What is a Guiding Principle?
A guiding principle is a positive, general principle that becomes
an important foundation for the conduct of behavior, both individually
and in relationships with others. Guiding principles are beliefs
that most people would agree with because they are viewed as socially
appropriate and inherently valuable, such as the idea to "be responsible."
Guiding principles are qualities that are naturally viewed as leading
to higher level functioning, creating positive relationships with
others, and promoting a civil society.
Through the research efforts of the International Center, 12 guiding
principles have been identified as key principles upon which to
base a character education program. Collectively, they are referred
to as the Twelve Guiding Principles of Exceptional Character.
The 12 Guiding Principles of Exceptional Character
-The ability and willingness to change. To put oneself in harmony
with changed circumstances. To be ready and willing to adjust
as necessary to the changes in people and circumstances that arise
in daily life.
- Kindness. The desire to help others in distress. To show kindness
and concern for others in distress by offering help whenever possible.
- Giving serious consideration to something. To think things through
with proper care before taking action.
- Bravery. The willingness to put one's beliefs into practice,
the capacity to meet danger without giving way to fear. To face
difficulty or danger and express your beliefs even if you are
- Truthfulness, sincerity. The act or condition of never deceiving,
stealing, or taking advantage of the trust of others. To be truthful
in all that you do and never deceive, steal, or take advantage
of the trust of others.
- Eagerness to do something. To take responsible action on your
own, without prompting from others.
- Faithfulness, dependability. The quality of being faithful to
another person in the performance of duty; adhering to a contract
with another person. To show others that you are dependable when
you have a commitment to them.
- Positive beliefs. The inclination to take a hopeful view or
think that all will work out for the best. To strive to be positive
in your beliefs about yourself, others, and the future.
- Hard work. The quality of trying hard and continuously in spite
of obstacles and difficulties.
- Regard, value, admire, appreciate. Special esteem or consideration
in which one holds another person or thing. To show regard for
yourself, others, and the world around you.
- Accountability. To consider oneself answerable for something.
To demonstrate that you consider yourself to be accountable for
your actions and that you follow through on your commitments.
- Reliability. Dependable, deserving of trust and confidence.