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Truth is Powerful

An Encouraging Consensus on Character Education

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Some recommendations for developing compassion, courage, determination, fairness, grit, honesty, patience, respect, responsibility, self-motivation, and temperance.

We may be witnessing the resurgence of character education. There seems to be renewed interest in what was, for eons, a core element of education—teaching young people the attributes of a good family member, neighbor, and citizen.

Part of the reason character education fell out of vogue is that it forces us to talk about the common good, the good life, and personal duties. In a continental, highly diverse, democratic republic, there will be differences of opinions on such matters.

I was curious if there might be enough agreement to serve as a foundation for a new character-education agenda. So I posed a set of questions to 18 experts from various corners of education research, policy, and politics. These leaders span the ideological spectrum; have worked on urban, suburban, and rural issues; and have served in an array of important positions—as elected officials, big-city superintendents, federal appointees, college professors, think-tank leaders, classroom teachers, and more.

For the most part, there was a remarkable degree of agreement around four themes. This points to a potential consensus approach to energizing character education.

Core Features The respondents offered a wide […]

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