What the Election Says About Character Education


—Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty Images

Character development deserves more attention in our schools


Arthur Schwartz

Joe Biden wants to make this election about character. And why not? Even The Wall Street Journal editorial board recently opined that “Mr. Trump can’t win a character contest with Mr. Biden.”

Character has been a hallmark of national elections ever since 1800 when a newspaper editor supporting Thomas Jefferson attacked the “hideous hermaphroditical character” of President John Adams. Yet this year feels different. Never in our nation’s history has there been a presidential election where the virtues of honesty, empathy, taking responsibility, and norms of conduct are such hot-button issues for voters.

Character is having its moment.

But not when it comes to either party’s platform. While the preamble in the Democratic platform repeats Biden’s refrain, “Character is on the ballot in this election“, there is nothing in the

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Education is about character, values, and identity, not just how smart kids are, teacher says

Linda Taira standing in a room: Christine Ma-Lau, founder of JEMS Character Academy, in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP / Xiaomei Chen

Christine Ma-Lau, founder of JEMS Character Academy, in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP / Xiaomei Chen

Nature and nurture: My parents first met in high school in Hong Kong. Years later, when they met again in Toronto, Canada, they married. I was born there in 1981 and we moved to Hong Kong in 1985.

I went to kindergarten at an international school, which wasn’t a good fit for me. The teacher liked students who were outgoing, expressive, proactive and would sit at the front of the class and put their hands up. Aged six, I wasn’t like that. I was timid and would sit at the back of the room and take things in and observe but not actively participate. I was weak at maths and sport and felt left out at school because this teacher didn’t think highly of me. I didn’t enjoy school and didn’t want to

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Metro Detroit author starts homeschool program focused on character education, social skills

DETROIT – A Metro Detroit author started a home school when the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic first hit, but the focus is not on math or English.

The focus is on social skills that many parents are worried about with their children still being at home. The program has continued into the fall.

READ: Novi High School cancels in-person learning, activities after 5 students test positive for coronavirus

“I loved that communication before and after class, where they could ask questions, and it’s super interactive as well,” Maria Dismondy said.

Imagine a virtual classroom where students are getting lessons in how to work out sibling rivalry and that has a focus on rivalry and focus on diversity and mental health.

READ: Wayne-Westland school officials work to make sure students can learn remotely

Dismondy is teaching social skills in a virtual classroom. Sunnyside Homeschool focuses on positivity and mental wellness.

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