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No. 34 • January - June 2002 • Page 134
 •  Initiatives

Chicago, United States. Character education

On February 22, Dr. Thomas Lickona, a well-known educational specialist, gave a conference entitled «Forming your child’s character: ten key points for parents.» The conference was attended by parents of students at the Willows Academy and Northridge Prep, and other schools in northern Illinois. The Willows, a school for girls from ages 11 to 18, is known both for its academic excellence and its character education, centered on the acquisition of virtue. Conferences and seminars are held each year as part of its program for parents.

Dr. Lickona spoke about parents’ responsibility for setting high goals for their children in the area of human virtues. Many parents have doubts about their authority to educate their children in the virtues, especially if they themselves did not live them very well when they were young. Dr. Lickona explained that the parents’ authority is not based on a past life free of failures, but that it arises naturally with the birth of their first child. Parents receive from God the mission to exercise authority over their children, including the obligation to provide them with moral guidance. Dr. Lickona also emphasized the need for parents, as the primary educators of their children, to strive to practice the virtues themselves.

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