ERIC Number: EJ1199511
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Abstractor: As Provided
What Is Character Education? Development of a Prototype
McGrath, Robert E.
Journal of Character Education, v14 n2 p23-35 2018
Character education specialists seem to know it when they see it, but what it means to call something a character education program remains unclear. One possible source for this uncertainty is the manner in which character education has been defined. By identifying certain features as necessary, existing definitions fail to encompass the universe of programs that can reasonably be considered instances of character education. Using recent literature on definition via prototype as a starting point, this article suggests evaluating programs as character education based on consistency with a model for such programs comprised of 7 features. Two strategies for evaluating whether and to what extent a program can be considered an example of character education are discussed, called polythetic classification and prototype matching. The goal is to help researchers and practitioners more effectively distinguish character education from other sorts of programs intended for personal growth.
Descriptors: Values Education, Definitions, Program Evaluation, Models, Classification, Individual Development, Educational Environment, Prosocial Behavior, Self Concept, Moral Development, Ethics, Holistic Approach, Program Descriptions
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A