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ERIC Number: ED558502
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
Current Trends in Civic Education: An American Perspective
Murphy, Madonna
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain Annual Meeting (Oxford, England, Apr 22-24, 2004)
"Citizenship" is a quality that most Americans would agree should be promoted in the schools. "Values education," as we have seen, provokes controversy and the question "Whose values are you going to teach?" An acceptable response is: "Values of citizenship, American democratic values, and the values upon which our country was founded." This paper shows us how the U.S. Blue Ribbon schools use their citizenship programs to assist in the development of the character of their students. Citizenship programs are usually found within the social studies curriculum but are also found integrated throughout the school in various other programs. This paper presents answers to the following questions: (1) What are the essential characteristics that make a citizenship program character education and not just civic education?; (2) What are the democratic values that we want to foster in our nation's schools?; (3) Why is it important to involve students in decision making in order to develop character and citizenship?; and (4) What are some ways that students can develop good character by caring within the classroom? This paper reports on documentary and qualitative research conducted on the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools to see the different ways in which these schools promote the character of their students through their citizenship programs. A character-building citizenship program emphasizes the development of specific "democratic" qualities such as justice, respect, fairness, cooperation, persistence, moral responsibility, empathy, and caring. In order to develop these virtues, schools have given students opportunities in the classroom to practice actions of caring, concern for others, generosity, and kindness. Evaluations of these activities in the Blue Ribbon schools and in other schools that have also implemented these programs have shown them to be effective in helping students develop their character and thereby act as good citizens.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama; California; Idaho; Indiana; Louisiana; Michigan; Missouri; New Jersey; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Texas