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The Trouble with Character Education


by Alfie Kohn 1997

Unhappily, the problems with character education (in the narrow sense, which is how the term will henceforth be used unless otherwise indicated) are not restricted to these discrete strategies. More troubling are the fundamental assumptions, both explicit and implicit, that inform character education programs. Let us consider four basic questions that might be asked of any such program: At what level are problems addressed? What is the underlying theory of human nature? Which values are to be promoted? And finally, How is learning thought to take place?


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 96, No. 2.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 98 Number 6, 1997, p. 154-162
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18784, Date Accessed: 12/14/2017 7:56:19 AM

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About the Author
  • Alfie Kohn
    Independent Author
    E-mail Author
    ALFIE KOHN, author of several books and articles on human behavior and education, lives in Belmont, Massachusetts.
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