There has always been a moral imperative to teaching and learning; however, this has been drowned out more and more by rigorous, standardized testing and a drive to be defined by a grade. Can this change? Absolutely. Can we create rigorous academic standards and build character. 100%.
Metacognition, reflection and mentoring are all parts of excellent education - regardless of age and stage - and can be integrated into existing educational institutions. In Tony Wagner's book "Creating Innovators", he tells story upon story of innovative students who were inspired by teachers that challenged them in these ways and/or took on the role of mentoring.
Thus, what I propose is a deliberate program that enables and supports teachers to act on their intrinsic motivation that got them into teaching in the first place: to support students personally to define success and achieve it.
Developing environments and context that allows students to ACT on character, and not just learn or be scolded on it. Students need to be given the opportunity to grow their patience, their ability to empathize, and their ability to show kindness in the face of defeat and victory, as Jessica Lura shared in THIS video. We can't lecture this into students, or discuss this into students. However, we can develop moments and provide reflective moments in our students that authentically develops their capability to understand their own capacity in the many different elements contained in "Character".