Research and Higher Education
From these organizations, you will find research studies, reports, and tools related to assessing the need for character education and school climate improvement, as well as measuring the impact on students, both academically and behaviorally.


CEP is a member of ASCD, an educational leadership association dedicated to advancing best practices and policies for the success of each learner. ASCD publishes books, magazines and newsletters and provides professional development opportunities such as conferences, on-site staff development and webinars. Several notable programs include a focus on Healthy School Communities and the Whole Child initiative. ASCD also advocates for issues affecting learning and teaching to ensure each child has access to educational excellence and equity. Their website includes an online community, membership details, research on a variety of topics, a blog roll, and job postings.

Association for Moral Education
AME provides a forum for professionals interested in the moral dimensions of educational theory and practices. It is dedicated to fostering communication, cooperation, training, curriculum development, and research to link moral theory with educational practice. Through its lectures, conferences and publications, AME provides resources to educators, practitioners, students, and the public. It organizes several award programs recognizing achievement in moral education.

Center for Character and Citizenship
The Center generates and disseminates knowledge and research about how individuals develop moral and civic character. It also provides scholars, educators, and organizations with the tools they need to contribute to this development, such as consulting and professional development opportunities, certification with CHARACTERplus, a leadership academy in character education, and a summer institute. The website provides research reports, opportunities to learn about the latest grants and projects, videos, interviews with experts in the field, and resources designed for parents.

Center for the 4th and 5th Rs
Founded by education professor, psychologist and CEP Board member Dr. Thomas Lickona, the Center is a part of the State University of New York at Cortland and aims to promote the development of moral and performance character in schools, families, and communities. The Center co-sponsors the Smart & Good School initiative, which includes free resources, a quarterly newsletter of best practices, and a research report; offers assessment instruments and other character education resources, such as books, articles, Spanish-language materials, classroom strategies, and parenting resources; and provides presentations and seminars for educators and parents.

Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning
CASEL supports district-wide social-emotional learning (SEL) programs; conducts research and evaluation; works with program providers to strengthen their capacity as they respond to growing demand; develops tools to support SEL on a national scale; advances state-of-the-art assessment; develops clear, powerful messages and strategic communications about SEL and its impact; and advocates for federal and state legislation. The website provides information on publications such as an implementation guide, a searchable database of resources, training, and SEL assessment resources.

Collaboration for Ethical Education
The Collaboration, part of the University of Notre Dame, builds ethical community and character by fostering scholarship and developing resources for education, sports, and media. Four main areas encompass analysis of media for ethical messaging, school curriculum development, fostering sportsmanship, and development of partnerships with other campus programs.

Development Studies Center
DSC is dedicated to children’s academic, ethical and social development and helps schools and after-school programs become caring, inclusive communities as well as stimulating, supportive places to learn. They conduct research and develop programs that build children’s capacity to think clearly and critically while deepening their commitment to such values as kindness, helpfulness, personal responsibility and respect for others. Long-term collaborations ensure that programs are practical and feasible to implement, while being effective with diverse students in a broad range of settings. The website provides several blogs and forums, published research, grant opportunities, professional development information, and program materials.

Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics
Part of Harvard University, the Center advances teaching and research on ethical issues by exploring the connection between problems that professionals confront and the social and political structures in which they act. The organization has worked to break down barriers between philosophical knowledge and professional life by offering public lectures, workshops and conferences. In recent years, the Center has expanded its scope with a research lab on institutional corruption and by welcoming scholars from a wide range of disciplines across academia, industry and government. The website provides information on fellowships, news articles, and lectures, which can be viewed online.

Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College
The Institute serves the Dartmouth community and the larger academic community through research and dialogue on emerging ethical issues. Over 150 faculty and administrators take part by gathering together seminar groups, forums, and task force meetings to discuss and research cutting-edge ethical issues, prepare publications, organize symposia and conferences, and develop courses. Programs for students include an ethics minor and graduate program, as well as annual Ethics Bowl competitions. Visiting scholars can conduct research and the general public can attend public lectures and dinner discussions. The website provides details on research and funding opportunities, along with faculty publications.

