Recent Activities at Josephson Institute

What’s new and exciting at Josephson Institute? Here’s an update:

  1. Proposal for Colombia. I worked on a major proposal to the Secretary of Education of Bogota, Colombia. They are seeking bids on ways to help them initiate a comprehensive values education program in their 400 or so public schools. The idea is to integrate into their academic program the teaching of principles and values related to peaceful, respectful citizenship (they call it coexistence), respect for diversity, social responsibility, and self-awareness and self-management (what we call social/emotional skills). It’s a great opportunity to introduce the CHARACTER COUNTS! strategies to the public school system in Colombia. I will be going to Bogota a little over a week from now with two of our best bilingual trainers from Puerto Rico where we will conduct our first three-day certified training for a group of private schools.
  2. New Survey on the State of American Education. We’ve almost completed a brand new survey instrument to collect information from teachers, superintendents and school board members. The survey asks what is working and what isn’t in American education, opinions on the impact of the Common Core Educational Standards,  and lots more. I’ll tell you more soon.
  3. Feedback on Model Standards. I’ve been reading pleasantly positive feedback (no negative reactions yet) on last week’s publication of Critical Outcomes: Model Standards for Academic, Social, Emotional and Character Development. This document is the first effort to integrate learning outcomes for the academic, social/emotional and character domains, and we hope it will provide a roadmap for schools to more effectively educate the whole child. That means not only preparing students for college and the workplace (the stated goals of the Common Core State Standards), but also giving them the tools and values to live a fulfilling and meaningful life and to become engaged, productive citizens. If you are an educator, please download the standards and give us your feedback. We’d also appreciate it if you would share the link with colleagues.
  4. Recent Surveys. I’ve started to browse the responses to our two most recent surveys asking you to rate yourself as an employee and to rate yourself as a true friend. I will report the results in a few weeks, so there is still time to take the surveys yourself.
  5. Stop Bullying by Creating a Culture of Kindness. I presented a three-hour workshop to the WISH Charter School in L.A. on “How to Stop Bullying and Meanness by Creating a Culture of Kindness.” Read more about CHARACTER COUNTS! anti-bullying workshops.
  6. Still Looking for Financial Support. And, of course, I’m still looking for ways to find revenues to keep the ship afloat and allow us to continue providing all the free services we offer. One interesting fact we learned is that about 40 percent of the folks responding to our recent surveys didn’t know that we are a nonprofit organization dependent on public support. Now that you know, please contribute what you can. No donation is too small. Thank you!

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