Talk:Character education

Latest comment: 2 months ago by PigeonAnecdotes in topic Continued bias/lack of neutrality in this article
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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment edit

  This article was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment, between 25 January 2021 and 17 May 2021. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Echoloc8n, Alenaley, Dcaxew, Kalebale.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 17:11, 16 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Early list of complaints edit

I think this is a pretty terrible article. It's useless, because it doesn't explain what character education is (which is why most people will probably check the page), it skews towards history when the term is primarily used in Ed and Ed Psych, it's non-NPOV, littered with scare quotes, and it presents a non-Mainstream perspective on Character Education that's primarily critical and lacks any actual helpful info or links. It also seems to suggest that Character Education occurs primarily with the aid of intervention programs. It should also mention how Character Ed differs from Service Learning, Values Clarification and Cognitive Moral Ed.

In Ed Psychology, Character Education refers to something fairly specific, it's not the same as those things provided in the extended history lesson at the beginning of the page. What's that taken from anyway? It reads like a history thesis. It's boring and mostly irrelevant. As much as I like Chuang Tzu, a paragraph with some Bennet, Damon or Walker cites would be more appropriate than a description of the rise and fall of civilization and cites that contain Bush-bashing.

Also, it attacks Character Education for problems that are common to Educational Research as a whole and seems to conflate the inductive problems of specific deployments of Character Ed with the concept as a whole on a deductive level.

Additionally, this article cites several non-published and spurious sources, it takes an IES report out of context (part/whole?). Several of the Character Education programs on the page cited work fine. It says so - ON THAT PAGE. It's relatively unsurprising in education for this kind of evidence problem to happen. The field has low standards of research and scholarship, especially related to interventions. Not just on this intervention, but everything. There's a reason it's held in such low esteem amongst academics. Are most of the intervention programs mentioned nonsense? Yes, probably 90% of them. I'm sure they involve colors and buzzwords and groupwork for no reason, etc. But even if all of them were, that doesn't mean the concept itself is bunk.

You will find virtually no quantitative unsponsored studies performed on a representative sample in real conditions. Quite sadly, that applies to nearly all Ed research, not just this. You should see the Reading Intervention programs (Voyager, et al). Even worse.

Also, it's outrageous to claim character education cannot be tested. It isn't being adequately tested, but neither are 99% of the other Education programs that are accepted without batting an eyelash despite being proven completely wrong (balanced literacy, whole word, the new drill and skill interventions etc). It's psychology, if you have a problem with reduced bad behaviors evidencing a change, you might want to consider a different line of work. Most personality disorders (and schizophrenia) employ the same outward criteria for diagnosis. I say it could use some work, but good enough.

At least it's capable of being operationalized and tested vis-a-vis empathy, resilience, etc. Also, let's be practical. If the child isn't yelling obscenities at you every day or stealing cars anymore (and, yes, this happens in many of the schools we teach at), it's probably working. Don't get too worked up on the thing as a construct - most psychologists really don't. It's about respecting yourself, others and property. It's devoid of religious sentiments when used by psychologists. Sure, it's certainly true that some groups use it as a code word for crypto-religious education and I have no problem leaving that in there, but that's not really what it is in Education anymore. I think you're completely overlooking the influence of Dewey and Value Theory.

Anyone mind if I clean this up a bit?

Guinness4life (talk) 14:42, 11 September 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please post your suggestions here first, if you will? The intention I have in the article is to provide context and rationality to what the public (i.e., parents, students and school staff) knows about CE programs as hyped to them by their schools - as primary development programs, not intervention ones. Because these are sold to the public in purely emotional and ideological terms, in addition to addressing the more practical matters of "Is there solid evidence that CE is needed?" and "Is there any evidence that it works?", I felt that a solid foundation in concept and history was needed. Character, bad behavior, social motivators, "goodness", etc. are the fuzzily defined concepts that marketeers gloss to manipulate "consumers" of CE in public schools - therefore the critical but considered tone to lay a foundation and balance what is presently 100% hype from program promoters, news media and politicians on the subject. The information selected for inclusion here is to inform, educate and, yes, disabuse the public.

On a personal note, we have Character Counts! in my school, the largest of such programs - it is expensive and absolutely worthless, except to prime students to accept politically conservative catch words. I look at it pretty simply: Can it be proven that my elementary school age kids are deficient in reading, math, spelling, writing, historical knowledge, scientific knowledge and method? No question. Can it be proven that the curriculum the district has adopted improves this deficiency? No question. Can anyone show that my kids are deficient in character? Not even a theoretical way to address that makes the second question, "Can a CE program improve the deficiency?" moot.

If there is work going on to clarify and substantiate CE in the realms of academia, i.e. Ed Psych, I'm not aware of it. I have contacted every leading CE organization, both commercial and in university departments and nothing has been forthcoming - not even theoretically - to support adoption of these kinds of programs by schools.

My goal is to to keep this article focused on providing the public a general education in the subject toward a balanced critic of CE as it is found in practice, today. Kcornwall (talk) 18:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added recent research by Angela Duckworth on the KIPP schools' program in character education. The results of her research are forthcoming as of 2012. Kcornwall, may I remind you that Wikipedia is not supposed to be a platform for personal critiques of subjects? See What Wikipedia is not for clarification. Undead q (talk) 13:28, 1 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree that the quality of the article is not good. There are gaping holes in the history and purpose of Character Education. The article completely overlooks the strongest and most influential sector of education - private schools!! Character Education in this sector is the primary reason that parents select a private education over a State school education, that the school's education system may reflect the parents' values and reinforce them in the development of the child's character. Of course, it is no longer referred to as character education and euphamisms to describe the school policy on character education are shrouded in language such as "growth and development", "social and public conscience" or "Christian family values", etc.

I also disagree with the statement made in the article that "religion became a problem in schools". That is a purely subjective opinion and cannot be substantiated as fact, in spite of the arguments cited. Many would argue that the removal of religion in schools could actually be argued as a primary problem for the decline in social morality. Both are probably true in their own context, so an appropriate and objective projection I believe must be put on this and the statement called into question in the correct way. I do not know how to do this, so I would ask that someone reading this might do so. (talk) 01:33, 22 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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"an umbrella term loosely used to describe" edit

An umbrella term, or hypernym, isn't "loosely used to describe" something. A hypernym is a word that more specific words fall under. Character education is a hypernym for various style of teaching people in a manner... or more simply- Character education encompasses various styles of teaching people in a manner... "Hypernym" is redundant if you say "encompasses various". Also strictly speaking any word is a hypernym if it can be split into more specific instances, so saying a term is a hypernym isn't really helping. Volunteer1234 (talk) 04:00, 6 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The most quoted example when doing a Google search for "... is an umbrella term" is, "Cryptology is an umbrella term that encompasses cryptography and cryptanalysis, among other fields." Other examples, most of which controvert the redundancy you claim, include for, for any, for a group of, used to include a range of, encompassing, encompassing several, covering, that covers, that includes, that is inclusive of, that represents, that refers to a variety of, used to describe, used to describe a loosely affiliated, for a loosely related set of.
A closes result to the current phrase is from the book,Managing Risk in Nanotechnology, "Nanotechnology does not refer to a single instance of a technology. Instead, it is an umbrella term loosely encompassing a diverse range of technologies that ..." It is phrased like this to highlight that there is no industry or even popular specificity as to what the term "nanotechnology" refers to or what it can include.
The bottomline here for me is to accurately define the term in a way that the body of the article supports - that Character Education has no industry definition and that there are no qualifications for inclusion under its rubric. Rather, there is a hodge-podge of businesses, philosophies, theories, and practices that willy-nilly attribute character education to themselves; and that even refute each other. Stated as is, the article helps the public to understand that when a beauty pageant contestant, school district, politician, or commercial program uses the term Character Education, it can best be understood as referring to an unofficial, unaffiliated, vague, and, at best, loosely related set of teaching approaches.
This is important because many people only read the excerpt that Google extracts for its search results, and this sentence is what comes up for Character Education. As written, it has served the public for many years. If you search for it in Google, the results you will see that it has been accepted and implemented in a wide variety of articles and publications. To me, this attests to its validity and utility, thus far. Moreover, people rely on Wikipedia to be conservative in how often and to what degree things are changed. As such, it should be no light matter to change it.
Like anything on Wikipedia, I am happy to be persuaded if you can find a reference showing that character education is not accurately defined this way, rather, that it is specifically rather than loosely describing what it refers to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kcornwall (talkcontribs) 23:54, 8 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Saying the topic is a term is a WP:REFERS problem. The topic actually is something. Saying it is an Umbrella already implies looseness. A term isn't used "to describe" something, a term is used "for" something or "is" something. Like your suggestion above we could say "encompassing" instead of "used to describe". (as an aside, of course wikipedia definitions end up in other articles, that doesn't mean they are good.) Volunteer1234 (talk) 17:02, 9 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you for the WP:REFERS link. This topic is complicated that way. We may be in a situation where the majority of CE institutions and theories that can be cited have formulated their thinking about CE based on the wording in this decades old sentence - so circular. Because of this, a WP editor could now add several citations that support the current phrasing; so again, we need to be conservative. Before this article CE was assumed to be an established field, now it isn't. So providing an accurate definition has fundamentally impacted the entire field. As one example of how it has been integrated into CE thought about and practice, look at how important "umbrella term" is for this article on Character Education. (Interesting, is that his article includes the U.S. Department of Education definition from an obscure 2007 book: "Character education is an inclusive term embracing all aspects of how schools, related social institutions and parents can support the positive character development of children and adults."

