Bringing out Their Best: Values Education and Character Development through Traditional Tales

Bringing out Their Best: Values Education and Character Development through Traditional Tales

Bringing out Their Best: Values Education and Character Development through Traditional Tales

Bringing out Their Best: Values Education and Character Development through Traditional Tales

Excerpt

The traditional greeting in the Masai tribe is, “And how are the
children?” The traditional answer is, “All the children are well.”Meaning that peace and safety prevail, that life is good and that
the struggle for existence, even among a poor people, does not
preclude proper care for the young
.

Beginnings are important; in fact, they are the most challenging part of anything. Many times, “getting started” means creating something from raw material. Nurturing and teaching children certainly provides essential beginnings. Our children are our legacy to the world. That is why it is so important to develop their imaginations and abilities to visualize, and to provide stories that can serve as vaccination against future social pressures.

Violence in America has reached epidemic proportions and that is certainly reflected in our schools. In response, community groups and school systems throughout the country have been urging that more attention be directed to character development and values education. The dictionary defines character as “the aggregate of properties and qualities that distinguishes one person or thing from another, a trait, good qualities.” For the discussion of character traits, others often refer to morals, ethics, and values.

School districts throughout our country are presently focused on traits such as perseverance, trustworthiness, self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, and respect. Some character education advocates recommend that a national character education effort should also include citizenship, fairness, punctuality, and cleanliness, as well as manners.

Educators have long held that good character and good citizenship were at the core of the mission of public education. During the 1960s and 1970s, as sensitivity toward religious and . . .

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