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A student centered approach to ethical literacy


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Join the St. George's Ethical Literacy team from Memphis, TN as they tell the story of their journey into ethical literacy. Through its student centered approach, St. George's seeks to empower students for positive change in the community. Attendees will come away with practical ideas, activities, and strategies for advancing their own ethical literacy goals and empowering their students to take the reins.

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A student centered approach to ethical literacy

  1. 1. A Student-Centered Approach to Ethical Literacy Encouraging Student Empowerment Chris Cooper St. George's Independent School Collierville, TN
  2. 2. What are some tools that we use to teach values and appropriate behavior in schools?
  3. 3. Background - EL at St. George's 2008 - joined IGE. Already had shared values (HDR). Began educating faculty on EL verbiage and ideas. 2010 - Implemented a more structured plan in the Middle School (GO-HDR). 2011 - Lower School implemented a structured plan (DRAGONS) 2012 - changed to GRYPHONS 2013 - A team from rising 9th graders to design a student Ethical Literacy plan for the upper school.
  4. 4. Imagine you are tasked with designing a school-wide program for supporting positive behavior or promoting "good" values. Outline the steps to creating that plan. Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, etc...
  5. 5. PBIS or SWPBS anyone? "The underlying theme is teaching behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject." Many schools and whole states have created Positive Behavior Intervention & Support Plans. There are many variations on this theme. MIssouri, Michigan, Vermont, Wisconsin, Maryland, Maine, Illinois, Florida, N. Carolina to name just a few! Most are consistent with
  6. 6. PBIS for Beginners
  7. 7. The Missing Link: Student Empowerment Cline and Fay, Parenting with Love and Logic, ch. 6 "Giving even the smallest children a certain amount of freedom and control over their lives instills in them the sense of responsibility and maturity we want them to have. Independence helps children learn about the real world as their wisdom grows from the results of their decisions." Rushworth Kidder, Good Kids, Tough Choices, p. 70 Kids need to "grapple with tough dilemmas and engage mentally with various arguments for right and wrong." Brown and Knowles, What Every Middle School Teacher Should Know, p. 48 “Adolescents’ skills in moral reasoning improve when they are able to reflect successfully on their behaviors and ascertain the effects on others and themselves.”
  8. 8. Effectiveness through Empowerment Ethical fitness comes from the experience of weighing personal values and "grappling" with decisions.(Ex. Dilemma = two conflicting values) The most valuable lessons come from "real life" experiences. Control = Ownership. Give kids more control and they will take ownership. Responsibility comes from independence. Making decisions without being told what is best promotes responsibility.
  9. 9. Giving Kids the Reigns...what could go wrong? - Challenges and difficulties for faculty? - Possible negative outcomes? - Potential for being ineffective? Talk in groups then report.
  10. 10. What does Student-Centered Ethical Literacy look like? Students have input into shared values. Students design positive supports (activities). Student leadership team models shared values to student body. Students gain real life experience dealing with dilemmas (ex. the bystander scenario). Positive peer pressure (accountability). Any more?
  11. 11. SK Writing Center
  12. 12. GRYPHONS Sticker
  13. 13. Instagram Bullying Announcement
  14. 14. Using Google Presentations to collaborate on a chapel presentation.
  15. 15. Google Presentation
  16. 16. MS Honor Council 2012-2013 Theme & shirt "Be Courageous" Middle School Honor Council students designed the shirt, collected money, tallied the orders, sorted and delivered the shirts.
  17. 17. MS Honor Council 2012-2013 "Be Courageous" Video
  18. 18. MS Honor Council 2013 Ethical Reasoning Exhibition
  19. 19. MS Honor Council Prepares Friday Announcements
  20. 20. MS Honor Council Friday Announcements
  21. 21. 5th grade Citizenship Council - Students choose their own duty Ex. Recycling, tech team, chapel leaders, cubby cleaner, reading buddy, early morning room, aftercare. - Always look for new duties as needed - Every person rotates onto the citizenship council - Duties are performed autonomously (mostly). - They train each other with each rotation - Each group leads a chapel for one grade level (ethical literacy themed) - Self-directed video
  22. 22. GRYPHONS Video Created by SGIS 5th Grade Citizenship Council
  23. 23. MS Honor Council 2011-2012 "It's Your Life" Video