Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibilityby Thomas Lickona
Calls for renewed moral education in America's schools, offering dozens of programs schools can adopt to teach students respect, responsibility, hard work, and other values that should not be left to parents to teach. See more details below
Calls for renewed moral education in America's schools, offering dozens of programs schools can adopt to teach students respect, responsibility, hard work, and other values that should not be left to parents to teach.
- Random House Publishing Group
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- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.28(d)
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First off, I will admit that I only read the first four chapters of the book, and only because it was required for a class (had I been reading voluntarily, I would have thrown it away after the third page). However, those four chapters were enough to tell me that the rest of the book wouldn't be worth reading anyway. The way Lickona argues in favor of a universal moral sense suggests that he already knows exactly what it is, but we disagree on enough points there that I would hardly call his morals 'universal.' On one page he says that all sex by young people should 'be classified as abuse - of both self and other.' On another he suggests that questioning authority is an inherently bad thing, and another sign of general moral decay among youth. The evidence Lickona uses to back up his assertions is hardly top quality either. While he does offer some legitimate statistics on things like crime rates, he also tries supporting himself by citing poorly-designed research and urban legends such as Satanic Ritual Abuse (which was thoroughly debunked after intensive investigation by the FBI). On the other hand, the book is rescued from a one-star rating by the fact that, once in a while, the author does actually make a valid point. For example, he mentions several character education studies that have been implemented in some school districts in America and Canada that have been successful. While he does not go into the specifics of these programs (at least, not in the chapters I read), some of the improvements attributed to these programs are hard to see as anything but actual improvements - improved school performance, increased attendance, and lower rates of drug use and pregnancy among students. Lickona even quotes interviews from students in elementary schools with these programs who say that students overall are much more friendly and polite than in other schools they've seen. In conclusion, while this book does have a few good things in it, they are sandwiched in between way too much b.s. If you are looking for a guide to implementing a character education program in your school district, this is not it.