Review of the Book, How Children Become Moral Selves: Building Character and Promoting Citizenship in Education

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Education Review


Arizona State University, College of Education

Publication Date



When I first read the title of Russell’s book, How children become moral selves: Building character and promoting citizenship in education, the association that entered my mind was Bennet’s (1993) book entitled The Book of Virtues. His book serves as a manifesto of sorts for conservative activists who are intent on reinforcing the hegemony of Eurocentric male morality on new generations of children. Claims in the curriculum to a central vernacular of virtues are often based upon “White, middle-class, heterosexual conceptions of character development” (Johnson, 2008, p. 67). My initial interpretation of Russell’s title as part of this conservative movement was incorrect, but my reaction illustrates how conservatives have taken hold of character education in schools.


Originally published by Arizona State University, College of Education. HTML fulltext available through remote link.