Character education is about the acquisition and strengthening of virtues (qualities), values (ideals and concepts), and the capacity to make wise choices for a well-rounded life and a thriving society.
Research has shown that students’ capacities beyond academic learning of knowledge and skills are important predictors of achievement, and that it proves useful once in the workforce. While knowledge and skills may or may not be used in future jobs, character qualities will invariably be applicable to a wide range of professions.
One way in which children can learn about good character is through the pages of high quality children’s literature. Literature is a powerful teaching tool. The characters children and young people meet in the pages of a book can have a profound influence on them, almost as strong of an impact as that of real people they know and meet. Good literature with character development themes has the power to develop, shape, and reinforce dispositions essential for instilling in students important core ethical values. Essential character traits in literacy-based character development include caring, compassion, kindness, empathy, citizenship, courage, fairness, honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, leadership, perseverance, respect, responsibility, team work and cooperation.