Character Education: A Community Celebration

By Julie Kelly-Detwiler, Assistant Head of School

Ellyn Sunflower Hill“Character education programs, such as the Montessori Model of Education, teach children at an early age the important virtues of good character. By setting the foundation of moral thinking and action, American children will learn not only to be decent students, but also decent human beings. Good character qualities will surpass any time period or textual information learned, yet these qualities must be nurtured by trained and passionate individuals.” *

A Community Celebration of Character

Each year, Inly School hosts two school-wide celebrations of learning at which time parents and students celebrate learning at every level and in every classroom. The first celebration is held in the fall and focuses on some aspect of character education, the second, in the spring, celebrates academic learning, and both provide a wonderful opportunity for our community members to join together and share individual work framed by one big idea.

During the fall semester this year, at each level of our school, Inly students have been exploring aspects of character. In Children’s House, as students think about the roles they play in their friendships and school community, they also think about their local community, and learn more about the people in their lives that make a difference. In our Lower Elementary writing curriculum, students reflect upon small moments from their lives and the individuals who have impacted them in a purposeful manner. In doing so, students develop a deeper sense of self and a better understanding of the qualities of a community member through their personal experiences. In Upper Elementary, our students have engaged in an in-depth study on early America and have learned about the trades and tradespeople that built the strong foundation of this country and moved it forward. In Middle School, our students have spent the fall exploring aspects of character in literature, history, writing, and their internship experiences.

To culminate this exploration of character, Inly will be hosting a “Community Celebration of Character” on Thursday, November 21, 2013 for grades K–8. As an extension of their work in the classroom, each student has chosen a character to represent visually, and a project to share with the Inly students and parents from all levels.

If you are a current parent, please stay tuned for information about these presentations in the coming weeks. If you are a former parent or Inly community member, please stay tuned for a photo recap of this event in December’s Rhythm & News.

* excerpt from Lombardi, Emily (2009) “Character Education: Integration of an Ancient Theory,”
ESSAI: Vol. 7, Article 32.

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