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Back to Oct. Ed Reporter

Education Reporter
NUMBER 165 THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS OCTOBER 1999

Book of the Month

Maturing in Body and Character, LeAnna Benn and Alfred J. Derby, M.D.,Teen-Aid, Inc., 1999, $69

Maturing in Body and Character is an upper elementary or middle school curriculum for teaching character education. It uses the concepts outlined in the Personal Responsibility Act, which was signed into law by Congress in 1996 to establish requirements for teaching abstinence education.

Part I of the curriculum lays the foundation for good character which will enable students to make appropriate choices as they mature.

Part II discusses why young people should postpone sexual activity until marriage, as well as how to wait. Students will learn the benefits of abstinence along with the potentially harmful physical and psychological consequences of sexual activity. The curriculum also teaches children how to reject sexual advances and how drug and alcohol use can make it more difficult to resist such advances.

Maturing in Body and Character identifies information adults need to understand about the character training process, and outlines steps for students to follow. For example, the adult (teacher) trains the learner (student) to avoid negative behavior and its consequences. The student is encouraged to listen to parents and respect authority. The adult is instructed to use contrasts to teach beyond "do this or do that" directives. The student is taught the meaning of each character quality and what it "looks like" to be a person who displays that quality.

The curriculum includes seven teaching strategies for educators: (1) Modeling suitable behavior while helping to establish which students are positive role models for other students. (2) Lectures; (3) Discussion and experience; (4) Written reports and original writing; (5) Audiovisuals; (6) Simulations, or role-playing; (7) Action learning, or putting positive character traits into action at home, school, and in the community.

Curriculum materials include a teachers manual, student workbook, resource lists, and "parent-grams" -- handouts designed to strengthen parent-child communication. The goal of parent-grams is to help parents handle the initial discussion about physical changes their child can expect, and to foster an open relationship about sexuality and behavioral expectations.

Contact Teen-Aid®, Inc., 723 E. Jackson, Spokane, WA 99207-2647, 509/482-2868, teenaid@teen-aid.org.

 
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