The "Character Education Bibliography" was prepared
by the California State University, Fresno, under a 1999 contract
with the California Department of Education (CDE). These titles are
provided for information only.
The CDE does not adopt, approve,
endorse, recommend, or favor character education materials. The
CDE has no plans to evaluate or
have evaluated any additional character education resources.
The American Plutarch: 18 Lives Selected from the Dictionary
of American Biography.
Edited by Edward T. James. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
This book is a collection of biographies of famous Americans or
a modern version of The Parallel Lives of Eminent Greeks and
by the ancient Greek Plutarch. The biographies, like
those of Plutarch, are arranged in pairs — Jefferson and Hamilton,
Lee and Grant, Jefferson Davis and Lincoln, etc. — and concentrate
on very significant problems of historical responsibility and change.
In each biography there is a focus on the individual's notions of
public morality or civic virtue
. Each exposes the pitfalls
these great people faced in their lives.
The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great
Bennett, William J. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1993.
Bennett has chosen classic literary pieces-poems and stories-arranged
around ten virtues and sequenced from simple to more complex. For
example, the section on Responsibility begins with simple poems
for young children, then includes such classics as Tennyson's "The
Charge of the Light Brigade,"and concludes with famous orations
by Pericles, a section by Plato, and public documents by individuals
such as Jefferson, Madison, Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln,
and Martin Luther King, Jr. The other virtues documented include
self-discipline, compassion, friendship, work, courage, perseverance,
honesty, loyalty, and faith.
Leading With Soul:
An Uncommon Journey of the Spirit.
Bolman, Lee G. and Terrence E. Deal. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
This is not a book specifically about moral education or character
development, but rather a dialogue on leadership by two top business
consultants. Their advice includes a reminder that leadership is
the offering of oneself and one's spirit; that a personal responsibility
for work done allows employees to experience the "satisfactions
of creativity, craftsmanship, and a job well done." The role
of ritual and ceremony are explored within the context of the spiritual
evolution of a manager with unrealized potential.
The Case for Character
Education: The Role of the School in Teaching Values and Virtues.
Brooks, David, and Frank G. Goble. Northridge, CA: Studio 4 Productions. 1997.
This book is a revision of the authors' original 1983 version. It
can be used as an introductory book for teachers and parents in
schools serious about attempting to address character education
in their curricula. The first set of chapters present an overview
of the domain of character education, citing data and history, much
of it from the original 1983 version of the book and thus somewhat
dated. A chapter on the separation of church and state remains significant.
In chapters 8 and 9 questions of concern are posed: Should character
education be a stand-alone
program or should it be infused
throughout the curriculum? What do the California reform documents
(Aiming High, Taking Center Stage, Elementary Makes the Grade!,
and First Class
) say about character education?
Carter, Stephen L. New York: Harper Collins.
This is not a book written specifically for educators. Rather, it
is the reflections of a Yale Law School professor about an important
topic and its relation to our day-to-day actions. Carter defines
integrity as having three elements: discerning right from wrong,
acting on what one discerns, and saying what one is doing and why.
He then applies this criterion to a wide variety of examples from
Watergate (and lessons about leadership) to contracts, to grading
systems and grade inflation, from first amendment rights, marriage,
to sportsmanship and civil disobedience. He writes of commitments,
promises, forthrightness, and compassion. Carter presents examples
from classic literature (e.g., Sophocles, St. Augustine), classic
and modern legal cases (including the Senate confirmation proceedings
for Clarence Thomas and the murder trial of O.J. Simpson), as well
as from philosophy, theology, and history.
The Moral Life of Children.
Coles, Robert. Boston: Houghton
Coles, a child psychiatrist, interviews children about their lives
in a continually conflicted society. Children from inner cities,
poor rural areas, and well-to-do families serve as subjects as they
discuss issues of race, social class, and other cultural conflicts
in their own lives. The various chapters focus on moral energy,
moral purpose, and vulnerability, in addition to defining character,
idealism, and social class.
The Construction of Children's Character: The Ninety-sixth
Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education.
by Alex Molnar. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1997.
