Character Counts


Character Traits

Developing positive character traits among youth is vital in today's society. Character Education should be infused into the climate and daily routine of schools. The Character Education Network aids in this effort by providing materials that teachers can use in an easy to understand format.

Many different schools, school districts and even states are now requiring that Character Education be specifically addressed in the classroom. Some organizations are even specifically listing the traits to be taught. The Character Education Network has identified the most common and broad-ranging group of character traits in cooperation with our development partners.

These character traits are:

Being accountable in word and deed. Having a sense of duty to fulfill tasks with reliability, dependability and commitment.

Pursuing worthy objectives with determination and patience while exhibiting fortitude when confronted with failure.

Showing understanding of others by treating them with kindness, compassion, generosity and a forgiving spirit.

Demonstrating hard work controlling your emotions, words, actions, impulses and desires. Giving your best in all situations.

Being law abiding and involved in service to school, community and country.

Telling the truth, admitting wrongdoing. Being trustworthy and acting with integrity.

Doing the right thing in face of difficulty and following your conscience instead of the crowd.

Practicing justice, equity and equality. Cooperating with one another. Recognizing the uniqueness and value of each individual within our diverse society.

Showing high regard for an authority, other people, self and country. Treating others as you would want to be treated. Understanding that all people have value as human beings.

A firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values. Being honest, trustworthy and incorruptible.

A love for and loyalty to one's country.

Are the traits you are looking for not here? See our traits correlation page to see how your selected traits fit in.

What is Character Education?

As defined by Dr. Thomas Lickona, character education is the deliberate effort to develop virtues that are good for the individual and good for society. The objective goodness of virtues is based on the fact that they:
  • Affirm our human dignity
  • Promote the well-being and happiness of the individual
  • Serve the common good
  • Define our rights and obligations
  • Meet the classical ethical tests of reversibility (Would you want to be treated this way?) and universalizability (Would you want all persons to act this way in a similar situation?).