|dc.description.abstract||The focus of this study is to suggest guidelines for the implementation of a character education program in high schools. It has become clearly evident, from the literature that character education is of cardinal importance for instruction and education. The breakdown of values in South Africa is leading to an increase in crime in the country, which will have far-reaching consequences if learner crime is not addressed. Character education could offer a possible solution and make learners realise the difference between "right" and "wrong" as well as to say "no" to drugs, alcohol, sex, gangs and other social problems. A literature study was done to highlight the nature and scope of behaviour problems in overseas schools as well as South African schools. There was also looked at the impact of violence on the culture of instruction and learning as well as the external and internal factors that can play a role in violence within schools. Furthermore, the concept of character education was investigated as well as character education as possible solution to behavioural problems in high schools. There was also looked at whether character education does indeed produce positive results. Different character education programs that have already been implemented successfully abroad were investigated. Smart & Good High Schools seem suitable for the South African situation and could easily be adapted to the circumstances of individual schools. This program ascribes to the view that the best high schools have two main objectives in common, namely: to help learners to become smart - in the multi-dimensional sense of intelligence - and to help them become good - in the multi-dimensional sense of moral maturity. It is, therefore, about excellence and ethics. Lickona and Davidson (2005) mention schools that are committed to both these objectives, Smart & Good High Schools. Guidelines for the implementation of a character education program arose from discussing the program.
In order to determine in what areas character education are needed with learners; how parents evaluate the character education of the learners of the school; what teachers are presently doing to promote character education; and how the learners' values changed within the scope of six months, questionnaire surveys were used. Questionnaires were given to learners wherein they had to judge their own values and that of their fellow learners. Questionnaires were given to parents asking their opinions on the values currently displayed by learners of the relevant school; what parents would like see with the learners; the character traits of the learners; and which traits the school should promote. Questionnaires were also distributed to the teachers of the school to determine to what extent particular promising practices are being pursued to promote character education with learners. A test sample of Grade 8 to 12 learners also filled out a revised questionnaire to determine to what extent these practices were indeed being applied in the classroom. The primary objective of the survey was to determine the character education practices of a particular high school in the North-West Province and to suggest guidelines for the implementation of a character education program. The empirical survey aided in achieving this objective. Findings of some concern, within the scope of six months, related to the general deterioration in the behaviour/habits of the learners at the school, inter alia the number of learners who smoke, drink, are aware of those who use drugs as well an increase in learners who tested positive for HIV/AIDS. In addition, almost half the learners indicated that they find it difficult to say "no" to negative peer pressure. It has been concluded that character education in schools offer a definite solution and that such a program can be integrated effectively into the existing curriculum.||