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Character Matters

character mattersCharacter Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues

by Thomas Lickona

(scroll down to read some chapters)

"What an absolutely marvelous book! Greatly needed in restoring the character ethic in a techno/materialistic-obsessed world. Character is primary greatness; prestige is secondary greatness. Extremely valuable practical resource for every parent and teacher. Great gift book." --Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Book review by Library Journal Reviews:

Lickona, an award-winning educator and psychologist, follows his renowned Educating for Character with this helpful, step-by-step program for implementing character education at home, in school, or even throughout a collective community. After defining why it's important to teach character, Lickona tackles teaching manners, preventing peer cruelty and promoting kindness, and helping kids take responsibility for their character. In each section, he provides valuable questions for inspiring ethical discussions with children, point-by-point tips for addressing a certain topic or audience (e.g., character-based discipline, teaching daily goal-setting), and anecdotes of successful value-driven families, classrooms, and communities. the author emphasizes the importance of parents being the first and strongest teachers of children but also stresses the value of strong home-school connections (e.g., an approach that allows families to determine which sexuality values to teach, while the school provides the framework for the conversation). Though based on the philosophy of Educating for Character, this book is different in that it outlines more strategies for implementing character education. Highly recommended for child-rearing and education collections.

The novelist Walker Percy once observed, "Some people get all As but flunk life." Succeeding in life takes character. In Character Matters, psychologist-educator Tom Lickona offers more than 100 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.

Lickona shows how irresponsible and destructive behavior can invariably be traced to the absence of good character and its 10 essential qualities-wisdom, justice, fortitude, self-control, love, a positive attitude, hard work, integrity, gratitude and humility. He lays out a blueprint for building these core virtues through a partnership shared by families, schools, and communities. Chapters include:

  • 14 strategies that help kids succeed academically while building character
  • More than a dozen character-building discipline strategies
  • 20 ways to prevent peer cruelty and promote kindness
  • 10 ways to talk to teens about sex, love, and character


Part One

  • Why Character Matters

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

  • Create Schools of Character
  • Make Your School a School of Character
  • Involve Students in Creating a School of Character

Part Five

  • Create Communities of Character
  • Involve the Whole Community in Building Good Character


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