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Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics

The Rise of Character Education in Britain

Heroes, Dragons and the Myths of Character

Authors: Jerome, Lee, Kisby, Ben

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  • Offers a rigorous critique of the character education movement in the UK
  • Strongly criticises the teaching resources produced by leading character educators in Britain
  • Sets Britain's character education in a wider international context
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eBook 41,64 €
price for China (P.R.) (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27761-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 49,99 €
price for China (P.R.) (gross)
  • Due: 2019年9月2日
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27760-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
About this book

What is character education? Why has it risen up the political agenda in the UK in recent years? And what does it mean in pedagogical practice? This book addresses these questions, challenging the individualistic and moralistic ideas underlying the clamour amongst politicians, educators and authors to promote ‘grit’, ‘resilience’ and ‘character’ in schools. Closely examining a range of teaching resources, the book shows that the development of character is wrongly presented as the solution to a wide variety of social problems, with individual citizens expected to accommodate themselves to the realities of the contemporary economic context, rather than enhancing their capacities to engage in civic and political activities to bring about changes they wish to see. The book argues that there is a tried and tested alternative to character education, which is far more likely to strengthen British democracy, namely, citizenship education.

About the authors

Lee Jerome is Associate Professor of Education at Middlesex University, UK. He has published widely and explores three main themes in his research: citizenship education, children’s rights and teacher education. He is a founder-member of the Association for Citizenship Teaching (ACT), and is co-editor of ACT’s journal Teaching Citizenship.

Ben Kisby is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Lincoln, UK. He has a number of publications on citizenship education. His research interests focus on British politics, public policy and youth political engagement. He co-founded the Political Studies Association’s Young People’s Politics specialist research group.

Reviews

“This is a provocative indictment of the character education movement that deconstructs its invidious content: indoctrination that denies socio-economic poverty, human rights and solidarity in a message of anti-political individualism. Character education is a clear and present danger for schools and young people, and this analysis deserves a wide audience.” (Alistair Ross, Jean Monnet Professor of Citizenship Education in Europe and Emeritus Professor, London Metropolitan University, UK) 

“This book is a fascinating exploration of the recent character education project in the UK and highlights a number of issues which should concern anyone involved in educating children or policymaking in the field. Jerome and Kisby provide a useful intellectual critique of the conceptual basis of character education currently being proposed as well as exploring the varied and worrying social and economic intentions of those academics, politicians and philanthropic organisations supporting the project. After reading this book, I’m convinced that, in the challenging world in which we now live, the individualistic focus on ‘developing character’ and the flawed ideas around it such as ‘developing grit’ are a dangerous distraction. As the authors propose, our children and our democracy would be better served by investing rather more time and resource in developing community-minded active citizens through high quality citizenship education.” (Marcus Bhargava, Head of School of Education, Kingston University London, UK) 

“This book provides a timely, and much-needed, critical appraisal of conceptual, ethical and political problems arising from the current approaches to character education. Lee Jerome and Ben Kisby have developed a cogent, compelling argument for citizenship education as an alternative to the dominant paradigm of ‘heroes’, ‘dragons’ and singular universal truths about ‘character’. This book stimulates the reader to engage in a careful reflection on the important differences between the dominant didactic-indoctrinatory approaches to character education and alternative pedagogies that enable engagement with the core processes of citizenship education. A must-read for teachers, teacher educators, policymakers and anyone interested in educating young people in twenty-first century pluralist societies.” (Agnieszka Bates, Lecturer in Education, University of East Anglia, UK)

“From Narnia, though Arthurian myth to Rosa Parks, character education in Britain contains some peculiar, and occasionally disturbing, approaches. Yet over the last ten years it has gained huge support from many politicians and academics, both in Britain and around the world. Here, Jerome and Kisby put character education under the microscope and ask the key questions: what is it intended to achieve, what has been the initial impact on pupils, and what are its ideological roots? Anyone who cares about the current direction of travel in educational thinking should read this book. The answers may surprise you.” (Karl Sweeney, Initial Teacher Education Tutor and Education Adviser)

“The promise of traditional character education is that it can help children and young people to become ‘good’ by exposing them to the classical virtues extolled by Aristotle and other powerful thinkers. It presents itself as a straight-forward, common-sense solution to problems of an uncertain world, where post-Cold War optimism has given way to fear, anger, precarity and the social violence of austerity. In such times, looking inward at our own motivations, behaviours, resilience and adaptability has a certain level of appeal. This excellent book provides a critical analysis that challenges this precedent. It examines the origins, efficacy, funding and political attractiveness of character education. It places character education firmly in today’s context where it seems we are compelled to try and create the ideal ‘neoliberal citizen’ to the detriment of social justice. The implications of this analysis go beyond character education itself as a route into a broader, prescient question: how should we educate citizens so that we can learn to live together and create a better world?” (Gary Walsh, School of Education, University of Glasgow, UK)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 41,64 €
price for China (P.R.) (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27761-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 49,99 €
price for China (P.R.) (gross)
  • Due: 2019年9月2日
  • ISBN 978-3-030-27760-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Rise of Character Education in Britain
Book Subtitle
Heroes, Dragons and the Myths of Character
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Young People and Politics
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Pivot
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-27761-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-27761-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-27760-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 138
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics