Character Education and Service Learning

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What determines the components of a successful individual? Education is a critical part of what creates prosperous people, but positive character is just as important. "We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education. " (Martin Luther King Jr. quoted in Haynes and Thomas) Character is not an inherited trait, and it is also not a part of most common core curriculums. Therefore, service learning and character education should be implemented in schools along with civic learning (textbook learning) to provide the most beneficial tools in molding future members of society.
Character is defined as, the aspects of a person that identifies them (“Character”). As H. Jackson Brown once said, “Good character is more to be praised than outstanding talent. Most talents are, to some extent, a gift. Good character, by contrast, is not given to us. We have to build it, piece by piece -- by thought, choice, courage, and determination.” (Quoted in Khurana).
In order to achieve exceptional character an individual must possess the six pillars of character. These pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship (“The Six Pillars of Character”). Success in life depends on good character. As Abraham Lincoln stated, "Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”(“Character is like a tree and reputation like”). In this quote Abe infers that one’s reputation is a direct reflection of their character. As a person’s character changes so does his or her reputation; which makes character a vital component in life. One’s reputation determines the level of respect and opportunities...

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