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Uniting AmericaRestoring the Vital Center to American Democracy$
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Norton Garfinkle and Daniel Yankelovich

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108569

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108569.001.0001

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Character Education and the Challenge of Raising a Moral Generation

Character Education and the Challenge of Raising a Moral Generation

(p.181) Chapter 10 Character Education and the Challenge of Raising a Moral Generation
Uniting America
Chester E. Finn Jr.
Yale University Press

Schools have a sense of civic obligation to instill democratic values and personal morality among young people and to prepare them to be tomorrow's citizens. In the United States, traditional academic courses often emphasize citizenship, social norms, etc. and may include overt “character education” or “moral education” that almost always incorporates civic values, rights, responsibilities, and participation. This chapter examines the role of education in shaping citizenship and argues that the contemporary debates about education make it increasingly difficult for schools, especially public schools, to perform their traditional function: as custodians and transmitters of democratic values. It also considers a number of suggestions for strengthening school-based civic education, such as redoubling and reorienting “civic education” in the schools, introducing explicit “character education” programs into the schools, a complete overhaul of social studies, and school choice.

Keywords:   citizenship, character education, civic values, education, public schools, civic education, social studies, democratic values, United States

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