Course Description

Module 03: Character

Understandings:

Character is defined as, "the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual". Martin Seligman's research shows that effective character education can lead to higher levels of student well-being. There are researched based methods to teach character through direct instruction. In addition, the manner in which teachers provide feedback to students can directly affect how students learn character.

Essential Question:

Can teachers help mold a student's character?

Knowledges that you will develop on Module 3:

  • Understand the science of character education.
  • What are the 24 character strengths?
  • Strategies to integrated character into your classroom and your school.
  • What is an embedded lesson plan that includes character development?
  • Let’s celebrate character day!

Senior Instructors

Dr. Mary E. Sanders & Eric B. Hamilton

Dr. Mary E. Sanders and Eric B. Hamilton have combined their strengths to develop a unique, research-based program for schools, teachers, and students to increase wellbeing and happiness. To create our curriculum, we have curated the findings of Dr. Martin Seligman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., among other leading positive psychology experts, into practical strategies that can be integrated into teachers’ personal lives, as well as their classrooms, enabling teachers and students to thrive.ERIC B. HAMILTONEric B. Hamilton is a veteran director for international schools around the world. Eric has spent his entire career enabling schools to be happier, more compassionate environments where both students and teachers thrive. His extensive experience in curriculum development and school leadership have enabled him and Mary to develop their courses using the most contemporary and research-based pedagogical methods.Eric has over 25 years experience in education as a teacher and leader. He attended the University of Delaware where he earned his B.S. in elementary education and middle school math. Later, he completed the master’s program at the University of Colorado in curriculum and instruction. He has been a dedicated practitioner of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga for the past 10 years.MARY E. SANDERSDr. Mary E. Sanders has been involved in the world of positive psychology, health, and wellness for more than 20 years. With certifications from the Wholebeing Institute in Positive Psychology and as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practitioner, she is highly qualified to lead teachers towards happier, more holistic classrooms.Dr. Sanders attended Eastern Illinois University and earned her B.S. in zoology and chemistry. She then attended Logan College of Chiropractic to earn her doctorate in chiropractic. Dr. Sanders is a certified yoga Instructor and has been a mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practitioner of over 25 years.

Course curriculum

  • 2

    Week 1: Science and Benefits of Character

    • Week 1: Introduction to Character

    • Science of Character - VIA Institute

    • Discussion: The Science of Character

    • Article: Ten Reasons to Focus on Your Strengths

    • Quiz Week 1

  • 3

    Week 2: Personal Transformation

    • Introduction to Personal Transformation

    • Take the Free Character Strengths Survey - VIA Institute

    • Applying Character Strengths in a Team

    • Article: Use Your Strengths at Work? Get S.M.A.R.T.!

    • Discussion: Character Strengths

    • Quiz Week 2

  • 4

    Week 3: Character Strengths in Education

    • Compare your Strengths with the Top 7 Teachable Strength in Schools

    • Download the 3 page Character Ranking

    • Discussion: How your Belief System Influences Character in the Classroom

    • Article: How to Teach Character in the Classroom

    • Character in the Classroom Sample

    • Introduction to Character Day

    • Let It Ripple - Character Day

    • Celebration of Character

    • Start celebrating Character Day!

    • Quiz Week 3

  • 5

    Final project - Lesson Plan and Evidence (due week 4)

    • Aviva Lesson Plan

    • Aviva Lesson Plan template.

    • Upload your Final Project

  • 6

    Week 4: Character Strengths in the Classroom

    • Classroom Connection: Developing Character

    • VIA Character Strengths Teacher Account

    • Apply the VIA Youth Survey with your Students

    • ​ELP: Teaching Grit in History Class

    • Quiz Week 4

    • Embedded lesson Plan (ELP)

    • Resources: VIA Strengths Posters

  • 7

    Rate and Review the Course

    • Rate and Review Module 03

  • 8

    References and Research Articles

    • References and Research Articles used in Module 03