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ERIC Number: EJ806981
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Dec-5
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-1207-7798
Does Character Education "Really" Support Citizenship Education? Examining the Claims of an Ontario Policy
Winton, Sue
Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, n66 p1-24 Dec 2007
The claim that the character education policy of a school board in Ontario, Canada supports citizenship education is examined. 181 documents were analyzed to determine the ways the policy supports and/or undermines citizenship education's goal to prepare students to become "knowledgeable individuals committed to active participation in a pluralist society" (Sears, Clarke, and Hughes, 2000, p. 153). The findings show that the policy encourages students to acquire specific values, behaviours, and interpersonal skills rather than conceptual or situational knowledge. While the policy encourages active citizenship by promoting the development of decision-making, conflict resolution, and communication skills, it emphasizes participation in activities that support rather than challenge the status quo. The policy also offers some support for developing students' commitment to pluralism, but its narrow definition of diversity and emphasis on shared values, behaviour, and language contradict these efforts. I conclude that the policy supports citizenship education that adopts an assimilationist conception of social cohesion and/or social initiation as its purpose(s). (Contains 1 footnote.)
Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba. Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2. Tel: 204-474-9004; Fax: 204-474-7564; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada