Character Teaching

Character Teaching in Mexico

Lee Havis Character Teaching in Las Flores, Mex. 2001


The idea for the Character Teaching (CT) first arose in Mexico in 2000, when Lee Havis, CT founder, was approached by poor working children asking for money on the streets of Las Flores, Mex. a Mexican border town near McAllen, TX. Based on this experience, Lee devised the concept of time-money exchange to create the right conditions for respectful interaction with these children to help develop their qualities of normal character. As part of this concept, he developed certain portable instructional materials to use in this informal street tutoring situation. In 2001, he returned to Las Flores to experiment with this concept in practice to study its value and effect. (see photo).

The 2001 experiment was so successful that Lee developed a more elaborate proposal for funding it on a wide scale through interested private or public agencies. He submitted a specific proposal to the Mexican government, which studied it for several years. Unfortunately, the government of President Vicente Fox ultimately rejected the CT approach as incompatible with its plan and philosophy of education at that time.

Since 2001, Lee has developed the CT project further to include a formal model school to demonstrate use of the 2003 Montessori technology he consolidated at that time. In 2008, he re-submitted a revised and more detailed Spanish language version of the proposal to the new president of Mexico. Originally designed for the US-Mexico border region, it is now proposed on a national scale to operate in any area of the country.