To me "encompassing" and "used to describe" are similar in syntax. So not seeing a benefit; plus "encompassing" reads awkwardly with respect to what follows. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kcornwall (talkcontribs) 20:08, 11 January 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

“Define and drill” edit

Doesn’t sound like moral education to me. This article misses the point Hwfr (talk) 12:48, 31 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Candidates for deletion edit

The lede gets the article off to a good start. It seems that character = a hard-to-define quality, desirable but missing in American public education system. References are adequate. The topics mentioned in the lede are followed-up by Issues and controversies section, which is also well-written and well-referenced. Most of what comes in between is an embarrassment: poorly referenced sections which have the nature of stubs that can only be expanded by dubious means. In particular, I nominate the following for deletion: 3.1 Understanding character; 3.1.1 Psychic arts; 3.1.2 Race character; 3.1.3 Generational character; 3.2 Developing character; 3.2.1 Eastern philosophy; 3.2.2 Western philosophy; 3.2.3 Contemporary views. 3.1.1 Psychic arts if for the sake of argument we assume that some people have psychic powers ("arts"), they are also in a position to violate social norms and in this sense are not models for character development. Is Faust a model of character? 3.2.2 Western Philosophy—Socrates Remember? Socrates was found guilty by a jury of 500 Athenian citizens of corrupting the youth of Athens. Aristotle: no mention is made of Nicomachean Ethics; if mentioned, it will expose the banality of the other sentences in this section. If, after two months, no one can give reasons for keeping these sections and subsections, I would like to delete them. (Others are welcome to preempt me.) Vagabond nanoda (talk) 06:31, 15 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposal to add to religion section how similar assemblies are to sermons edit

Speakers talk about a success story in assemblies, which are basically how the six pillars of character affected their life for the positive which assumes that many students are not already following the six pillars of character until they hear their story or else they wouldn't be sharing it. It is similar to a priest preaching to children about the Ten Commandments with a bible story or personal story, which assumes that people are not already following the Ten Commandments or else they wouldn't be conducting sermons. Most people arguing for character education are christian conservatives. (talk) 20:50, 25 July 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Continued bias/lack of neutrality in this article edit

In all honesty, after having read most of this article multiple times, I'm still at a bit of a loss with regards to character education as a larger topic. There are multiple moments where a contributor draws a conclusion with no citation included, and SO many generalizations with no links to back them up. I don't have a complete list of suggestions yet, but does anyone agree that this article seems fairly unhelpful and incomplete as is? I don't think the article reads as objective, and that feels unfortunate given that, if someone is googling the term character education, they will likely come here first.PigeonAnecdotes (talk) 21:34, 14 September 2023 (UTC) PigeonAnecdotes (talk) 21:34, 14 September 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]