• Behavior Response to Intervention (BRtI)

Character Education and the Second Step Program

  • Character education helps students know, care about, and act on core ethical values such as fairness, honesty, compassion, responsibility, and respect for self and others. Although there is no single formula for effective character education, the Character Education Partnership (CEP), a nonprofit coalition committed to fostering teaching and modeling positive character traits in schools, developed the Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education (Lickona, Schaps, & Lewis, 2003).

    These principles, cited below, serve as criteria that schools can use to plan an effective character-education initiative and evaluate character-education programs, books, and curricula. 1. Promotes core ethical values as the basis of good character In Second Step lessons, students study and discuss core ethical values such as fairness, honesty, compassion, responsibility, respect, and self-discipline. 

    2. Defines "character" comprehensively to include thinking, feeling, and behavior The Second Step curriculum helps develop students' critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and corresponding social skills, thus addressing the "head, heart, and hand" of character development. 

    3. Uses a comprehensive, intentional, proactive, and effective approach to character development The Second Step program is designed for schoolwide implementation. 

    4. Creates a caring school community The Second Step program is based on a foundation of empathy as the motivator for resolving conflict and managing anger.  

    5. Provides students with opportunities for moral action Second Step lessons are structured around stories that set up the concepts and skills to be explored in the program. 

    6. Includes a meaningful and challenging academic curriculum that respects all learners, develops their character, and helps them to succeed The Second Step curriculum uses active, engaging teaching and learning strategies, including photo-lesson cards, group discussion, role-plays, hands-on activities, songs and puppets (preschool/kindergarten), video vignettes (grade 1-5), and posters, to help meet the needs of a diverse student population. 

    7. Strives to foster students' self-motivation Empathy training in the Second Step program provides students with motivation and reasoning to solve social problems and manage anger so that others are not hurt by impulsive behaviors. 

    8. Engages the school staff as a learning and moral community that shares responsibility for character education and attempts to adhere to the same core values that guide the education of students The Second Step Administrator's Guide provides a framework for involving all adults in creating a positive school community.  

    9. Fosters shared moral leadership and long-range support of the character education initiative Second Step implementation is designed to start with the key decision maker, such as the principal or district administrator. 

    10. Engages families and community members as partners in the character-building effort The Second Step program supports schools in their efforts to involve and inform parents.

    11. Evaluates the character of the school, the school staff's functioning as character educators, and the extent to which students manifest good character The Second Step program includes tools to help schools assess program planning and training, lesson implementation, and schoolwide support, as well as teacher support of student skills and transfer of learning. 

    References Lickona, T., Schaps, E., & Lewis, C. (1995). Eleven principles of effective character education. Washington, DC: Character Education Partnership.

  • Our BRtI Leadership Team

    Mrs. Jennifer Rizzo- East
    Mrs. Misti Kohl- East
    Mrs. Lisa Anderson - West
    Mrs. Lori Peters- West
    Mrs. Amy Schneider- Central
    Mrs. Amy Tibbetts- Central
    Mrs. Trisha Anderson- Central