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Since the beginning of the educational system begun by Plato’s Academy, the importance of instilling virtue was an understood and mandatory task of the teacher. In the past century, however, with the rise of technology and the ever increasing amount of knowledge at the resource of education the role of Character Education has lost its important place in many areas of education as a whole. Character Education is vital for connecting knowledge and exploring the role of knowledge in both the individual and society. It is an essential component of education teachers must integrate and implement within their classrooms.
Many advocates of Character Education blame the evolution of the pluralistic society for the diminishing role of morality teaching within the classroom. The assessment is fair on the basis that a relativistic society is more inclined to create subjective standards of truth. The problem of the assessment, however, is the misunderstanding of Character Education and indoctrination. Most negative reactions to the teaching of values within the classroom are against a morality contained by indoctrination not Character Education. Parents are right when schools teach a morality that is subjectively traced to an authoritarian opinion that does not hold a universal significance. Character Education suggests this form of morality teaching is also wrong. Instead objective morality can only be found when its rules are both universal and benefit the individual and the community. Any objective standard must hold to the measure of this type of benefit. Parents are not against the teaching of virtue they are against the enforcement of doctrinal paradigms created by a subjective part of society that suggest it is objective.
Character Education must be an objective ideal created communally by both the school system and the outer community. Both must work together to create a system of checks and balances that ensures the objective virtue is taught and indoctrination is non-existent. This allows the current of communication to flow with the greatest structure of ease and diminishes the maintenance of conflict between the community and the school.
The two most basic forms of developing objective Character Education is the virtues of respect and responsibility. Respect demands that students produce their best individual work while participating in the communal environment of the classroom. Students will respect their work and the work of their peers. The teachers must also respect students by refraining from morally relative teaching and understand the foundation of their teaching is to develop wisdom not knowledge memorization. This prevents indoctrination and allows a dialogical approach of openness within the classroom. Curriculum from a variety of models and beliefs and ideas can then be learned objectively without pretense. It also allow parents and the community to respond respectfully in any form of conflict that may arouse.
Responsibility continues the exact same pattern. Students recognize their responsibility to produce their best work and teacher understand their responsibility to develop and foster a learning atmosphere free from the bias of indoctrination. This fostering of responsibility allows the parents and community to do the same outside of school.
The notion of only morally objective ideas allows the classroom to openly discuss and learn in a comfortable atmosphere. Students will no longer feel the need to be fed answers and will instead find excitement in asking questions. They will begin to own their educational process, thus allowing healthier classroom to exist. It also allows teachers to teach Character Education within their sustained curriculum. For example, an English teacher will be free to discuss the virtues associated with the ideas contained in a novel. In fact, it will also allow the classroom to discuss subjective ideas contained in curriculum, like novels, in a healthy and objective way.
Proper implementation of Character Education must contain the essential elements of understanding the role of Character Education. It must also improve and provide a series of checks and balances between the community and the school system. Last, Character Education must stand firmly on the universal applicability of its moral standards to be a benefit to the individual and community beginning with respect and responsibility.