ERIC Number: EJ923872
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 13
Our Purposes: Personal Reflections on Character Development and Social Responsibility in Higher Education
Chickering, Arthur W.
Liberal Education, v96 n3 p54-59 Sum 2010
Recognition of the importance of outcomes related to moral and ethical development, other dimensions of personal development, and civic engagement is a result of decades of educational reform. But have colleges and universities succeeded in helping students achieve these outcomes? In this article, the author shares his personal reflections on character development and social responsibility in higher education. He argues that in the quarter century since the release of "Involvement in Learning: Realizing the Potential of American Higher Education," the final report of the Study Group on the Conditions of Excellence in American Higher Education, colleges and universities have failed in encouraging character development and social responsibility. He believes that colleges and universities are the most important social institutions for sustaining a pluralistic, globally interdependent democracy. Yet, they have so far failed to graduate citizens who have attained the levels of cognitive, moral, intellectual, and ethical development required to address complex national and global problems. He contends that higher-order cognitive skills, which are needed to see through the misinformation and disinformation and to examine complex issues with critical judgment, must be anchored in clear recognition of the fundamental moral implications concerning human dignity and well-being.
Descriptors: Higher Education, Educational Change, Human Dignity, Moral Values, Social Responsibility, Ethics, Moral Development, Colleges, Universities, Academic Achievement, Outcomes of Education, Well Being, Citizenship Responsibility
Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1818 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: 800-297-3775; Tel: 202-387-3760; Fax: 202-265-9532; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aacu.org/publications/index.cfm
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Vermont