Ethics Resource Center
ERC is dedicated to research that advances high ethical standards and to supporting character education in secondary schools. The Center presents results at conferences, trainings, and meetings with senior managers. It supports character education by drawing on best practices, including student-centered and collaborative learning. The Student Fellows Program trains student leaders who become integral to character education efforts in their schools. Teachers can find information on character traits, discussion questions, and age-appropriate classroom resources offering realistic scenarios. The website provides an ethics toolkit; publications on ethics and character development; resources organized by topic, age and ethical values; and webcasts.

The Greater Good Science Center
The GGSC, part of the University of California—Berkeley, studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society. Its scientific initiatives are undertaken by university fellowships. Originally the Center published a print magazine, which has since been transformed into a dynamic, multimedia, online format. The highly interactive website includes hundreds of articles that fuse in-depth practical reporting with inspiring stories of compassion in action, video and podcast series, book reviews, a blog with science-based tips for more joyful kids and happier parents, and a seminar series.

The Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies
Located at George Washington University, the Institute is dedicated to finding constructive solutions to social problems through morally informed policy analysis and dialogue. Through research papers and publications, the Institute brings the best scholarship and analysis to bear on policy issues affecting family, schools, and society as a whole. It aims to contribute to effective solutions through careful discussion of alternative policies and competing models of social conduct, in light of their moral and practical consequences for families and communities. The website contains academic publications and reviews, a blog, a bibliography and a multimedia page.

Institute for Global Ethics
IGE is dedicated to promoting ethical action by exploring the global common ground of values, elevating awareness, and providing practical tools for making ethical decisions. The Institute has departments focused on supporting corporate ethics, the educational community, government agencies, nonprofits and parents. It provides professional development to assist school leaders in developing school-wide cultures of integrity. The website includes articles, book excerpts, newsletters, podcasts, recent world news in ethics, executive briefings, reports, videos, white papers, a series of ethical dilemmas to think about, and an online store.

Journal of Research in Character Education
The JRCE publishes articles that report the results of research relevant to character education, as well as conceptual articles the provide theoretical, historical, and philosophical perspectives on the field of character education. See our pagesto learn more (including CEP member discounts and submission guidelines) or go directly to their site to place your order now.

Kansas Social, Emotional, and Character Development Model Standards
The purpose of the Social, Emotional, and Character Development Standards is to provide schools a framework for integrating social-emotional learning (SEL) with character development so that students will learn, practice and model essential personal life habits that contribute to academic, vocational, and personal success. It is about learning to be
caring and civil, to make healthy decisions, to problem solve effectively, to value excellence, to be respectful and responsible, to be good citizens and to be empathic and ethical individuals.

Kenan Institute for Ethics
The Institute, located at Duke University, is an interdisciplinary “think and do” tank committed to understanding and addressing real-world ethical challenges by fostering students’ capacity for ethical decision-making; conducting research; and shaping public policy and institutional practices. The organization provides publications by faculty; case studies; research papers; and blogs by faculty. Its research covers three core areas—moral education and decision-making, organizational ethics, and civic and global ethics. The Institute teaches academic courses, runs an ethics certificate program, provides summer programs for undergraduate students, and offers a variety of workshops.

National School Climate Center
NSCC promotes positive school climate by helping schools integrate social-emotional learning with academics, thereby enhancing student performance and engagement and reducing violence and bullying. The Center translates research into practice by establishing relevant programs and services that support a model for whole school improvement. NSCC advocates for school climate transformation; conducts research initiatives; provides professional development and consultation; organizes a summer institute; works with higher education and state education departments to incorporate school climate measures. The website provides a newsletter; blog; research; upcoming workshops, keynotes and institutes; the comprehensive school climate measurement tool; and resources for parents.

Research Press Publishers
Popular subjects: Social Skills, Life Skills and Character Development, Anger and Conflict Management, Bullying Prevention, Social and Emotional Learning, Special Education, Behavior Management, Assessment and Response to Intervention, Parenting Solutions.

Schools of Integrity
A Report on the Schools of Integrity Project

U.S. Department of Education: What Works in Character Education
The What Works Clearinghouse publishes intervention reports that evaluate research on character education curricula and instructional strategies designed for use in elementary, middle, and/or high schools. These curricula and strategies are intended to improve student outcomes related to positive character development, pro-social behavior, and academic performance. Through the website, you can learn more about an intervention, search through them, and learning more about the review process for those interventions that are included.

Higher Education and Teacher Training

These organizations provide resources for incorporating an understanding of character development and its importance within teacher education programs, or providing these materials for new teachers. Several, while not focused on teacher education, encourage character development throughout college-level curricula. Many of these organizations are associated with universities and their education programs.

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education
Here is a short write up: Abraham S. Fischler College of Education has been inspiring educators for over 40 years. The Fischler College has earned a reputation for renowned teaching, research, learning, and service. We offer a variety of some of the most innovative, accessible, and advanced online teaching degrees, each of which are designed to provide the highest quality instruction and experience, important for professional growth.

Bonner Center for Character Education
The Bonner Center supports educators who provide wholesome environments for children. Part of California State University at Fresno, the center compliments the university’s teacher education program, where more elementary teachers are trained than anywhere else in California, helping to support educators throughout California’s Central Valley. Each student publicly states the “Educators’ Affirmation,” which includes language about cultivating character and role modeling. The center provides curriculum materials, character education ideas for elementary and middle schools, relevant research, and a book collection. It is also compiling an annotated bibliography of professional books with character education themes.

Center for Education on Social Responsibility
CESR helps students become outstanding business leaders of tomorrow by preparing them to meet the ethical challenges posed by a highly competitive, globally-connected business world. This is done by overseeing the inculcation of values discussions in classes throughout the undergraduate and graduate curricula at the Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado. CESR builds curricula, coordinates senior-level capstone classes, raises funds and evaluates the integration of service-learning. The website provides information on certificate opportunities, the mentoring program, related student organizations, publications, case studies, and relevant courses.

Character Development Center
Part of the University of San Diego, the CDC serves a variety of stakeholders who participate in the character development of youth and it helps to promote the development of life skills necessary for a productive personal and social life. The Center offers an online certificate program for educators to become certified character educators, as well as publications, an annual conference, and resource files of programs, projects, units and lesson plans. The Center also runs an essay contest to encourage insightful discussions and reflections by students.

New Leaders for New Schools
New Leaders attracts, prepares, and supports outstanding individuals to become the next generation of school leaders in response to the immense need for exceptional principals in our nation’s urban public schools. It has developed into a national movement of leaders with an unwavering commitment to ensure that every student achieves academic excellence. Through city partnerships, New Leaders has been increasing demand from districts for principal training programs. The website provides information on the program and admission procedures, city requirements and district partnerships, and the EPIC program to help outstanding teachers who are making epic changes in the classroom.

Regent University School of Education
Regent’s School of Education is committed to providing learning opportunities which promote the skills, dispositions and understandings that enable its graduates to seek knowledge and wisdom to serve and edify others. It offers a values-based program of academic rigor and practical application. Regent has a national presence and a growing influence in education—character development in the classroom is just one example. Regent offers professional development that helps with licensure and renewals as well as, specific to character education, a master’s in leadership in character education and a doctorate of education in character education.

SouthEast Education Network
The Network, through the print and electronic SEEN Magazine, provides resources, ideas and techniques to help educators be more effective while growing personally and professionally. SEEN addresses the needs of educators in the southeastern U.S., including classroom management technology, curriculum standards, 21st-century learning, school safety, and character education. SEEN also provides information on post-graduate degree programs and continuing education, best teaching practices, professional development, classroom products, educational travel, and personal and professional services for educators. The website presents articles, a buyer’s guide for products and resources, an archive of past magazine issues, recent news, videos and a blog.