Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2005


I explore three main lines of inquiry: (1) the specifics of “Core Essentials” as a strategy for teaching character; (2) the role (and ironies) of private businesses influencing public school curricula; and (3) the assumptions inherent in the kind of teaching of character outlined by “Core Essentials.” Girding this inquiry is a concern about the problematic enterprise of teaching character, itself, as if it were an unquestionable domain. Further, the oddly-but-related contexts of childhood obesity findings and Christian influences (both general symbolism and fundamentalist indoctrination) on and in public spheres will be considered via Theodore Brameld’s Ends and Means in Education , John Dewey’s Moral Principles in Education , and Pierre Bourdieu’s Acts of Resistance, and Firing Back. To be clear, this essay extends Weber’s, Kaestle’s, Apple’s, and others views of Protestantism merging with capitalism to create historical realities (for Kaestle) or problematic situations (for Weber and Apple) by forcing the element of Christian fundamentalism into the equation. It is not a small matter, on my view, that the curriculum this essay considers is financially supported by a Christian fundamentalist. Indeed, the curriculum, as will be shown, encourages students to financially support the company itself (and corporate chief), thus setting up a cycle whereby unwitting teachers and students finance a Christian fundamentalist’s policies that, in turn, support Christian fundamentalism in general.


Published in Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, vol. 21 no. 2 (2005), pp. 45-62.