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Character Development


Parents, schools and communities share the responsibility for and the benefits of developing our young people as caring, empathetic and involved citizens. Character development affirms the importance of respect in Ontario schools and beyond.

Character Development: Overall Goals

The goal of the Ministry of Education and the DSBN’s Character Development initiative is to develop school environments in which all people – students, teachers, administrators and support staff – treat each other with care and respect. This initiative is based on four essential components: academic achievement, character development, citizenship development and respect for diversity.

Specific goals include:

  • improved academic achievement
  • improved interpersonal relationships
  • safe and orderly schools
  • reduced behavioural problems
  • improved life preparation
  • improved employability skills
  • positive school cultures
  • responsible citizenship in classrooms, schools and communities

Links to document:

Character In Action

Student engagement is essential to the character development process. The meaningful participation and involvement of students is central to the success of the initiative. Formal and informal character development initiatives currently exist in a variety of forms across Ontario.

DSBN students demonstrate “Character In Action” through their participation in a variety of experiences. The following website links present an overview of some of the opportunities currently being provided within DSBN schools:

Links to Character Development websites:

“A quality education includes the education of the heart as well as the mind. lt means preparing students to be citizens who have empathy and respect for others and who will think critically, feel deeply and act wisely. Character development enhances employability skills, encourages civic engagement and prepares students to be contributing citizens in our increasingly global society. Character development is education at its best.”

(Information taken from Finding Common Ground: Character Development in Ontario Schools, K-12, June, 2008).

For more information contact:

Kathy Thompson
Character Education consultant
Don Reilly Resource Centre
905-227-5551 ext. 52307

Sue Ehgoetz
Administrator - System Support
Don Reilly Resource Centre
905-227-5551 ext. 52225