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Any society must concern itself with the socialization of its citizens. This begins in childhood, and schools are critical to this process. Socialization and moral learning inevitably take place in schools, and there is a “hidden curriculum” that models which behavior is considered appropriate or “normal.” This entry will focus on the theory and practice of intentional moral and character education. After a brief sketch of its conceptual roots in Greek philosophy and developments until the early 20th century, some major models of school-based moral education will be described that dominated the discourse more recently: values clarification, Lawrence Kohlberg’s cognitive-developmental approach, and contemporary comprehensive character education.

History

Many of the dominant strands and controversies in the contemporary understanding of morality and the goals of moral education in ...

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