Character Teaching
Resolving Poverty through a New Education

Character Teaching (CT) is a project that aims to resolve poverty and related destructive social ills by providing a new education for children to bring about their natural positive qualities of character; e.g., integrity, honesty, self-confidence, perseverance, patience, and personal responsibility. It will demonstrate that flaws and defects of character in young children will disappear in conditions that teachers can create by following a rational, objective scientific approach that is committed to infinite and eternal laws of nature.

The project’s new educational approach views children as having their own inner guidance for perfect self-directed development of character. This scientific approach leads to the amazing discovery of the child's true nature, which Dr. Maria Montessori first reported in Rome, Italy in 1907. Observing children in her particular environment of well-organized self-teaching materials, she discovered that they changed from ordinary inattention and disorder to a true normal way of being, with such qualities as spontaneous self-discipline, order, and complete harmony with their environment. Later research confirmed these findings, however the exact approach to bring this about has remained misunderstood for many years.

The CT project aims to bring about Dr. Montessori’s original results of true normal being by following a scientific approach which has now been perfected for this purpose. It will specifically train and supervise teachers in this type of true natural Montessori teaching to control the environment, not the child. It will incorporate a unique technology for conducting this scientific type of Montessori teaching. Using this new technology, teachers will accurately create the conditions for normal character development in a reliable, precise manner that was never possible before. In this way, children in the CT project will acquire basic qualities of charcter that will endure in their whole personality for life. In time, these new character formations in children will bring about a new and better adult society of peace, order, and harmony as well.

Since 1969, Lee Havis , CT project director, has been conducting research into the exact nature of Montessori teaching to bring about the child's true nature. In 1979, he discovered this true natural type of Montessori teaching, and founded the International Montessori Society (IMS) to support and share this knowledge with others. In 2003, he completed further research, consolidating a precise technology for implementing this true natural Montessori teaching. As CT project director, Lee will incorporate this distinctive technology into all facets of the project.

The CT project consists of two components: (1) an informal aspect to engage poor working children through daily brief tutoring sessions in the open air and (2) a formal component, centered on a model Montessori school for children ages 2-6. The model school will demonstrate the most effective use of the IMS technology to bring about normal character development in children. It will serve as the basis for developing many similar schools and teacher training to follow.

The project’s informal component is one-to-one tutoring instruction for poor working children in the open air. This component will train, qualify, supervise and equip local personnel to serve as self-employed character tutors for these children.

Basic Concept - Informal Component
The informal tutoring component provides direct character teaching to poor working children in the open air for brief periods of time each day. The CT tutors will be trained in the basic use of IMS technology to conduct brief instructional sessions that respect, dignify and value the time and efforts of each participating child.

The character tutors work on their own schedule, providing instructional services to poor working children where they congregate in the open air on a regular, daily basis. In essence, they offer instruction to these children on the basis of ‘exchange of value’; e.g., the children receive a small sum of money in exchange for giving a small amount of their time for a brief 10-minute period of instruction.

The project trains and equips the teachers by providing specific lesson plans, materials, consultation and other support resources for teaching basic concepts and skills in reading, writing and math consistent with IMS technology. The tutors record all transactions and lesson presentations in a journal. This written record provides basic data to calculate each child’s progress and assure accurate payment to teachers for these services.

The character tutors receive payment for their services on a commission based on the number of recorded transactions completed. The time for money exchange of value between tutor and child creates a mutuality of accountability, trust, integrity and respect in the tutor-child relationship. In this way, children experience their own self-worth and value as a human being. Repeating these experiences with frequency over time, children gradually internalize such positive character qualities as personal responsibility, self-confidence and respect for others. These qualities can then become firmly fixed in the child’s whole personality for life, to eventually bring about significant positive changes in the whole adult society.

Formal Component
The formal project component consists of a model Montessori school for regular daily attendance by children aged 2-6. This school will include suitable self-teaching materials for young children to use as an essential part of their normal development.

The project will train and supervise the teachers in the effective use of the IMS technology, including how to display and introduce the specialized learning materials involved in this approach. The model school will demonstrate how scientific Montessori teaching works to reliably bring about normal character development in children.

The project also provides workshop and seminar training for school staff and others to learn and improve use of the IMS technology. It will also provide outreach and teacher education to others to widen the impact of a single Montessori school throughout the entire society.

Anticipated Budget
The project can be successfully implemented at a wide-range of funding levels. The first step is an initial consultation visit, to conduct a training seminar to present the use of IMS technology and discuss a specific proposal for implementation of the full-scale project later on. This initial consultation visit may be successfully conducted with an anticipated budget of about $10,000.

Following a successful initial consultation visit, a comprehensive proposal will be established for project operation. The proposal would be submitted for funding by any interested agency or organization.

The project proposal seeks funding through a grant to conduct its operation over several years. It will develop and evolve in stages from small initial steps to larger operation as the framework develops. The budget covers direct payments to teaching staff and children; model school facilities, learning materials, equipment and supplies; IMS consultation services, seminar training of teachers, and overall project supervision and administration.

Sponsor
The current CT project sponsor is the International Montessori Society. However, the project will ultimately be conducted under a non-profit corporation in the USA called Character Teaching, Inc . (Lee Havis, director) Local persons serve as members of a consultation board, to help organize support and sponsorship of the initial consultation visit. Ultimately, there will be a local CT corporation to direct and manage direct payments for services and facilities. This local organization will provide direct operation of the project in the country in accordance with the pertinent legal requirements of the local government.

Character Teaching, Inc. (USA) will work in conjunction and close cooperation with the local CT organization to rent space, hire staff, enroll children and otherwise supervise the project operation. The local CT affiliate will include the active involvement of interested persons in the country on the board of control, to assure the closest possible working relationship with the affected community and pertinent government agencies.

The project will seek funding from interested private or public government entities. Character Teaching, Inc. will contact international organizations for their financial participation, based on suitable letters of support from local government agencies. During the initial consultation visit, Lee will meet with government officials, introduce the technology to key personnel and establish a legal operating status for the local CT affiliate in the country.

International Montessori Society and Character Teaching, Inc. (Lee Havis, Director) are operated with a non-profit purpose as corporations in the United States. They are both located at 9525 Georgia Ave. #200, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA. Tel. (301) 589-1127. Email: havis@imsmontessori.org