ERIC Number: EJ1149266
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
With Liberty and Justice for All: "Character Education for America's Future"
Power, F. Clark
Journal of Character Education, v10 n1 p31-36 2014
Having come of age during the era of civil rights marches and antiwar protests, Clarke Power frames this article by saying that it was Michael Harrington's (1962) classic, "The Other America: Poverty in the United States" that influenced Kennedy and Johnson's antipoverty programs and opened his eyes to the contradictions of poverty and inequality in the world's most affluent nation. Harrington assumed, perhaps naively, that once people understood the plight of the poor, they would commit themselves to being part of the solution. Yet America still finds itself as a nation struggling in poverty, and this economic hardship translates into reduced educational opportunity for growing numbers of children who simply cannot keep pace with their more fortunate peers. Power believes that in this social climate, character educators have an important role to play in awakening the public to the reality of this situation and in creating the conditions for a serious deliberation as to the course of action needed to provide for children's future. Power relates what he learned about implementing character education programs from a recent research study of middle school varsity basketball teams funded by the LA84 Foundation. The research studied the simple question "can we prepare youth sport coaches to be effective moral educators?" The study found that participation in a 3-hour Play Like a Champion Today (PLC) clinic focused on teaching coaches to lead moral discussions in team meetings had a major impact on the quality of athletes' experience. As encouraging as these results were, researchers were disheartened by the conditions they found in urban schools where the study was conducted. Power agrees with the two foundational articles in this edition of "Journal of Character Education" by Daniel Lapsley, and Charles Murray saying that the two articles complement each other and also lead to disturbing questions about whether we as a people have the will to invest in character education capable of revitalizing America's democracy.
Descriptors: Civil Rights, Values Education, Poverty, Moral Values, Team Sports, Middle School Students, Urban Schools, Athletic Coaches, Program Implementation, Teaching Methods, Democracy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A