least value in themselves. Small wonder that their effort to build character is such a failure; they don’t know it when they see it.


This week we invite you to join #whatisschool as we explore the true meaning of Good Character and strategies to integrate it into lesson plans that are both meaningful and effective to educators already burdened with large class loads, new technology, and standardized testing.

Remember that our chat times for around the world are:

  • Thursday 3pm Pacific Time
  • Thursday 5pm Central Time
  • Thursday 6pm ET 
  • Thursday 11pm GMT
  • Friday 12am CET
  • Friday 7am Singapore/MYT/WA (Perth) Time
  • Friday 10am AEDT
  • Friday 12pm NZT

Make sure you put this week’s chat in your diary and if you are not already signed up to our ‘Remind’ notifications – click here. We will send you an email or a FREE SMS just before our chat begins :)

Join the conversation on Thursday 1 December at 6pm ET (Thursday 11pm GMT, Friday 10am AEDT, 12pm NZT, 7am Singapore) as we discuss What Is School? #whatisschool

Questions #whatisschool, December 1, 2016 6PM EDT

1) How do you define good character?

2) To what standards of good character do you hold your students and your colleagues?

3) How can you teach good character?

4) What teaching strategies can you use to integrate “good” character into curriculum areas?

5) What role does technology play in character education?

6) Share your successes, resources and links in relation to character education.

About author View all posts Author website

Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Global EdTech Consultant based in Singapore but working with Schools and EdTech companies all over the world. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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