The Politics of Character Education
by David E. Purpel — 1997
We would all be better served by recognizing that the current so-called character education movement essentially represents an ideological and political movement rather than a debate about curricular and instructional matters. My basic criticisms of this approach, which are elaborated in this chapter, can be briefly stated as deploring the naïveté or disingenuousness of the discourse and of the inadequacies of its political and social assumptions. I will try to show how this movement, far from being innovative and reforming, represents instead a longstanding tradition of using schools as agents of social stability., political stasis, and cultural preservation. I hope that this analysis will shed light on the more general issues of moral education and the moral nature of education.
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