ASCD's A Lexicon of Learning defines character education as follows:
Teaching children about basic human values, including honesty, kindness, generosity, courage, freedom, equality, and respect. The goal is to raise children to become morally responsible, self-disciplined citizens. Problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution are important parts of developing moral character. Through role playing and discussions, students are helped to see that their decisions affect other people and things. Service learning is frequently a part of a comprehensive character education program.
Character education is actively promoted by the Character Education Partnership, a coalition of education and civic organizations with viewpoints that range from liberal to conservative.