Moral education and character education: their relationship and roles in citizenship education

Journal of Moral Education 35 (4):495-518 (2006)
Abstract
Any democratic society must concern itself with the socialization of its citizens. This begins in childhood, and schools are critical to this process. The interrelations and roles of educating for character (character education, moral education) and educating for citizenship (citizenship education, civic education) are explored, largely in a North American context. It is argued that citizenship education necessarily entails character and moral formation, but this integration is hindered by negative stereotyping between the two fields. In addition, negative stereotyping between the fields of moral education and character education further complicates attempts at synthesis. Through explorations of each of these domains and their similarities and differences, it is concluded that the role of schools in fostering the development of moral citizens in democratic societies necessitates focus on moral development, broader moral and related character development, teaching of civics and development of citizenship skills and dispositions. Moreover, these outcomes overlap and cut across the fields of moral, character and citizenship education
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