For most of America's history, schools were established to furnish more than just academic training: They were founded to form young people of strong character and civic conscience. We rarely think of our schools that way now. Ironically, we bicker over test scores, graduation rates, and academic standards, even as we are besieged by news stories of gratuitous misconduct and cynical, callous, unethical behavior.
Might our schools provide a glimmer of hope? This is precisely the question that a team of talented scholars asked in a landmark study. To explore how American high schools directly and indirectly inculcate moral values in students, these researchers visited a national sample of schools in each of ten sectors: urban public, rural public, charter, evangelical Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic, prestigious independent, alternative-pedagogy, and home schools. This new, 4-chapter edition is focused on prestigious independent schools and offers new resources for educators and others interested in character education. The findings point to a new model for understanding the moral and civic formation of children and to new ways to prepare young people for responsibility and citizenship in a complex world.