This book presents an overview and critical assessment of theory
and practices of contemporary approaches to character education
in the schools. The book is organized into five sections. Section
One presents the philosophical and historical contexts for the movement
with chapters by Nel Noddings and James Leming. Section Two presents
chapters endorsing and describing the traditional views of character
and character education (Thomas Lickona, Edward A. Wynne, and Jacques
Benninga). Other sections explore relationships between character
education and multicultural education, caring, community (Geneva
Gay, Beverly Cross, and Eric Schapps et al.); and criticisms of
character education from political and methodological perspectives
(David Purpel, Alfie Kohn, Alex Molnar).
Greater Expectations: Overcoming the Culture
of Indulgence in America's Homes and Schools.
Damon, William. New York: Free
This book by a developmental psychologist provides a perspective
on children's moral and intellectual development at odds with the
intuitive child-rearing philosophy of the past 30 years. Damon critiques
the "vacuousness" of the self-esteem movement in education
with its consequent derogation of spirituality and faith. Damon
argues for education, which focuses on instruction, prodding, challenging,
correcting, and assisting students; in short, an education that
is dominated by extrinsic motivational factors.
and Minds: A Comprehensive Character Education Framework.
DeRoche, Edward F., and Mary M. Williams.Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc. 1998.
Edward DeRoche and Mary Williams' book can be used by schools when
creating informed character education programs. In it they attempt
to "merge ideas from research on character education with a
synthesis of effective practices in character education in schools
and across the nation." The framework they have developed is
a nine-component model for a comprehensive character education program.
Components include vision, standards, expectations, criteria to
guide program development, the role of leadership, necessary resources,
training, partnerships, and assessment. Each component is described
in such a way as to allow the utilizing school to respond as it
sees fit in relation to its student demography without feeling coerced
into a particular way of thinking.
Moral Classrooms, Moral Children:
Creating a Constructivist Atmosphere in Early Education.
DeVries, and Betty Zan. New York: Teachers College Press. 1994.
This book is for teachers of young children based on the developmental
theories of Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, and Robert Selman. In
it the authors describe a rationale based on constructivist theory
of how teachers should look at children, classroom atmosphere, and
school environments. The authors state that the basis for the book
is that a sociomoral atmosphere must be cultivated in which respect
for others is continually practiced. DeVries and Zan define a moral
classroom as one in which the atmosphere supports and promotes children's
Promoting Social and Moral Development
in Young Children.
Edwards, Carolyn Pope. New York: Teachers College Press. 1986.
This is a book for teachers of children from two-six years of age.
It not only explains children's intellectual development at these
ages, but also focuses on their attainment of social and moral knowledge.
The framework for the book is derived from the work of Lawrence
Kohlberg and other developmental psychologists and educators.
Ethics for Professionals in Education: Perspectives for
Preparation and Practice.
Edited by Kenneth A. Strike and
Lance Ternasky. New York: Teachers College Press. 1993.
This book is directed to professionals seeking to understand the
context of their ethical responsibilities. This edited volume is
divided into three sections and its audience is educators at all
levels. The first section explores philosophical thought on which
ethical policy and curricula may be founded; the second section
considers how ethics may be taught in schools and what factors interfere
with ethics instruction in the schools; and the third section considers
how institutional issues influence the perception of ethics in the
Values on Which We Agree.
Frymier, Jack, et al Bloomington,
IN: Phi Delta Kappa. 1995.
This booklet summarizes the findings of a study on core values.
Data were collected from 10,000 individuals in 1994 in which educators,
noneducators, and high school students responded to exercises and
questionnaires that dealt with values and schools. A major finding
of this study was that "there are many, many areas in which
there are high levels of agreement about values young people should
learn." The areas of study included civility, freedom, separation
of church and state, use of force, personal responsibility, and
Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter
More Than IQ.
Goleman, Daniel. New York: Bantam. 1995.
The primary thesis of Goleman's book is that emotional intelligence
may be more critical to success in life than brainpower as measured
by traditional IQ and standardized achievement tests. To support
this point, Goleman reports on an intriguing study conducted at
Stanford University in which four-year-old children were given a
choice between one marshmallow now or two later. The researchers
were looking for the effects on later adjustment of children's ability
to delay gratification. Goleman postulates that there is a "window
of opportunity" for youth, lasting till about 16 years, during
which experiences leading to either emotional health or emotional
disorder become internalized. Goleman discusses both positive behaviors
and at-risk behaviors that can result. The positive behaviors resulting
from healthy emotional intelligence include a strong cultural work
ethic, temperance, ability to cope with frustration, optimism, and
empathy. At-risk behaviors resulting from an unhealthy emotional
intelligence include impulsivity, shyness, stubbornness, overreaction
to irritations, provocation of arguments, and fights.
