Education Letter to the Editor

Report Does Not Give Full Picture of Character Education

November 12, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Your summary of the recent federal study of social- and character-development programs (“Study Finds Few Benefits in Character Education,” Report Roundup, Oct. 27, 2010) doesn’t tell the whole story. Each of the seven programs included in the multisite component of the federal study had to undertake a rigorous local study as well. A number of these local studies are finding quite positive results, including the three-year random-assignment study by independent researchers of my organization’s 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution).

Findings so far in a nutshell: Children in 4Rs schools developed more positively socially and emotionally than children in the control schools; and children considered most at risk had better attendance, better grades, and higher standardized-test scores in reading than their counterparts in the control schools (Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, November 2010). Overall classroom quality was significantly higher in the 4Rs schools (Journal of Educational Psychology, Spring 2010).

The findings above—from year one alone—are just the beginning. In January 2011, Child Development will describe the impact of years one and two. Another article in the same issue of the journal will report the findings of a meta-analysis of 213 studies of similar programs to foster social and emotional learning. Stay tuned!

Tom Roderick

Executive Director

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

New York, N.Y.

A version of this article appeared in the November 17, 2010 edition of Education Week as Report Does Not Give Full Picture of Character Education


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)