I believe that character education is essential in school curriculum today. I believe this because I feel that our youth or newer generations have major character issues. There is a possibility that I am oblivious to what students are facing and have faced in schools. Assuming that this is not the case, I feel that there are substantial issues of respect, violence, sex, and drugs in our school systems today that we did not see as prevalent in the past. Society in general faces more issues of crime, domestic violence, and high-risk behaviors than a generation ago (Scheuerman, 2013). I feel strongly that an emphasis on moral education could help our educational systems produce more well-rounded citizens. I am not saying that schools should adopt character programs that integrate religious aspects, though I would not be opposed to this notion. In fact, I would personally support the integration of religious values within character education. The main statement is that schools whether intentionally or not, play a part in the development of positive virtues of: respect, responsibility, wisdom, honesty, and self-discipline (Scheuerman, 2013).
Character education can go beyond the individuals through creating a community that cares about the wellbeing of others. Evans (2008) states, “a school committed to character strives to become a microcosm of a civil, caring, and just society” (p. 338). This can be achieved by helping each and every member through the formation of caring attachments to one another (p. 338). The community is not just geared towards the students but the teachers and staff members as well. Teachers and parents will create and experience a mutual respect, fairness, and cooperation in their relationships (p. 338). Most importantly, character education can lead to a school community that cares about every member as well as the school environment (e.g., courtyard, playground, or hallways)
I believe that the principle goals of education sums up what schools should be striving towards. The goal is, “to develop good people; to form civil caring, and purposeful schools; and for building a moral society to promote individual and collective excellence and overcome threat to social wellbeing” (Scheuerman, 2013). To strive towards these three goals, students will become individuals with values and virtues viewed as characteristics of well-rounded citizens. I strongly believe that schools should integrate character education as a part of their curriculum because many students are not equipped to handle the type of exposure children are facing today.
Evans, D. L. (2008) Taking Sides: Clashing Views of Controversial Issues in Teaching and Educational Practice. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Scheuerman, R. (2013, April 3). EDU 6989 Course Lecture – Session 2: Values, morals, rights, and religions.