One of the greatest challenges facing our schools today is teaching our children respect, responsibility, hard work, compassion, and other values so desperately needed in today's society. Most parents say they want help from the schools in teaching children a basic sense of right and wrong, but "values education" can be profoundly controversial, even feared. In a pluralistic society where values often clash, schools struggle with fundamental questions: What values should they teach? And how should they teach them?
Now Dr. Thomas Lickona, an international authority on moral development and education and the author of Raising Good Children, cuts through this controversy to report on dozens of practical, successful programs that are teaching the values necessary for our children's moral development and a decent, humane society. His twelve-point program offers practical strategies designed to create a working coalition of parents, teachers, and communities -- anyone who cares about the character of young people today.
Lickona, a professor of education at the State University of New York and the author of the highly praised Raising Good Children , addresses the controversial topic of "values" education and its place in today's classrooms. In a well-balanced presentation distilling his decades of experience, Lickona suggests practical approaches that have been developed by several programs of moral education. Proceeding from the principle that "there is no such thing as value-free education," the author demonstrates that character development is as necessary as academic achievement, and that parents and school administrators are increasingly aware of this need. In his view, two great values, expressed as respect and responsibiity, should define the public school's moral agenda. Acknowledging that values education has often proved divisive, Lickona specifies strategies likely, he believes, to make moral education effective and less anxiety-provoking for parents and teachers. This important study will be a resource for those concerned with the "ethical illiteracy" of children.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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August 30, 1992
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