1) What is Character Education all about?
The proposed Character Education is called PAWER LEARING, and this program adopts scientifically researched evidence-based ways to teach Character Education. The programme adopted pedagogy and delivery methods that was tested in renowned Universities both in Singapore (NIE) as well as other foreign universities.
Some of the benefits of the Character Education include (but not limited to):
- Increase the confidence of the participants and help them in developing a more positive personality.
- Help them develop a more positive attitude; develop strong character strengths like diligence, self-control, grit, resilience and a sense of responsibility.
- Help children to understand that these character strengths are entirely malleable (very much changeable) and in fact, they are skills that children can learn; they are skills they can practice, and they are skills they can be taught.
- Develop the attitudinal skills, inculcate values, habits, competencies and skills; developing focus and drive that will make students want to do well in their academic subjects.
- Help students understand themselves and live up to their full potential
- Greater inner power and strength
- Success achieved faster and more easily
- More happiness
- More energy
- The goal of the program is to inculcate values, habits, competences and skills in our students; develop the pre-requisites of success (skills-sets that are MUST-HAVE to succeed in academic and life)
2) Is it really necessary to enrol in this Character Education for my child?
Character Education is currently not systematically taught to all levels of students in most schools. Many homes are headed by working parents who are exhausted when they come home. Most children are ‘left to their devices’ as teachers / parents are more concerned about keeping up with the academic and CCA performance, particularly so in our ‘grades obsessive nation’. In this internet age, children are heavily exposed to negative influences such as gangs and violence on television, video games, and the internet. We see many children exhibiting worrying behaviour trends such as spending mindless hours on hand phones or devices, showing no interests in studies, not willing to work hard, playing the whole day even during exams etc.. Nagging and reprimanding children are certainly not effective ways to help children as they will feel more disengaged and will become more alienated and distant from their parents.
For the last 20 years, we have been working on finding the ‘best formulae’ and our research study in NIE/NTU showed that the ideas of motivation and attitudinal development for children can be taught and learnt in a classroom.
Character Strength like Self-control is definitely a skill set that we need to be teaching from a young age, along with social skills and other internal resources that we think are sometimes being put aside when we are focusing on other things like academic and sports.
Parents need to do more than bringing the children to academic tuition.
Parents need to bring children to the emotional side of character, where they feel and commit to virtuous behaviours, and to the action side of character, where children change inappropriate behaviours and practice positive moral actions.
We hope to work closely with parents as we gather feedback as well as provide the neccessary feedback on the child’s progress.
It is important that parents are able to inculcate values, habits, competencies and skills in their children, particularly social emotional learning (SEL) which is the acquisition of skills needed to recognise and manage emotions, develop care and concern for others, make responsible decision, establish positive relationships and handle challenging situations effectively.
3) What are the most appropriate age group of children suitable to join the Character Education programme?
The proposed Character Education programme is suitable for children as young as preschool k1/k2 to Primary level (p1-6) to Secondary Level (Sec1-5). Character Strength like Self-control is definitely a skill set that we need to be teaching from a young age, along with social skills and other internal resources that I think are sometime being put aside when we’re focusing on other things like academic and sports.
Research has shown that children will benefit the most if these character strengths are taught at preschool level, building the foundation of a child’s value system that will benefit them for a lifetime.
We recommend that all children should receive some effective form of Character Education before the age of 13.
4) How many sessions are there in the PAWER LEARNING (Character Education) programme?
In our Character Education programme, the programmes are categorized broadly into two (2) types; the Achievement Motivation Character Strengths (like self-control, grit, perseverance etc .. that helps your child to develop the capacity and learning disposition for higher performance in school and in life) and the other type of Character Education is Humanistic Character Strength (like respect, kindness, compassion, honesty etc … the good personal values system that makes an individual a better person.
We have identified 21 Character Strengths (pls see table below), and each Character Strength can be developed with many different meaningful storytelling sessions, games and fun activities, using our proprietary teaching methods and delivery methodology. Students can attend a whole year of weekly Character Education program sessions, with sessions themed on one Character Strength, rotated on each different week. Classes can be arranged on one or two or even four to ten sessions per run, each session is independently conducted with its own theme and activities, and prior knowledge of the previous lesson is not required.
We propose that all children should attend a ten (10) sessions Character Education program; these 10 sessions will equip the child with the skills-set and knowledge of the various essential Character Education attributes, comprising of both the Achievement Motivation Character Strengths and the Humanistic Character Strengths.
