Character Education: The Missing Piece in Developing Democratic Citizens in the Present World of Education

ABSTRACT CHARACTER EDUCATION: THE MISSING PIECE IN DEVELOPING DEMOCRATIC CITIZENS IN THE PRESENT WORLD OF EDUCATION by Haley Shae Flournoy Master of Arts in Education California State University, Chico Summer 2011 Since the introduction of No Child Left behind, a growing trend has been observed in public schools throughout California and across the United States. It seems that most public education systems have rid their curriculum of any evidence of subject matter unrelated to high stakes testing, leaving behind crucial character building elements that were once the foundation of our educational system. This study intends to address the issues surrounding character education, its place and purpose, and its effectiveness in impacting the growth of students as democratic citizens within the context of a public special education day class middle school classroom. Using the co-teaching model, with one teacher as expert and the other, myself, as the teacher in training, we will explore and study the effectiveness of our consistent and conscientious use of character education programs in promoting more thoughtful, engaged, and collaborative students.