The Moral Life of Schools.
Jackson, Philip W., Robert E. Boostrom, and David T. Hansen. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. 1993.
Over a period of two and one-half years, the authors of The
Moral Life of Schools
engaged in extensive observations in
18 elementary and secondary classrooms located in Midwestern public,
independent, and parochial schools. They collected information about
how to look at schools and how to think about what goes on in classrooms.
In the process eight observational categories were derived to help
the observer: 1) moral instruction as a formal part of the curriculum,
2) moral instruction within the regular curriculum, 3) rituals and
ceremonies, 4) visual displays with moral content, 5) spontaneous
interjections of moral commentary, 6) classroom rules and regulations,
7) the curricular substructure, and 8) expressive morality. The
researchers found that many teachers inadvertently teach morality
to their students "without the full awareness and thoughtful
engagement of those in charge."
How Good People Make Tough Choices:
Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living.
Kidder, Rushworth M. Fireside (Simon
and Schuster, Inc.). 1996.
Rushworth Kidder is the Director of the Institute for Global Ethics
in Camden, Maine and supervising editor of its curriculum materials.
In this book Kidder defines a process for ethical decision-making,
which provides the rationale for his character education curriculum.
Kidder proposes a multidimensional model for making ethical decisions
based on clear philosophical positions and practical examples of
everyday moral dilemmas.
Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong:
Moral Literacy and the Case for Character Education.
Kilpatrick, William. New
York: Simon and Schuster. 1992.
In the tradition of the 1955 book by Rudolf Flesch, Why Johnny
, William Kilpatrick indicts the educational establishment
and modern society for their failure to promote the character of
its children. In this book Kilpatrick describes the current approach
to moral education-the decision-making approach-and contrasts it
to the historical character education approach. He argues a more
focused approach based on traditional values and virtues. The final
part of the book includes an annotated guide of over 100 books for
children and young adults.
that Build Character: A Guide to Teaching Your Child Moral Values
Kilpatrick, William, and Gregory and Suzanne M. Wolfe. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1994.
This resource for teachers is intended to introduce the reader to
books that help children from age four through high school develop
moral thinking. Its focus is on the moral dimensions of reading.
In the introductory chapters, the authors state that reading is
important for four reasons: 1) stories create an emotional attachment
to goodness; 2) stories provide a wealth of good examples on how
to live; 3) stories familiarize students with the codes of conduct
they need to know; and 4) stories help them make sense of life.
Presented are chapters on the major categories of books (e.g., fables
and fairy tales; myths, legends and folktales; sacred texts; historical
fiction; contemporary fiction; biography; etc.). Each chapter is
divided into general age levels. There is also an approximately
200-page annotated bibliography.
100 ways to Enhance Values and Morality
in Schools and Youth Settings.
Kirschenbaum, Howard. Needham Heights, MA: Simon
and Schuster. 1995.
This is a practical book for teachers, counselors, and others who
work with groups of children. Kirschenbaum's comprehensive
to values and moral education presents group techniques, mixing
clarification and traditional value strategies for use in classrooms
and schools. Kirschenbaum challenges teachers to inculcate, model,
and train students in values education and help students find their
own values as situations demand. He presents 100 strategies, with
full explanations, that synthesize theory and research of the past
Essays on Moral Development: The Philosophy
of Moral Development (Vol. I).
Kohlberg, Lawrence. San Francisco: Harper and
This is the first of two volumes of essays by the preeminent researcher
of the cognitive-developmental perspective on moral development.
In it, Dr. Kohlberg focuses on fundamental theoretical issues,
including the relevant ideas of Plato, Kant, Dewey, Piaget, and
Rawls and relates his now famous hierarchy of the six stages of
moral development to political, religious, and philosophical questions.
Various topics cover the imposition of values, the importance of
dialogue to moral education, the universality of moral development,
the teaching of justice in the public schools, and much more.
