Upper School Character Education
The Upper School Character Education program is committed to preparing students to make a positive difference in the lives of others in the school, the community, and the world. Character education is not the result of discrete events, but instead it is the integration of disparate school programs, activities, and opportunities, like advisor group meetings, the Honor Committee with its accompanying events and initiatives, special speakers, shared summer readings, and class meetings.
Students meet bi-weekly with their advisor group. The advisor leads the group in a variety of discussions and activities—some of which are focused on character traits, school values, and life skills. The role of the advisor as a trusted guide and significant adult in the life of each advisee adds support and encouragement for each student in the Upper School.
The Honor Committee is a student-directed group with a faculty advisor. The Honor Committee members represent the upper school student body and form the backbone of student-led character education initiatives. This committee actively promotes the Upper School Honor Code, which is signed annually by each student in the Upper School. Each fall, the members of the Honor Committee organize and run a special assembly highlighting the school values. For more information, please visit the dedicated Honor Committee page.
Taipei American School is proactive in seeking outside speakers to address the student body on pertinent character issues. In recent years, outstanding persons of character, including holocaust survivor Noemi Ban, Loung Ung, Judy and Dennis Shepard, Michele Josue, Helen Zia, and Mawi Asgedom, have shared their inspiring stories with our community.
The upper school common summer reading requirement allows all students and teachers to immerse themselves in the same book—typically, one that lends itself easily to discussions about values, ethics, or other character education lessons. In most cases, these readings are discussed in advisor group meetings.
Class meetings are run by the officers of each class and occasionally include a short video or presentation on character-related issues. At class meetings, students are seated by advisor group, and, on occasion, organized short discussions by advisor group take place during the meeting.