Your child may wish to attend more Character Education sessions to deepen and reinforce the skills-sets acquired after the 10 sessions.
|1.||Creativity||Originality, adaptive, ingenuity|
|2.||Curiosity||Interest, Novelty-seeking, exploration, openness|
|3.||Love of learning (Growth mindset)||
Mastering new skills and topics, systematically adding to knowledge
|4.||Bravery||Valour, not shrinking from fear, speaking up for what’s right|
|5.||Perseverance||Persistence, industry, finishing what one starts|
|7.||Kindness||Generosity, nurturance, ‘niceness’|
|8.||Social Intelligence||Aware of the motives / feelings of self, others, knowing what makes others tick|
|9.||Teamwork||Citizenship, social responsibility, loyalty|
|10.||Leadership||Organizing group activities, Encouraging a group to get things done|
|11.||Forgiveness||Mercy, accepting other’s shortcomings, Giving people a second chance|
|12.||Self-control||Disciplined, managing impulses and emotions|
|13.||Gratitude||Thankful for the good, Expressing thanks, feeling blessed.|
|14.||Hope||Optimism, Future-mindedness, Future-orientation|
|15.||Humour||Playfulness, bringing smiles to others, Light-hearted|
|16.||Responsible||Think before you act, consider consequences, be accountable|
|17||Positive Attitude||Do the best with what you have, never give up, adopt good attitude|
|18.||Respect||Courteous, polite, tolerant, appreciative and accepting of individual differences|
|19.||Good Citizenship||Obey law and respect authority, volunteer efforts, protect the environment|
|20||Empathy||Understand and share the feelings of others|
|21||Diligence||Concentrate and task-oriented, hardworking, putting in effort|
5) How long is the duration of each session?
Each session is usually about one hour (for preschoolers) and one and half hours (for Primary /Secondary level). There are variations of the programme such as holiday camps where the sessions are longer and it can stretch for a day long (8 hours) programme.
6) Can you tell me more about the Character Education class sessions?
The programme adopted largely the use of educational drama (story-telling and fun play) – using drama and storytelling for learning, challenging and thinking about life – about enabling students to understand different viewpoints or perspectives by exploring issues, questions or ideas through dramatic forms or devices.
Drama and Storytelling assist the learning process by enabling students to engage actively with their subject matter. Story-telling instils good listening habits and develops concentration and a longer attraction span. Story-telling ignites the imagination. The excitement of story-telling can instil in children a sense of wonder about life and learning. It’s easy to make the connections. Kids are much more motivated to learn when they think of it as fun and exciting.
Children taking part in the storytelling and drama will be applying their existing knowledge to the situation (checking on their existing understanding of what they know about values), acquiring new knowledge and theories from the action of others, and developing new thoughts and responses in ways which would never arise from listening to an account. There is much evidence to support the hypothesis that all these things will also be retained more efficiently in the long-term memory because of the interactive nature of the learning process.
The programme adopts largely a child-centred approach (the subject-matter and form of the programme centre on the child’s needs, abilities and potential, and are carefully geared on the children’s intellectual level and experience. Use of play (the programme uses the child’s natural enjoyment of joy, that will bring refreshment, vitality and are useful in improving students’ ability to communicate through speech and writing and in nonverbal ways as well. They are the energy sources, helping students develop skills in concentration, problem solving and group interaction). The essence of methodology adopted with the storytelling and drama approach is that pupils learn by experiencing practical application of real contextual situations that are relatable to the students and then draw lessons for inspiration. This experience is physical, mental and emotional and through this total involvement the pupils learn by discovery.
7) Tell me more about the scientifically researched evidence-based ways to teach Character Education.
The founder, Mr Kelvin Goh has benefitted greatly from the world’s top motivational gurus with the likes of Anthony Robin, Brian Tracy etc. With his humble background staying in 2-room rented flat in his younger childhood years (poverty by Singapore’s National Standard), the family was more concerned about putting food on the table rather than education. He failed all subjects in his O level. He learnt the motivational and attitudinal development skills-sets from these motivational gurus and set on a character transformational path to breakthrough limiting beliefs patterns and achieve exceptional academic results (from all Fs to all As).
These motivational gurus only work on adults and older children (teens) and there are no such programmes for children. Educational research all points to the fact that character education should start early in the child’s life (best to start during the foundation preschool years and preferably before 13 years of age). With that in mind, Mr Kelvin Goh decided to fill that void by creating a Character Education programme for children; that builds the knowledge and learning disposition to develop the Achievement Motivation Character Strengths and the Humanistic Character Strengths.
Mr Kelvin Goh worked on the educational research programme with NIE/NTU on his Master’s Degree thesis, to test the effectiveness of his proposed Character Education programme (known as PAWER LEARNING). The experimental research involved five Primary Schools and the research shows that the programme is effective in improving the attitudes, locus of control, time management, self-esteem and study skills of the experimental group students. On the other hand, the control group students experienced a “decline” in the statistical results of the five variables. The ratings of the experiment. students on the perception of the effectiveness of the programme showed very favourable responses. These indications showed that the treatment did have an impact on the programme participants and that achievement motivation and study skills can be taught and learned https://www.character.sg/thesis/
Mr Kelvin Goh continued his research on effective Character Education and found that there are many proven effective Character Education programmes in other more established Universities and foreign institutions. He then formed a team with other like-minded individuals and advisors and together, they researched the essence from the best Character Education researchers and curated and developed the most effective Character Education programme in Singapore.
8) I'm interested in signing my child up for the programme but I'm not sure I can persuade him/her. What should i do?
All you need to do is to persuade your child to attend the first day of our workshop. The storytelling sessions are so fun and engaging that we will assure you that they will be coming back for more.