Essays on Moral Development: The Psychology
of Moral Development (Vol. II).
Kohlberg, Lawrence .San Francisco: Harper and
In this volume Dr. Kohlberg discusses the theory of moral development
with a full description of the construction and derivation of his
six stages. Kohlberg reviews the basic schools of thought behind
moral psychology and sociology and distinguishes his cognitive-developmental
research model from other approaches. Several chapters speak to
the universality of the stages. Of particular interest is the last
section of this book, which presents the moral dilemmas, originally
developed by Kohlberg to study the development of justice notions
and the research methodology used by him. The relationship of moral
judgment to moral behavior is also discussed.
Character Education: Lessons From the Past,
Models for the Future.
Leming, James S. Camden, ME: The Institute for Global
James Leming reviews existing research on both moral and character
education in relation to improving the moral thinking and behavior
of students. Individual chapters deal with the history of the character
education movement in the United States, the research base for the
values clarification and moral dilemma approaches, the school's
role in character formation, and directions for the future.
Raising Good Children From Birth Through
the Teenage Years.
Lickona, Thomas. Toronto: Bantam. 1985.
Lickona presents the "10 Big Ideas" of the moral development
approach. These include "morality is respect," "kids
develop morality slowly and in stages," "teach by example,"
"teach by telling," "help kids take on real responsibilities,"
and "balance independence and control."
Educating for Character: How Our Schools
Can Teach Respect and Responsibility.
Lickona, Thomas. New York: Bantam. 1991.
In this award-winning book for teachers Lickona states that good
character has three interrelated parts-moral knowing, moral feeling,
and moral behavior. Schools, in conjunction with the home, are essential
partners in raising moral human beings. After an introductory section,
Lickona presents a variety of classroom strategies for teaching
respect and responsibility, including the moral role of the teacher,
creating a moral community in the classroom, moral discipline, integrating
values in the curriculum, conducting moral discussions, and teaching
children to solve conflicts. The last section, updated since his
1985 book, discusses specialized topics, such as sex and alcohol
education and working with parents.
Moral, Character and Civic Education in the Elementary School.
Edited by Jacques S. Benninga. New York: Teachers College Press.
Benninga's book presents both sides of the cognitive development
and character education debate. After two introductory chapters
outlining different perspectives and setting them in context, the
bulk of the book presents, from both conceptual and practical perspectives,
the indirect and direct approaches to moral and character education.
Character Education in America's Blue
Ribbon Schools: Best Practices for Meeting the Challenge.
Murphy, Madonna M. Lancaster, PA: Technomic Pub. Co., Inc. 1998.
According to the author, "This book attempts to show what the
best schools in America are doing to train students in moral values
and ethics." Madonna Murphy, a Professor of Education at the
College of St. Francis in Illinois, spent several years identifying
and categorizing information on character education content from
elementary and middle school applications for the National Blue
Ribbon Award Program from 1985-94. Her goal was to report on these
award-winning schools and to assess the effectiveness of the programs
described by them. In the process she reviews programs said to educate
children about drug resistance, motivation and self-esteem, character
development, discipline, and citizenship education.
Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and
Noddings, Nel. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Nel Noddings makes a theoretical case for human caring as the foundation
of ethical responsiveness. She argues that while men base their
ethical decisions on the application of universal principles, women
base their ethical decisions on feelings, needs, impressions, and
a sense of personal ideal. Morality, she advocates, should be based
on a reciprocity between the person doing the caring (e.g., mother,
teacher) and the one being cared for. In this sense she discusses
thinking and feeling, guilt and courage, reciprocity, obligations,
and lessons of right and wrong. Moral education is an enterprise
of the whole community, and the task for teachers is to receive
their students in their entirety and not just as receptors
of subject matter.
The Moral Judgment of the Child.
Piaget, Jean. New
York: The Free Press. 1965.
This book is the foundation for research on 20th century notions
of children's moral development and understandings and was the inspiration
for Lawrence Kohlberg's life-long study of moral development. In
it Piaget gives detailed observations, with commentaries and examples,
of how children at different ages and stages understand rules and
play games, and how they interpret moral dilemmas. Piaget discusses
topics such as children's perspectives on stealing, lying, distributive
and retributive justice, and attitudes towards authority.
