Click to see 12′ x 25′ mural by Nadi Spencer at Monson Sultana School in Tulare County, CA
The Aspen Declaration consists of eight core beliefs about the nature and importance of character:
- The next generation will be the stewards of our communities, nation and planet in extraordinarily critical times.
- In such times, the well-being of our society requires an involved, caring citizenry with good moral character.
- People do not automatically develop good moral character; therefore, conscientious efforts must be made to help young people develop the values and abilities necessary for moral decision making and conduct.
- Effective character education is based on core ethical values rooted in democratic society, in particular, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, justice and fairness, caring, and civic virtue and citizenship.
- These core ethical values transcend cultural, religious and socioeconomic differences.
- Character education is, first and foremost, an obligation of families and faith communities, but schools and youth-service organizations also have a responsibility to help develop the character of young people.
- These responsibilities are best achieved when these groups work in concert..
- The character and conduct of our youth reflect the character and conduct of society; therefore, every adult has the responsibility to teach and model the core ethical values and every social institution has the responsibility to promote the development of good character.