Moral education the CHARACTERplus Way®

Journal of Moral Education 40 (1):51-72 (2011)
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Abstract

Traditional approaches to character education have been viewed by many educators as an attempt to establish self control within students to habituate them to prescribed behaviour and as nothing more than a ‘bits‐and‐pieces’ approach to moral education. While this is accurate for many character education programmes, integrated multi‐dimensional character education embraces both moral education and character formation. Students learn to identify and process social conventions within the core values of the school and community and have opportunities to learn practical reasoning skills in schools where character education is integrated into all aspects of the schooling process. Reported in this article are several studies, including two large‐scale experimental investigations, that show integrated character education results in an improved school environment, student pro‐social and moral behaviour, and reading and maths test scores. Schools become more caring communities; student discipline referrals drop significantly, particularly in areas related to bullying behaviour; and test scores in moderately achieving schools increase nearly 50%.

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