Moral Growth: From Piaget to Kohlberg.
Reimer, Joseph, D.R. Paolitto, and R.H. Hersh. New York: Longman.
Lawrence Kohlberg called this book "the best introduction to
the cognitive-developmental approach of Piaget and myself available."
In Part I the authors give a full account of Piaget's earlier theory
and its relationship to the theory later proposed by Kohlberg. It
takes a critical look at other approaches, particularly values clarification.
In Part II moral education is presented in action. The purpose of
Part II is to translate Kohlberg's theory into practice, with separate
chapters on appropriate teaching strategies, the creation of curriculum
materials, and an elaboration of the just community
an organizing structure for schools.
The Moral Base for Teacher Professionalism.
Sockett, Hugh. New York: Teachers College Press. 1993.
In this book, Sockett makes a case for professional ethics as a
pervasive theme in teaching. According to him, the moral core of
professional teaching is composed of four components: the individual
character of each teachers, their commitment to change and continuous
improvement, the depth of knowledge and understanding of the subject
matter they teach, and their pedagogic strength (e.g., how well
they teach what they know). While subject matter knowledge and pedagogical
knowledge are components of the intellectual dimensions of teaching,
character and commitment comprise the moral dimensions. Both, he
states, are necessary to define the profession. In several chapters,
Sockett defines professional expertise as a virtue, concentrating
on honesty, courage, care, fairness, and practical wisdom.
Promising Practices in Character
Education: Nine Success Stories From Around the Country.
Vincent, Philip Fitch. Chapel Hill, N.C.: Character Development Group. 1996.
Philip Vincent has put together a collection of recent testimonials
from school districts around the country describing their efforts
at instituting character education programs. Included are descriptions
of programs from North Carolina, New York, New Mexico, Indiana and
Ohio. Each program described tells its own story, and in the process
describes resources used, the vision of the planners, materials
they found useful, and changes they have noticed in the children
as a result of their efforts.
On Character: Essays by James Q. Wilson.
Wilson, James Q. Washington, DC: The AEI Press. 1995.
Wilson is the former President of the American Political Science
Association and adviser to four presidents on issues related to
crime, drug abuse, education, and other crises of American culture.
In this book he has produced a series of essays related to character
development and character policy. He argues that the development
of character is our collective responsibility. The public interest
depends on private virtue. Wilson argues throughout these essays
that to have good character one needs to have at least developed
a sense of empathy and self control. Wilson concludes with an argument
that all humans have an inborn "moral sense."
The Moral Sense.
Wilson, James Q. New York: Free Press.
In The Moral Sense
, James Q. Wilson describes how the
human species is bound together by mutual interdependence and a
common moral sense. Regardless of culture, gender or national origin,
Wilson, a renowned social scientist, argues for the universality
of what he calls a shared moral sense and elaborates with examples:
sympathy, fairness, self-control, and duty.
Sandford Comprehensive Character-building Classroom:
A Handbook for Teachers.
Wiley, Lori. Manchester, NH: Character Development
Lori Wiley has produced an introductory book on character education
planning. The first few chapters give the basis for developing such
programs, explaining what character education is, why it is important,
and how character is acquired; various methods for teaching character
and several samples of ethical codes for classrooms and schools
are presented. The middle section of the book gives information
on curriculum strategies for building a positive classroom climate,
a moral community in the classroom and school, and examples for
correlating classroom discipline with moral development strategies.
The last few chapters provide varied examples of curricula developed
in the area of character education. The book ends with a list of
references including books, films and information on resource centers
and curriculum projects around the country.
Reclaiming Our Schools. A
Handbook on Teaching Character, Academics and Discipline.
Wynne, Edward and Kevin Ryan. New York: Merrill. 1997.
The authors have written an annotated handbook for teachers and
school administrators. The book opens with a checklist of activities
that happen in a typical school and ask readers to document how
students and faculty spend their time. After describing the background
on the history of character education in Western tradition, individual
chapters focus on teaching character and discipline, teachers as
moral educators, the curriculum as a moral educator, leadership
in moral schools, and the planning of recognition ceremonies to
recognize outstanding students.