Character Building in School Essay

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Character Building in School

In a society with a vast array of different beliefs and mediums through which these beliefs are presented, children can get lost in an overwhelming sea of influential ideas and concepts not necessarily intended for their eyes and ears. Character education is a concept that calls for teachers and school curriculums to guide students in learning what Edward F. DeRoche and Mary M. Williams (2001, p. 25) described as “core values held sacred by a democratic society.” Parents are generally considered the teachers of morals, but if values like sharing, compassion, and honesty are never enforced or addressed outside the home, these values may never be established as a stable foundation in the child’s mind.
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This practice would continue for a long time until the mid-1900s.

As the country’s population became more diverse, people started to shy away from teaching specific, religious values and beliefs to children. It became no longer acceptable for one set of values based on Christianity to be taught in public schools, where children of all sorts of different backgrounds attended. In 1963, the Supreme Court deemed prayer and the use of the Bible for worship in public schools unconstitutional (Hunt, 1969). Soon afterward, the concept of values clarification was developed. Howard Kirschenbaum (2000), a former values clarification supporter turned character education supporter, defined values clarification as the guiding of youths in the development of their values while not imposing the teachers’ or anyone else’s values on them. Education went from incorporating religious values to merely presenting children with information and allowing them to develop their own values. In light of taking religious influences and traditional value teaching out of schools, generally people had shifted to a different outlook. In an issue of the National Education Association’s journal, Today’s Education, printed in the late 1960s, the R. L. Hunt (1969) emphasized that because God is mentioned in historical governmental
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