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Character Matters

Character Matters

How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues

Award-winning psychologist and educator Thomas Lickona offers more than one hundred practical strategies that parents and schools have used to help kids build strong personal character as the foundation for a purposeful, productive, and fulfilling life.

Succeeding in life takes character, and Lickona shows how irresponsible and destructive behavior can invariably be traced to the absence of good character and its ten essential qualities: wisdom, justice, fortitude, self-control, love, a positive attitude, hard work, integrity, gratitude, and humility.

The culmination of a lifetime’s work in character education from one the preeminent psychologists of our time, this landmark book gives us the tools we need to raise respectful and responsible children, create safe and effective schools, and build the caring and decent society in which we all want to live.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743245074 | 
  • February 2004
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Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Portraits of character touch something deep in the human heart. In the award-winning Civil War documentary by Ken Burns, one of the most commented on and moving moments was the reading of a letter written by a Union soldier, Major Sullivan Ballou, to his wife, Sarah, a week before his death at the Battle of Bull Run:

My very dear Sarah,

The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days -- perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in,... see more

About the Author

Thomas Lickona
Photo Credit: Chad Weckler

Thomas Lickona

Thomas Lickona is a developmental psychologist and professor of education at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he directs the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (respect and responsibility). The recipient of the Sandy Lifetime Achievement Award from the Character Education Partnership, he is the author of Educating for Character, which has been called "the bible of the character education movement."

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