To the Editor:
Education Week‘s Oct. 27, 2010, Report Roundup summary on character education (“Study Finds Few Benefits in Character Education”) was very upsetting. As I read how a federal study did not find that character education programs produce any improvements, for the most part, in student behavior or academic performance, I became enraged. I do not feel that we have spent enough time researching, following, and adapting these types of programs to make any type of judgment call on this new study.
We, as educators, need to be reminded of the theorists, who, through trial and error, developed what we know today as the study of human development. Without study after study and new knowledge and advancement in different areas of human development, we would not know how the mind works and the effects the environment has upon human growth.
We, as educators, cannot stop trying and searching to find a way to reach and teach every student. It is our job to provide the youth of today, tomorrow, and the future with the best education possible. If we fail to see that by not pursuing our quest to ultimately find a more effective way to reach our students, then we are giving up on education, our students, and society.
We must push on, we must not give up, and we must not forget that education is not what it once was, and in order to gain success, we must not stop reaching out in every way possible.
New York, N.Y.
A version of this article appeared in the November 17, 2010 edition of Education Week as Too Soon for a ‘Judgment Call’ on Character Education