“Eight Dos and Don’ts”: An
for Character Education Curricula Design
Dept. of Educational Management, SE, BNUZ He Wenchao
President Hu Jintao made a significant speech on 4th March , which was notable for his views of points on character education—“Eight Dos and Don’ts”, also known as “socialist concept of honour and disgrace”.
During these days, “Eight Dos and Don’ts” has become a hot topic in the society, especially in educational circles, as President Hu said that everyone in the society should learn it and apply it, especially children and adolescents. At the mean while, all levels of the government of
As a package of virtue standards, “Eight Dos and Don’ts” is welcomed and accepted by most educators in
Further more, “Eight Dos and Don’ts” seems that the central government is turning the policy on national character education, from more political to basically integrated. In the pass, every big saying from the leaders such as Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaopin and Jiang Zemin tended to spread their own political thoughts. However, “Eight Dos and Don’ts” seems neutral! For example, it doesn’t demand people to love Socialism, but to love the motherland instead. This is an important reason for educators’ acceptance. So it is said that “Eight dos and don’ts” will be valuable resource and an opportunity for character education curricula design.
II. CIS—Character Identity System
These days, every school is planning how to response the governments’ orders on the standards. They hold speech competitions, writing competitions and colloquiums and, hang banners and posters in the campuses. Gradually, their CIS—Character Identity Systems appear, which include MI—Mission Identity, BI—Behavior Identity and VI—Visual Identity. These concepts are borrowed from business theories, which are helpful for us to discuss here.
Character Identity System here is the entire environment of school focusing some values in character education. To take “Eight Dos and Don’ts” as an example, MI is the specific target of the educational activities on the sayings, BI is the specific behavior that cultivated from the course of applying the demands, such as all the students’ and teachers’ serious frugality in a period, and VI is the specific appearance during the education of the topics.
Thus, once a school grabs a peace of expression of important value, and plans relative measures to apply it. Then it is easy to set a Character Identity System for its students, teachers and the concept of the entire school.
So those who can apply the sayings into everyday teaching are to set an environment of character education for the students, including the factors such as the expression of beliefs, a set of right behavior and the decoration(we can also call it curriculum materials). These entire make up a school’s CIS— Character Identity System that we call here, instead of Company Identity System.
Then in the next chapters, we discuss how to set up a CIS for a school with the opportunity of “Eight Dos and Don’ts” grabbed.
III. Strategies for Primary Schools
Zhu Zhixian, a psychologist, pointed out that primary school students’ characteristic of thought was that it developed from material thought to abstract thought.
Since we recognize that the “Eight Dos and Don’ts” are formal expression of character, but not stories, cartoon and etc. And we also see that the lower the grade, the less abstract concepts the students can accept from the chart above. This means that in primary school, the decoration should display “Eight Dos and Don’ts” just by characters, but with pictures and stories. And when we design the character education curriculum for primary school students, we should pay attention to evaluating their comprehension of the concepts.
For pupils, the expression of “Eight Dos and Don’ts” should be set as a symbol that helps to remember the concept rather than as materials that students should recite. To let them be more easily comprehended, teacher can design activities that the pupils can experience.
We should emphasize the relation’s and the atmosphere’s value in character experience education. And according to the psychological development of pupils, experience plays the important role in cultivating virtue. However, it doesn’t mean that we just can teach them through various activities. We also can mix the character education and subject curricula.
For example, physical education teachers can conclude principles to their students during exercises. When teaching playing basketball, teachers are to find the opportunity to explain the importance of being united and helping each other, and then tell them that this is one “Do” in “Eight dos and don’ts”.
IV. Strategies for Secondary Schools
Considerable psychologists have pointed out that teenagers’ self-awareness achieves the second summit in their life (the first appears when they are 0 to 3 years old), with the characteristics of the abundance of inner mind. During this period, especially in the beginning of middle school, students are focusing their own thoughts and emphasizing their inner discovery.
So teachers are not recommended to teach character curriculum directly. Instead, provide more questions for them and let them think and conclude by themselves. For example, to teach “Be honest and trustworthy”, teachers can provide students the opportunity to express their own opinions on this topic, which is helpful for their virtue cultivation against their treachery psychology.
Then we turn to high schools. The national college entrance examination is a real threat to our character education. Because it demands that students should remember and analyze the principles that provided in the text books. Further more, political thoughts are also considered as the important content for high school’s character education according to the central government’s demand.
Once “Eight dos and don’ts” comes out, the written examinations must include this. And students must focus how to express rather than how to apply. This trouble lots of teachers in
The national college entrance examination always has bad influence on high school’s character education. Nobody can change this situation because so many students want to go to colleges, but the opportunity for college entry is still not enough.
So the only strategy that I recommend is that teachers should set a good example for students to tell them how to be good citizens. Then students learn from the examples through their behavior indirectly. And Senior 3 teachers can make more speeches in the classroom on character education during their preparing the exam in the last few months, which may contain being unremitting, adamant, conscientious, honest and disciplined, etc.
There’s no doubt that “Eight dos and don’ts” is becoming a highlight of character education in
The most urgent arrangement that we educators have to carry out is to analysis the connotation of the mottos and to design a blue print of a new development for character education system in school. We ought to consider it a opportunity to introspect whether our current character education system is going well with the society’s situation and, to design and hold a new form to provide it for children and adolescents.
 Associated Press translated them as: Love; do not harm the motherland. Serve; don’t disserve the people. Uphold science; don’t be ignorant and unenlightened. Work hard; don’t be lazy and hate work. Be united and help each other; don’t gain benefits at the expense of others. Be honest and trustworthy; don’t chase profit at the expense of your values. Be disciplined and law-abiding, don’t break laws and violate disciplines. Know plain living and hard struggle; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasure.