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Character education is a conscious effort, planned and directed through a learning environment, to promote the growth and development of all human potentials who have good character traits, have good morals, and have a positive and constructive effect on nature and society.


The definition of character education itself can be understood from each word separately. Education is a process of learning human habits, skills, and knowledge that is passed from the previous generation to the next generation. Character, on the other hand, is a collection of individual character, traits, and personality that lead to one’s beliefs and habits in daily life.


Without departing from their respective meanings, one can understand that character education is a planned effort to build an individual character so that they later become useful individuals both for themselves and for many people. Character education is closely related to moral education, the aim of which is to continuously mold and train one’s abilities to improve oneself and lead a better life.


character building function

Referring to the above understanding, character education has a fundamental function to develop one’s potential so that one can live life by being good. Within the framework of formal education, school character development serves to develop the character of pupils into strong, moral, tough, well-mannered, and tolerant personalities.


The three main functions of character education in school are:

  1. Creation and development of potential

To enable students to develop their potential for good thinking, a good conscience, good manners, and virtue.


  1. Strengthening and repairing

Enhance and strengthen the roles of individuals, families, educational units, communities, and government to assume their responsibilities and participate in developing the potential of groups, institutions, or society in general.


  1. Filtering

Character education is used to allow people to select and sort through their own nation’s culture to filter out other nations’ cultures that are inconsistent with the nation’s character values ​​and virtuous culture.


Character Education Goals

Character education also carries a specific purpose behind it. First, character education can improve the quality of implementation and quality educational outcomes. In addition, character education aims to create human resources that have a noble, competent, and moral character and endow students with emotional intelligence. Forming a nation that is strong, competitive, moral, and tolerant of difference is also one of the other goals of character education.


Elements of Character Education

Character education is conceptually an educational model that contains three basic elements with mutually supportive properties. The three are to know the good, want the good, and do the good.


The meeting point of these three elements is in the context of good. Because character education is an educational model based on creating human resources that are moral and have a good attitude.


The importance of character education

Because we know that the process of globalization will continuously affect changes in the character of society. Lack of character education will cause a moral crisis leading to negative behaviors in society such as promiscuity, drug abuse, theft, violence against children, and so on.


According to Thomas Lickona, there are at least seven reasons why commoners should be taught character education from an early age, namely;

  • It is the best way to ensure that students have good personalities and character in their lives.
  • This training can help improve students’ academic performance.
  • Some children cannot form strong characters in other places.
  • Can form individuals who respect and respect others and can live in a pluralistic society.
  • As an attempt to overcome the root of moral-social problems such as dishonesty, rudeness, violence, low morale, and others.
  • It is the best way to shape individual behavior before entering the work/business world.
  • As a way of conveying cultural values ​​that are part of the work of a civilization.


Character Education Values

So what are the cultural values ​​of the virtuous nation? The Ministry of Education and Culture has identified the values ​​of character education as a priority for developing character education empowerment. And the five main characters that define the importance of character education are:


  1. Religious

It is manifested in the behavior of implementing religious teachings and beliefs and respecting differences in religion and other beliefs


  1. Nationalist

Shown by appreciating the country’s own culture, protecting the environment, obeying the law, discipline, respecting cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity


  1. Integrity

Involves a responsible attitude, consistent actions and words based on truth, respect for individual dignity, and the ability to set an example


  1. Independent

Become a lifelong learner and use all your energy, thought, and time to achieve your hopes, dreams, and ideals


  1. Gotong royong

Students are expected to show respect for others, be able to work collaboratively, be inclusive, help one another, and have empathy and a sense of solidarity.


Examples of character education in school

The failure or success of children’s character development is influenced by several factors, including instincts, habits, heredity, and the environment. On the other hand, strengthening character education involves families, schools, and communities. Thus, as part of the environment, school plays an important role in the character development of children.


National character education can also be built up in school through everyday activities and the example of the teacher. Strengthening character education in schools can also be integrated through extracurricular, extracurricular, and in-school activities.


Strengthening character education involves literacy (thinking), ethics and spirituality (heart exercise), aesthetics (taste), and kinaesthetics (sports). Have these points caught our attention in conducting character education in schools?


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