Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Character Building

What:The principal of the local middle school has hired me to create an after school program to give students something to do from when school gets out, to when their parents get home from work. The need for such a program is because of the growing number of after school fights and juvenile delinquency. The principal has informed me that this program is to be a physical activity that helps build character. The principal wants to see more positive sporting behavior and less in-school fighting.

How:Since the principal wants me to create a program that utilizes physical activity as its base, and one that helps build character, I have chosen to use team sports as the program’s primary focus. Aggression can be something very difficult to deal with but something that needs to be controlled at an early age. By targeting aggression in middle school, we can hopefully teach them how to handle situations in a positive way before entering high school where things become even more complicated.
Since I have chosen a team sport to help build character, I have a few main choices to choose from: football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and hockey. I ruled out football and hockey due to their aggressive nature and I have ruled out baseball because although its technically a team sport, I view baseball as a series of individual plays by individuals that collectively create a team sport. So that leaves basketball, volleyball and soccer. Since I have a much deeper background in basketball I have chosen to use that as my primary focus. Basketball utilizes teamwork, communication, critical thinking and leadership skills, all of which contribute to a person’s character. Using basketball as the programs focus will also provide the students with the necessary physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight.
One of the main theories associated with aggression and this particular case would be the social learning theory. Albert Bandura is one of the main proponents of this theory and believes that aggression is a learned behavior. (Bandura, 1973) I tend to agree with that and that is why we must closely monitor our entire program to make sure that noone is getting too upset and angry. If we can sustain a controlled environment where everyone is having fun, rather than being aggressive, the program should ultimately discourage aggressive behavior and hopefully show people that issues can be resolved with words, not physical altercations.

Conclusion:In conclusion I believe that aggression is a learned behavior, but one that can be controlled and even reversed. If my program is successful, I see a dramatic decrease in after-school fights and general juvenile delinquency. My program will promote healthy alternatives to fighting and show students that solid moral character will get them much farther in life than fighting.


Gill, D., & Williams, L. (2008). Psychology dynamics of sport and exercise. Pg. 267-290.Champaign,    IL:Human Kinetics.
Bandura, A. (1973). Aggression: A social learning analysis. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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