Sample Term Paper
This is a term paper on character education in the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century in America, the nature of character education that was presented in the public schools was firmly grounded in Protestant Christianity.
Throughout the nineteenth century in America, the nature of character education that was presented in the public schools was firmly grounded in Protestant Christianity. Horace Mann and other educators, who either required or supported Bible reading in schools, did so in the belief that the moral values taught in this way were universal and nonsectarian, recognized by all civilized people and sanctioned by all creeds (Greenawalt, 1996). Public schools fully embraced character education through discipline, the teacher’s example, and the daily school curriculum.
In the early twentieth century, the consensus supporting character education began to crumble under several notable trends. Some of the changes in the public support were due to increasing urbanization of society, increasing affluence of American society, and increasing religious autonomy (Greenawalt, 1996).
The biggest blow to character education though, happened in the mid- 1920’s when the Institute of Social and Religious Research launched a study to evaluate the impact of character education on students in the public schools (Greenawalt, 1996). This research, done by Hugh Hartschorne and Mark A. May entitled The Character Education Inquiry concluded that “character education programs, religious instruction, and moral training had no effect on the moral conduct of the students as measured in this study’ (Beachum & McCray, 2005, p. 3). As the study’s conclusions circulated, parents and educators felt more effort and emphasis should be put on academic learning instead of values curricula. According to Greenawalt, “This research marked a turning point in the relationship between American public education and traditional character education” (p. 3, Para 7).
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