EDUCATION REFORMS TOWARDS 21ST CENTURY SKILLS: INTEGRATING CHARACTER EDUCATION IN TEACHER EDUCATION CURRICULUM

Harriet Wambui Njui

Abstract


This paper reviews literature on character education with a view to making recommendations on how learning institutions in Kenya could integrate character education in the curriculum in order to equip learners with skills needed for success in life and workplace. Character education is a component of learning which forms part of the four integral dimensions of a complete and balanced education namely knowledge, skills, character, and metacognition. Integrating character education in the curriculum is crucial because the goal of education is to produce confident, compassionate and ethical citizens who are well engaged in the development of their society. Teachers are expected to adequately prepare learners to face the challenges of the 21st century by instilling them with personal development and the ability to fulfill social and community responsibilities as global citizens. Teachers’ success in this expectation is pegged on the quality of their pre-service training. Thus, if teachers are to effectively impart learners with character, teacher training institutions should make character education an integral and compulsory component of pre-service teacher training. Examples of character qualities are mindfulness, curiosity, courage, resilience, ethics, leadership, equity, equality and inclusion. It is hoped that this review will shed light on the need to integrate character education at all levels of learning to enable learners acquire holistic quality education that is capable of transforming them into empowered ethical citizens who are capable of contributing to the development of the society at both local and global arenas. The paper will be followed by an empirical research in teacher training institutions in Kenya to determine whether the institutions have incorporated character education in their curricula.

 

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character education, citizenship, transformative education, values, inclusive learning

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