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Character and Citizenship Education: What More Can We Do - Research Paper Example

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the 21st century the world has become increasingly linked due to a number of different factors. The present study considers the way that globalization has significantly impacted the need to review CCE in schools to ensure continued relevance and currency for a sustainable future…
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Character and Citizenship Education: What More Can We Do
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Character and Citizenship Education: What More Can We Do

As the dissertation stresses it is no longer possible for a state or a region to pursue its own agenda secluded from the rest of the world and even the largest and most dominant societies, like the United States, must now take account of the many views and approaches that have currency in the world. People migrate more, and this means that any society is likely to contain people who hold a variety of different values, and follow different religions, with consequently different lifestyles and behaviors. In addition to this diverse population there is also an increase in the speed of change in society, and a need to equip all citizens to function within the high technology and fast-changing world of work and an often complex and multi-cultural family setting. For educators concerned to fulfil their obligations in the area of character and citizenship education (CCE) this pluralistic context presents a number of considerable challenges.
This paper declares that the task of CCE has been defined in various ways, according to different theoretical perspectives. Behaviourist approaches work on a principle of rewards and punishments, based on the idea that children can be moulded using these means towards appropriate behavior. Behaviorists assume that children are inherently unable to make good choices, and must be educated, often using quite strict controls, into moral decision-making. The teaching of values in this context means making sure that children adopt the strict rules of a paternalistic society. Humanists, on the other hand, assume that children are born with the capacity to be good, and to make their own moral decisions. This approach advocates encouragement and choice, rather than coercion, and has been both praised as a more authentic way to support the development of deep moral thinking, and criticized as unrealistic and ineffective in modern contexts. Lockwood defines character education (the more traditional part of CCE) as follows: “Character education is any school-initiated program designed to shape directly and systematically the behavior of young people by teaching explicitly the nonrelativistic values believed to directly bring about good behavior,” (Lockwood, 2009, 100) and modifies this with an addendum called “developmental character education” which reaches into areas like citizenship and making sound judgements. This is a good starting point for the inculcation of basic ideas, but it does not go very far in addressing some of the complexities of globalized education. Some sociological theories, such as those of Durkheim (1973) advocate a focus on group activities, since they assume that morality will emerge in the interaction of individuals with one another within a larger group context. Children learn to attune their individual impulses to the ... Read More
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