Character Development Initiative

Summary by: Patricia D, Ashley N, Isabella B, and Karim R

What is Character Development?


  • Education involves Character Development of the student as a whole person, in addition to academic achievement.
  • The vision of Character Development in the School Environment is based on 3 Commitments:
  1. Commitment to Share Responsibility
  2. Commitment to Student Engagement and Achievement
  3. Commitment to Community Building and Equality

“Character Development is the deliberate effort to nurture the universal attributes upon which schools and communities find consensus.”

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Roles and Responsibilities of Character Education

In order to make the Ontario Character Development Initiative a reality, there must be Roles and Responsibilities carried out by: the Ministry of Education, School Boards, Principals, Teachers, Parents and Students.

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“We teach respect by modelling; this is the greatest of all lessons and it has to be in place before learning in areas such as literacy and numeracy can happen. Character development needs to be a part of everything we do."

Implementing Character Development

Each school board has the primary responsibility to implement the Character Development Initiative. There are 8 key expectations that each school board is required to demonstrate. They are as followed:

1. Engage a diverse cross-section of the community in the development of the Initiative.

2. Create a community consensus on the attributes required for the Initiative.

3. Model character development practices that reflect academic, social and emotional domains of learning.

4. Incorporate ministry documents into the focus towards character development.

5. Teach and expect demonstrations of the selected attributes in all schools, classrooms and extracurricular activities.

6. Infuse character development into the policies, programs, practices, procedures and interactions in the board and schools.

7. Expand student leadership and engagement in the education process and their school communities.

8. Collect data regarding the implementation and impact of the initiative.

The 10 Universal Attributes of Character Development: ~ 1. Respect. ~ 2. Responsibility. ~ 3. Honesty. ~ 4. Empathy. ~ 5. Fairness. ~ 6. Initiative. ~ 7. Perseverance. ~ 8. Integrity. ~ 9. Courage. ~ 10. Optimism. ~

Essential Elements for Character Development

  • Character Development is a multi-tiered and multi-faceted that requires different groups to work together on a common goal of establishing a great student experience
  • Aside from the 10 attributes, there are 4 essential elements for creating positive learning cultures and school communities:
  1. Learning and Academic Achievement
  2. Citizenship Development
  3. Parent and Community Partnerships
  4. Respect for Diversity

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