Relax, there's no Bible to be followed. Character Education
Partnership created the Eleven Principles of
Effective Character Education based on its examination of
schools in which character education really did work. A school
can see how well its doing and what it needs to improve by taking
the Quality Standards that contain specific
markers corresponding to each of the Principles. (Download from
its Web site: www.character.org). The
Eleven Principles are considered in the field
to be the integral elements of successful character education
Based on its own experience in the field, especially its work with 10 LEAs (local education agencies) in a previous grant and in conjunction with a review of literature on school change, the Center for Social and Character Development at Rutgers has developed the Seven Guideposts, which form a framework for the Social and Character Education Development Process. These Guideposts do not contradict the Eleven Principles; they provide a more generalized "practical" approach to a school or district trying to figure out what it has overlooked and how it should plan its next move. The Guideposts allow a school's character education committee to reflect upon their social and character education journey and to determine how best to proceed.
Terms such as Six Pillars, Five Values or Eight Habits of the Heart are creations of different commercial programs that have developed structured approaches to teaching character education. Some schools find the task of designing their own programs far too daunting so they embrace the tenets and strategies of these programs to help them get started and use a common language.
There is no "right" or "wrong" choice, just the choice that works for you based on your school's needs and expresses your school's ideology.