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The “Kaleidoscope of Life”: Story as Vital for Values Education

Author(s): Anna L. Cates

Journal: Christian Perspectives in Education
ISSN 2159-807X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Educators and the general American public continue to favor character education programs in public schools, but many are unsure how best to teach values. Currently, and in the past, literature-based approaches to character education have received advocacy because of the values stories contain and because of the nature of story itself. Story is universal and uniquely character-molding and is a time-honored method to fostering understanding. This fact can be gleamed in religious and secular traditions alike, having been used and advocated by as wide array of individuals as Jesus Christ and N. Scott Momaday. Numerous bases—spiritual, historical, psychological, and philosophical—exist for using story. Stories are powerful, emotionally provocative, and effective not only in exploring the meaning of various values, but also in providing particular benefits, such as organizing ideas or enhancing awareness. For these reasons, literature-based approaches to character education can become the ideal foundation for imparting an understanding of universally esteemed values and building character traits.
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