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Character Education from a Children's Rights Perspective: An Examination of Elementary Students' Perspectives and Experiences

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image of The International Journal of Children's Rights

Rising divorce rates, acts of violence around the world, and other similar events have brought the concept of "character" to the forefront. Educators have responded with a resurgence of character education programmes. However, as technology unites individuals around the globe, our "community" has expanded beyond the boundaries of our own school, city, or even country. With this comes tremendous diversity and following an imposed set of "universal" values no longer seems reasonable. Given that character education has become so complex, children's rights may provide a way for us to conceptualize it on a more universal level. As a start, this pilot project examined the levels of importance and existence of rights as perceived by a small sample of Northern Ontario elementary students. Although these students, particularly the females, generally rated their rights as highly important, they indicated only moderate support for them.

Affiliations: 1: Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada


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