CHARACTER COUNTS! 5.0 is based on the Josephson Institute’s Model Standards of Academic, Social, Emotional and Character Development. The standards provide the first comprehensive integration of three core domains comprising the mission of modern educational institutions.
Today, it is generally accepted that the fundamental purpose and duty of education is to prepare students to succeed in college and career, live happy and fulfilling lives, and become responsible and productive citizens. Thus, whether included in formal standards or not, educational institutions are expected to help students develop values, skills and character traits in three
1. Intellectual growth and performance (The Academic Domain)
2. Social/emotional intelligence and positive life skills (The Social/Emotional Domain)
3. Ethical and moral character traits (The Character Domain)
These Model Standards, integrating critical outcomes from each of these domains, draw heavily upon the most current research and theories concerning:
- Social, emotional and character development
- Creation of a positive school climate
- Behavior change theory
- Growth versus fixed mindset and research-based instructional strategies to teach high level learning skills, as well as the hands-on experience of thousands of educators involved in the Josephson Institute’s CHARACTER COUNTS! school and student development improvement efforts.
Among the more influential contributions seeking to broaden the educational mission and provide new strategies for developing a competent next generation with a strong moral conscience are the research, reports, recommendations and standards presented by the National Governor’s Association’s COMMON CORE Standards Initiative, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills’ Framework for 21st Century Learning: Student Outcomes and Support Systems, the Illinois State Standards for Social and Emotional Learning, the Kansas State Standards for Social, Emotional, and Character Development; ASCD Whole Child Initiative and the work of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL); Character Education Partnership, the Institute for Excellence & Ethics, the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, and the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention.
These standards are the result of a project of the nonprofit, nonpartisan Josephson Institute designed to provide states, school districts and individual schools with a comprehensive, fully integrated guide to the achievement of ambitious but realistic learning objectives in the academic, social/emotional and character domains. The Institute is committed to continually updating, and where appropriate, revising these Model Standards in response to experience and the suggestions and advice of thoughtful educators.