This work is a comprehensive and critical assessment of contemporary character education theory and practice from a number of perspectives - historical, cultural, philosophical, psychological, empirical, political and ethical. The study also delineates opposing views on the place of such teaching in schools. The idea that character education should be an important element in the curriculum of public schools is controversial. Some critics reject the idea that schools should be involved in teaching values. Proponents often disagree amongst themselves - some detailing the proper values students should be taught, others arguing that character development must be part of a larger process of constructing an ethical community in the schools. The book seeks to provide a breadth of perpectives, experience and approaches to the problem of assessing contemporary character education.