This essay discusses some aspects of the Character Education in the USA. A different perspective on the new push for character education in our schools today comes from Judy Yero (2002) who claims that declining moral values and cultural degeneration have existed since the earliest societies.
A different perspective on the new push for character education in our schools today comes from Judy Yero (2002) who claims that declining moral values and cultural degeneration have existed since the earliest societies, but today, are “fed by a media that chooses to focus the bulk of their attention on the worst that humanity has to offer” (p. 1).
Yero also claims that historical periods of moral and social upheavals in society brought about much needed changes and advances in human rights, such as equality for minorities, or women gaining the right to vote. According to Yero (2002),
“Although some character education programs insist that there are certain ‘virtues’ such as wisdom, honesty, justice, respect, responsibility, and courage, that are universal – that cut across religious and cultural lines – others question whether such virtues can exist in a country founded on ideas of religious and personal freedom – a society that has grown steadily more pluralistic in its values and beliefs” (p. 3).
People often assume that the words listed as virtues are interpreted the same by everyone. For instance, Yero claims that loyalty and courage are often mentioned as virtues, yet gang members use loyalty as a reason to commit crimes and not “squeal” on their friends. Furthermore, Yero asks, doesn’t it take courage to rob a bnk, or shoot at a police officer? Yero also states that children in school are taught to obey adults and respect those in authority, and wonders how will they learn to recognize when it is appropriate to question authority (Yero, 2002).
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