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Top Ten Education Issues: U.S. Education
Leah Stanekon 6 April 2014
Transcript of Top Ten Education Issues: U.S. Education
Looking at character education up close...
Where it all began for America....
"The fourth and fifth R's: Respect and Responsibility" (Education Week, 2004).
#1 Character Education
The History of Character Education
What are the Major Challenges?
Education for Virtue:The Foundation of Democracy
Books that taught moral lessons were used for public education in 1900's, such as the King James Bible and
McGuffey's Eclectic Readers (Education Week, 2004)
Not a one size fits all program
Many resources make a national policy difficult
Lack of agreement on what is quality character education
Level of moral authority needed to teach character is often ambiguous or in question
Effectiveness is questionable
Determining which values to teach
Assessing and evaluating
Concordia University: EDGR 602
My Top Ten
What Issues Are We Facing?
By Leah Stanek
1. Character Education
3. Common Core Standards
4. Technology in Education
5. Adequate Yearly Progress
6. Student Health
7. English-Language Learners
8. Distance Learning
9. Achievement Gaps
10. Discipline in Schools
Teaches values of good citizenship needed for a democratic society
Promotes social justice and global peace
Helps parents who need help and are looking for it with raising their children to be responsible and respectful
Promotes civic virtues that are supported and encouraged by the Federal government, reform minded groups, and businesses
Unifies Americans in shared value education
Provides needed moral education with the decline of "temple or church" and organized religion
Fills the urgent need for "young people who are hurting themselves and others"
(Lickona, 1991, pp. 20-22).
Top Ten Education Issues
U.S. Education System
Character Education Benefits
Character education is often oversimplified: "Character development is not a simple matter. One's character develops over time, and is formed in many ways"
"Unfortunately, too many programs that say they are developing character and call themselves "character education" are aimed mostly at promoting good manners and compliance with rules, not at developing students of strong, independent character."
(Shaps, Schaeffer, & McDonald, n.d.)
Character Education Drawbacks
If children are to become critical thinkers, tolerant of competing interests and loyalties, and strong independent moral agents, they must be active participants in moral decisions, they must become proprietors of their own morality. (Goodman, n.d.)
Research Says . . .
Character Education and the Risks: Improper Implementation
"A school must work to see that the goals and values it professes are embodied in what it does."
"The best forms of character education also involve students in honest, thoughtful discussion and reflection about the moral implications of what they see around them, what they are told, and what they personally do and experience."
"The challenge is for the school to become a microcosm in which students practice age-appropriate versions of the roles they must face in later life—and deal with the related problems and complications."
"So what does "work"? Most fundamentally, schools must engage and inspire students' hearts as well as their minds, and this requires that schools get better at meeting students' basic, legitimate needs—their needs for safety, belonging, competence, and autonomy."
'A solid body of research shows that human beings are disposed to affiliate with those who meet these basic needs, and students will bond to a school in the same way, and for the same reasons, that infants bond to mothers who capably provide for them. In other words, students will care about a school's goals and values when that school effectively cares for them. Moreover, when they feel connected to a school and the people in it, they learn better.'
EDGR 602: Top Ten Educational Issues
"Democracy is government by the people; the people themselves are responsible for ensuring a free and just society for the people" (Lickona, 1991, p. 6).
Character education is not new; worldwide and historically, "education has had two great goals: to help young people become smart and help them become good" (Lickona, 1991, p. 6).
"Socrates defined education as what we do to help the young become both smart and good" (Ryan, n.d.).
"Plato and Aristotle in the Greece of the 4th century B.C.E. believed the role of education was to train good and virtuous citizens. John Locke, the 17th-century democratic philosopher, believed that learning was secondary to virtue" (Education Week, 2004).
20th century America's view of morality, its decline and break from religious precepts, meant decline of character education in schools (Lickona, 1991)
The 1960s and 1970s brought in civil rights but also a decline in character education due to increase of individuality and loss of respect for authority (Lickona, 1991)
"Character education, as it is known today, began to appear in the early 1990s. A 1991 book by Thomas Lickona, Educating for Character, reintroduced the idea that there is a set of common beliefs and values upon which all people can agree" (Education Week, 2004).
Federal government since the 1990s has promoted character education, offering grants for its formation and implementation (Education Week, 2004).
Four Types Of Problematic Character Education Programs:
value or virtue of the month with banners and posters and bullitinboards
Awards ceremonies,extrinsic manipulators
Memorize a list of values and be able to define them
Strict, uniform compliance to desired behaviors; aim for quick behavior results
(Shaps, Schaeffer, & McDonald, n.d.)
Character.org. (2012, July). Why some schools struggle to start character ed [Video file]. Retrieved from
Drpratt. (2009, July 1). Character education [Video file]. Retrieved from
Education Week. (2004, August ). Character education . Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/ew/issues/character-education/
Goodman, J. (n.d.). Teacher authority and moral education. Retrieved from htpp://www.peace.ca
Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for character: How our schools can teach respect and responsibility. New York, NY: Bantam Books.
Mayerson, Neil. (2011, January). School made easy: Character Education is the key. Psychology Today. Retrieved from http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/quite-character/201101/school-made-easy-character-education-is-the-key
National Professional Research. (2012, April 19 ). Character education restoring respect and responsibility in our schools preview [Video file]. Retrieved from
Ryan, K. (n.d.). Character education: Our schools’ missing link. Retrieved from htpp://www.peace.ca
Tmswayze. (2007, October). Character first! Education introduction [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqEHDlGK3V4
Thomas Lickona (National Professional Research, 2012 )