Character Education for the 21st Century

(Grades K-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 3T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC40129

Course Description

Does it often seem that students are lacking in how to show good character? Incorporating character education into your daily lessons can help your classroom run more effectively. Teachers work hard to help students become educated world citizens and whether they realize it or not, teachers are constantly modeling and teaching character education throughout the school day. This online course is designed to guide K-12 teachers through the six universal themes of character education — trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Teachers will explore how to incorporate each of the six themes into their daily lessons so that students are better able to make the right choices when confronted with problem situations. Throughout the course, teachers will learn specific strategies for incorporating the six universal themes of character into their daily lessons through the use of scenarios, classroom activities, service learning projects, and literature. Teachers will learn about the relationship between character education and bullying, and how behaviors can be managed by tapping into good character and strong, positive, inclusive best classroom practices. Finally, teachers will learn how to use restorative justice to put the onus of good character back on their students using conflict resolution and peer mediation. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident when embedding character education into their daily teaching. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I started my new year out by writing a respect agreement with my class. It is working great. I am so glad I took this class. I have been teaching the character traits to my students and it is really making a difference in the way our class community is treating each other." - Margaret Nicholson

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC40129
Unit One
  • Why teach character education?
  • Overview of the Six Universal Themes of Character Education
  • Universal Theme #1: Trustworthiness
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Universal Theme #2: Respect
  • Universal Theme #3: Responsibility
  • Universal Theme #4: Fairness
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Universal Theme #5: Caring
  • Universal Theme #6: Citizenship
  • Other Common Character Education Traits
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Using Literature to Teach Character
  • Integrating Character Education into Other Subjects
  • Service Learning
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • The Impact of School/Classroom Climate on Achievement
  • Strategies for Strong Positive Classroom Climates
  • The Importance of an Inclusive Community
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • The Character Education and Behavior Management Connection
  • The Relationship between Character Education and Bullying
  • Restorative Justice
  • Assignment #4: Develop an activity for each universal theme of character education
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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