5 Characters in Search of Character
from the ACHS 1999 Annual Meeting in San Diego, California
Henry Janssen, Phi Beta Kappa
My contribution to this discussion is a series of questions. It is my opinion that, in addition to the contributions of my colleagues on this panel, further engagement by all of you will greatly enhance this conversation. Perhaps these questions can begin that process.
- What has generated this panel?
- Is it agreed that good character is a socially constructed concept?
- Is it agreed that good character demonstrates itself in works?
- To what extent is character established before college?
- Is character education still going on in higher education?
- Are honor societies to take responsibility for forming character?
- What is the relationship between liberal arts and character?
- What is the relation between general education and character? Does "Gen Ed" engage in character formation? Does the "whole person" indicate character formation?
- Membership in Mortar Board asks for evidence of service. Does that mean that service contributes to character?
- Is it too visionary to suppose there is an education focused on character formation?
- Can Honors Councils have a role in character?
- In determining good character, should we deal with the private sphere or the public sphere?