The Upper Midwest's Character Curriculum and Assessment of Character Growth
To help students become caring, contributing, productive, and responsible citizens, the entire school program must reflect a clear commitment to helping students acquire the skills, attitudes, values, and knowledge to achieve the ideal. Citizenship development includes in-class instructional opportunities woven throughout the curriculum. For example, social studies classes may concentrate on the development of knowledge about and the history of our democratic institutions and principles and on the critical thinking skills necessary for competent participation in the democratic process. In family and consumer education, health education, and developmental guidance, a focus on individual and family health helps students develop the skills they need to enhance interpersonal relationships and social/emotional development. A renewed emphasis on the attitudes and commitments required to practice and live the core citizenship values is needed in all of our school curriculums and programs. The basis for all ofthese forms of citizenship education is the Declaration ofIndependence and the United States Constitution. These documents guide our constitutional democracy and will be realized if we take seriously our obligation to be good citizens.