Statement on Teacher Education and Character Education

"The single most powerful tool you have to impact a student’s character is your own character"

Parents entrust their children to schools, into the care of teachers, for the purposes of education. With young people spending a considerable proportion of their time in schools, it is important to consider the qualities possessed by teachers who have such a formative impact on their pupils. What makes a good teacher? What kind of person must he or she be? It is not only the content of what teachers teach directly, but what they model in practice, as ethical exemplars, which is important. As David Carr (2007) argues, "it is often said that we remember teachers as much for
the kinds of people they were than for anything they may have taught us, and some kinds of professional expertise may best be understood as qualities of character".

The role of the classroom teacher requires much public trust and a greater level of moral responsibility than many other professions. Good teachers are expected to challenge pupils’ minds and shape their characters. As Thomas Lickona (2005) notes, "the humanity of the teacher is the most important moral lesson in the character education curriculum". Good teaching should cultivate the virtues and promote good moral character. Teaching that is grounded primarily in subject knowledge and teaching expertise, skill or "competence" does not capture the essential meaning of the occupation. 

Read the full statement here: