Why Developing Student Character Outweighs Test Scores


PrimaryMarkWithLogotype-horizontal

Episode 006: Character Education

Jeff Baxter
2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year
Twitter: @MobyJeff

On the program this week, Teachers of the Year Radio welcomes Jeff Baxter, an AP Language and Composition Teacher at Leavenworth High School who is the 2014 Kansas Teacher of the Year.  Jeff also holds a Juris Doctorate from Washburn University School of Law.  In his twenty-eight years of teaching, he has taught everyone from non-readers to National Merit Finalists.

Few ideas in education are as hotly debated as testing, and Jeff is quick to state his position:

“Character is much more important than test scores.”

His own research and experience bears that out as he notes, for example, that our NAEP scores have not significantly improved over the past thirty years with our emphasis on testing and data collection.

So what it is it that helps students become successful in school, college, and life? It is character qualities such as:

  • persistence
  • determination
  • grit
  • curiosity
  • courage

Jeff’s goal in the classroom is to help his students develop these character qualities while giving them something more than the daily lesson.  He cites his favorite science writer E.O. Wilson as saying, “We are drowning in information while starving for wisdom.”  To help us guide our own students toward this higher goal, he discusses three keys:

  1. Relationships between teachers and students
  2. Relevance of classroom activities
  3. Rigor of assignments

Jeff also unpacks which one of these is the crucial first step in establishing a classroom where education is not like a gas station where students simply go to get filled up with information.  This is an episode you will not want to miss!

Episode 006 — Jeff Baxter — The Three Ways a Teacher Can Make the Biggest Impact on a Student’s Life

Further Learning on This Topic:

The following two tabs change content below.
Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.

About Gary G Abud Jr

Gary is an influential teacher leader with extensive experience educating students at the high school and university level. He is a regular conference presenter, education speaker, and leader of staff development for educators. His classroom practice embraces a collaborative environment centered on constructivist teaching, project-based learning, classroom branding, Modeling Instruction, standards-based grading, and mobile device technologies.

Share Your Thoughts