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Character Education: Themes and Researches. An Academic Literature Review

TitleCharacter Education: Themes and Researches. An Academic Literature Review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPattaro C
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2016
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
Keywordscharacter education, citizenship education, Education, socialization

Character education is both a rooted and developing discipline. Even though there is no consensual definition, it can be widely described as a school- based process to promote personal development in youth, through the development of virtue, moral values, and moral agency. Starting from the growing interest about this theme in recent years, this article aims at using the character educationanalysis category to conduct an exploratory research on the main tendencies in the international literature, defining which are the main topics, exploring the way these topics develop in terms of theory and empirical research and analyzing how they relate to each other. In view of this goal, titles and abstracts of 261 articles published in 145 peer-reviewed academic journals over the period 2005-2014 were selected from Education Source, ERIC, Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection and SocINDEX databases. Articlestitles and abstract were analyzed through the T-Lab software, using different content analysis techniques. Although many ambivalences and ambiguities affect the meaning attributed to the character education, some key trends emerge from this literature review and the considered studies seem to agree that character education can play an important role in the construction of children and adolescents’ identity and can be a distinctive intervention for youth education and socialization.