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Historical Review of Ethics Education in America

Literature delineated current research in the area of ethics education and character development for students in public schools. In to place the problem in the context of existing literature concerning ethics and character education, books, journal articles and recent studies in elementary and adult educational settings were included. The review consisted of works published primarily after 1990, although classic works demanded consideration for historical emphasis. The review was comprehensive, but not exhaustive in its examination of the subject of ethics and character education. Resource material was obtained from libraries at the following institutions: Oxford Graduate School, Dayton, Tennessee; Oxford University, Oxford, England; University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas; Arkansas Tec University, Russellville, Arkansas; Bryan College, Dayton, Tennessee; Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel; Jerusalem University College, Jerusalem, Israel and numerous community college libraries.

Extensive use of online libraries provided articles, journals, and other resource material for this document. Keywords such as ethics, character, character education, morality, and the history of education in America, philosophy of education, moral thought, and ethics in education are among the words and phrases used to locate resource material. For background material; used book stores, Alibris, Amazon online bookstore, and personal libraries provided out of print and rare books about the history of education in America.

Periodicals dealing with educational issues in Arkansas, the Arkansas State Department of Education website, and local and state newspapers were sources of information about the concerns in Arkansas education. Selected literature reflected concerns, trends and methodologies used to dictate the issue of character development and ethics education. The contents of this review included: (1) introduction; (2) assumptions about ethics and character education; (3) historical influence on American education 4) framework of America’s educational systems; (5) contemporary ethical theories affecting education; (6) popular approaches to ethics education in the current environment; (7) conflict and change in the ethical formats of American schools; (8) major concerns, (9) rising fundamentalist resolutions, (10) studies in ethics and character education, (11) Arkansas’ state initiatives, (12) summary.