More on character education in school
The education of the soft skills is more fully realized with character education, but its not necessary to do character education for soft skills (at least as currently defined). The liberal arts are generally concerned with questions of mission and why, but I don’t think most K-12 curriculum as practiced integrates character beyond the classroom. (ie its dealt with as a pre-emptive issue of classroom order discipline rather than character). Some even these days deal with service of the community, but that too, is but one part of character.
I think some parts of character have to be taught beyond the walls of the classroom. You can’t teach courage in a classroom–or at least its hard too (you can read and watch historical movies and say coulda, woulda, shoulda, and other forms of prognostication, but the actual test of doing the right thing in the arena….a whole different ball game). Don’t get me wrong, mental preparation to do the right thing is important–but not as effective as mentally preparing and having practiced the execution.