As previously stated in the section related to desired student outcomes (Huitt, 1997a), in my opinion there are three major issues in the education of young people today. The first is the development of a vision for one's life that includes the discovery and/or defining of one's life mission and desired lifestyle. The second is the development of one's character, dealing with concerns of direction and quality of life. The third deals with the development of competence that deals with concerns of how well one is able to do something. These three issues are addressed specifically in the SCANS report (Whetzel, 1992) and in my critique of that report (Huitt, 1997). Similarly, Walsh (1990) defines education as the process that prepares young people for their social inheritance and advocates three dimensions of education--development of knowledge, training of mental abilities, and development of character. The issues of vision and competence permeates other sections of these materials (e.g., information processing, abstract thinking, critical thinking, conation/volition.) The focus of this section will be the issue of character.
The following two definitions provide examples of a normative view of character:
"engaging in morally relevant conduct or words, or refraining from certain conduct or words" (Wynne & Walberg, 1984);
"a complex set of relatively persistent qualities of the individual person, and generally has a positive connotation when used in discussions of moral education" (Pritchard, 1988).
In general, character, good or bad, is considered to be observable in one's conduct (Walberg & Wynne, 1989). Thus, character is different from values in that values are orientations or dispositions whereas character involves action or activation of knowledge and values. From this perspective, values are seen as one of the foundations for character. In the context of the model of human behavior presented at this site (Huitt, 1996), values includes both...