character education

character education


Knowledge, Education & Wisdom in Colonial America

knowledge July 12th, 2019

Philosopher/psychologist and distinguished man of letters, Daniel N. Robinson, says much about knowledge, wisdom, and education in the citizenry and the founders at the time of the Declaration of Indpendence and the crafting of the U.S. Constitution. It is very enlightening, and he takes pains to connect the state of affairs then with our horrible political, social, and educational predicament that is so clearly exemplified by corporations, Donald Trump as President, and social media bickering today. It’s not a pretty picture, but one worth taking a long, hard look at. I then follow up his incisive commentary on the Founders with quotes about knowledge, wisdom, and education in modern America. Recall that education is not just about keeping the economy rolling: “The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty,” wrote the main architect of the Constitution, James Madison. And this is very important; as modern progressive author, Thom Hartmann puts it, “We need to begin paying attention to the wisdom of the Founders and Framers [of the United States] if our country is to survive.”

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Ethnic Studies Courses for White Children

ethnic studies October 30th, 2018

The following blog is written by guest blogger Jon Greenberg, a high school teacher, activist and writer. I wanted to present this take on white privilege because I believe that it is important in this time of hyperpartisanship, ethnic divisions, and political demagoguery. I am pretty much on the left when it comes to how I feel about race, racism, privilege, institutionalized racism, etc. That is to say that I am not all the way to the left; for example, I find Mr. Greenberg’s use of capitalization in the phrase “People of Color” to be silly and overdone. However, it is only slightly more mistaken than a lot of the beliefs and customs that my fellow European Americans to the right of me hold. Somewhere in between political correctness and social justice is where I come down on this topic. What follows is why Mr. Greenberg believes ethnic studies courses are useful for his white children (and white Americans everywhere):

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Psychologist Darcia Narvaez on Developing Virtue

virtue August 11th, 2018

“One always needs mentors as one cultivates virtues in life. Relationships matter for moral virtue” maintains Notre Dame Professor of Psychology, Darcia Narvaez. This blog is a very brief adaptation of her book Developing the Virtues, edited by Narvaez and colleagues Julia Annas, and Nancy E. Snow. Essentially the question is asked, “What is virtue, and how is it developed?” It has been a salient question at least since the time of Socrates, and certainly propounded by Plato’s student, Aristotle.

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Teaching Virtue & Character Education (V&E-20)

character education April 2nd, 2018

This blog is excerpted from chapter 20 of the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom and explored character, and a phenomenon called character education. We’ve all seen examples on television – and many of us on our very streets – of children and adolescents who are somehow “off-track,” selfish, crass, violent, careless. Obviously, this has a lot to do with the family, community, political and socioeconomic environment in which the child is embedded. Should schools be teaching children how to be good, responsible adults with integrity and ethics? Or does that step on religious institutions’ toes? What would it look like to teach something as hard to communicate as virtue? Jason interviews character education expert, former professor, and author, Bernice Lerner, Ed.D. to find answers to his questions.

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Review of Ch. One: “In Defense of a Liberal Education”

liberal education December 28th, 2017

Liberal education is not typically prized by parents. “What you are not supposed to do is study the liberal arts. Around the world, the idea of a broad-based ‘liberal’ education is closely tied with the United States and its great universities and colleges. But in America itself, a liberal education is out of favor.” This is a sad and even ironic state of affairs. In the wonderful, well-researched, short but stout book In Defense of a Liberal Education, noted columnist and historian Fareed Zakaria, called “the most influential foreign policy advisor of his generation” by Esquire, laments that the humanities are no longer as popular as they were in America’s more prosperous decades. As manufacturing is under severe threat and jobs are increasingly lost to foreign countries or automation, Zakaria maintains that “to succeed today, you need creativity, lateral thinking, communication skills, and, more than anything, the ability to keep learning – precisely the gifts of a liberal education.” What follows is a summary and review of chapter one of this engaging book.

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Social Justice: Based in Historical Truth

social justice May 3rd, 2017

I was a little discomfited by Daniel Lattier’s derision of social justice in his account of an elementary school in Minnesota which has made some noble attempts at teaching children about historical truth, such as the idea of “white privilege.” I believe this position shows a lack of insight into the way America works, will shortchange children of all races, and will perpetuate the status quo. It’s not terribly surprising, though. Consider: “Once you follow a path of nonviolence and social justice, it won’t take you long before you come into conflict with the culture, with the society” ~ Martin Sheen. Lattier wrote in Not All Parents Want Their Children to be Social Justice Warriors:

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Improving the Character and Ethics of Children, Part 2

April 7th, 2017

This is the second show dedicated to the wisdom behind “character education,” how it applies to our values and ethics, essentially the opportunity of schools, parents, and the culture at large to inculcate in children good character, moral substance, and good intentions. If we can avoid a smothering, sectarian approach as we attempt to raise

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Improving the Character and Ethics of Children, Part 1

April 7th, 2017

We’ve all seen examples on television, on the street corner, and in our neighborhoods of kids who are somehow off-track, lacking in the values and ethics department. Obviously that has a lot to do with family, religion, our political situation, and the wisdom of our culture at-large. But could our schools actually be doing a

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Humane Education

April 5th, 2017

If you could change one negative trend about the modern world, what would it be? To remove religious sectarian violence and hatred? To relieve the world’s addiction to fossil fuels? To take money out of politics in America? To instill more values and ethics in our culture? One thing you would want to consider that

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Raising Good and Happy Children

April 5th, 2017

This is a conversation about capitalism, values and ethics, and quality of life. Jason is joined by a heavy-hitter, offering her wisdom, Judith Boss, PhD, a philosopher and author of 8 books. We will discuss how a person can live a moral life, what that really means, and what some of the pitfalls to doing

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