Character education in Bannister Academy takes place within the seamless continuum of formal subject classes, the class advisory session, and in personal mentoring. Conceptually (although in practice, the student does not need to see the distinctions), the formation of character--the development of personal qualities, attitudes and dispositions in, as well as acceptance of universal human values by the student--is addressed in distinct ways by its different components:

  1. Formal Subjects.

    Subject teachers have the leeway to address ethical issues as opportunities arise in the subject content or in classroom activities. The academic content and skills formation in various subjects are natural venues for fruitful discussions about desirable ethical perspectives and values.

  2. Classroom Advisory Sessions.

    Advisory or homeroom period can be used by the class advisor to take up topics or content more directly related to character formation. As agreed, a minimum of two homeroom sessions per week can be used to discuss specific values-related content.

  3. Student Mentoring

    Personal mentoring, which takes place between the student and an assigned teacher-mentor, is the premier venue for character formation. The mentoring conversation covers the entire range of the student’s experience at Bannister: his academic work (and struggles), relations with peers, relations with teachers and Bannister staff, personal and family concerns, as well as the student’s personal quest for fulfillment and self-actualization.

    As such, mentoring is the mechanism for consolidating the student’s formation that has been initiated through the other components (academic subjects and homeroom), since the mentor is in the best position to push the student to reflect on his own learning and personal growth, link his learning experiences in the classroom to his own personal life and set individual goals.

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. - Theodore Roosevelt