We are living in a society that is pushing merit or individual success over character and this is ever present in the higher education system. If the role of higher education is to educate and shape a students’ character one must look first understand what character is and then look at how higher education institutions take on the role of shaping ones character. However, one has to be wary in putting the shaping of one’s character solely on the shoulders of higher education institutions. As Bertram suggests those who do not attend higher education institutions do not lack character, nevertheless what they may miss out on is the shaping that can only be explored and taught in higher education institutions (Bertram, 2015). The more higher education institutions rely primarily on tests and grades for evidence of learning the more our society will continue to value individual achievement versus the collective achievement and those key roles that higher education institution could play in shaping character will become smaller and less important....
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...Guinier’s, (2015) definition of character can be defined as moral positive characteristics of a person, or someone who has the ability and access to acquire socially valuable skills and knowledge. This is a much closer definition reflected of the type of character that should be taught at higher education institutions.
Others define character without using the specific term character. Some of these authors talk about the concept of citizenship and what it means to be a good citizen which can correlate to what it means to have character. For Martin Luther King Jr., he may view someone who has character is someone who is will to fight an unjust law even if that means breaking that law or another (King Jr., 2015). What Guinier wants is for colleges to provide their students with skills and knowledge that will lead them to success beyond wealth and individual power.
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