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Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship


Bonner Center Book Collection

The Bonner Center for Character Education is compiling an annotated bibliography of professional books (since about 1990) with character education themes. Suggestions for adding books to this list are welcome as are reviews of relevant books not listed here. 

Bonner Center Books

Relevant Research

Character Education Links

AME provides an interdisciplinary forum for professionals interested in the moral dimensions of educational theory and practice. The Association is dedicated to fostering communication, cooperation, training, curriculum development, and research that links moral theory with educational practice. It supports self-reflective educational practices that value the worth and dignity of each individual as a moral agent in a pluralistic society.

The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy. The Center specializes in civic/citizenship education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs represented on the CCE web site include a program on the history and principles of American constitutional democracy for elementary, middle and high school; a middle school civic education program; and other programs addressing school violence and democracy. The National Standards for Civics and Government can be found here as well. The site has curriculum materials, sample lesson plans and related children's literature bibliographies as well as a comprehensive online catalog, a good listing of available papers and articles on civic education and a wonderful annotated list of internet resources.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools (OSDFS), CETAC Online provides State program administrators, local educators, and the public with information on character education and civic engagement, as well as strategies that support academic goals and other reform efforts. This center will provide support and information for and about schools involved in character education and civic engagement across the country.

This site, directed by Thomas Lickona, provides information on his Center at the State University of New York at Cortland. The Center serves as a resource for character education, disseminating articles on character education, publishing newsletters, and holding annual conferences. The site contains the Center's newsletters, Dr. Lickona's 12-point Comprehensive Approach to Character Education, the School as a Caring Community Profile, other articles and opinion papers and a listing of links, books and other resources.

The Character Counts Coalition is a national partnership of schools, communities, education and human-service organizations committed to fortifying the lives of America's youth. Their “Six Pillars of Character” transcend divisions of race, creed, politics, gender and wealth: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The Coalition supports these virtues through the work of significant adults as role models of good character. This web site includes a description of the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition, its educational seminars, its youth character awards program, discussion forum, six pillar programs, materials, resources and guides.

"The Character Education Partnership (CEP) is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to developing moral character and civic virtue in our nation's youth as one means of creating a more compassionate and responsible society." The CEP has grown to be an umbrella organization for national character education efforts. It provides a National Resource Center which distributes information, support for school boards, teachers and administrators, and publications and annual meetings. The CEP offers a variety of special projects including a national Schools of Character Awards program, newsletters, other publications, and a research division.

Character First! Education is one of three branches of the Character Training Institute (CTI), a non-profit organization based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The other two components are Character First! Business and the International Association of Character Cities. The mission of the Character Training Institute is to encourage true success in businesses, schools, families, communities, and other organizations. With 45 character qualities at its center, Character First! Education provides training and resources to promote character development in individuals from all walks of life. Character First! Education furnishes tools necessary to weave positive character into every aspect of your student's academic program. Training Seminars: We provide a variety of training to equip teachers, parents, and volunteers to successfully build character in the lives of their students. Resource Development and Distribution: We develop and distribute resources that support the character education Initiative in your school or organization.

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process of acquiring the skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, make responsible decisions, establish positive relationships, and handle challenging situations effectively. The purpose of CASEL is to enhance children's success in school and life by promoting coordinated, evidence-based social, emotional, and academic learning as an essential part of education from preschool though high school. Our three primary goals are: (a) to advance the science of social and emotional learning (SEL), (b) to expand coordinated, evidence-based SEL practice, and (c) to build a sustainable and collaborative organization to accomplish our mission. 

The Communitarian Network is a coalition of individuals and organizations who have "come together to shore up the moral, social, and political environment." It is nonsectarian, nonpartisan and nationwide. Communitarians believe "that individual liberties depend upon the bolstering of the foundations of civil society: our families, schools, and neighborhoods." The web site includes information about the Network, and includes the group's newsletter, publication catalogue, various statements and an elaborate set of links to other communitarian groups. 

The Constitutional Rights Foundation is a non-profit, community organization dedicated "to educating America's young people about the importance of participation in a democratic society." Amongst other publications, the Constitutional Rights Foundation publishes a wide variety of information for teachers including civic participation materials such as active citizenship programs; elementary education programs on the Bill of Rights, Law and Citizenship in US History and California History; and many school lessons and curricula related to government, mock trials, US History and World history. Much of the material is appropriate to K-12, with some specially designed for children with special needs.

The First Amendment Center supports the First Amendment and builds an understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of free-expression issues, including freedom of speech, of the press and of religion, and the rights to assemble and to petition the government. The center's website is one of the most authoritative sources of news, information and commentary in the nation on First Amendment issues. It features daily updates on news about First Amendment-related developments, as well as information and detailed reports about U.S. Supreme Court cases involving the First Amendment, and commentary, analysis and special reports involving free expression, press freedom and religious-liberty issues.

The Freedom Forum is devoted to describing and preserving First Amendment rights. It offers detailed information on that amendment, and on a range of related topics including the free press, free speech, religion, technology, journalism and education. In the Forum’s education pages you can find information about various programs initiated by charles Haynes, including Finding Common Ground and the First Amendment Schools.

Is a non-profit literature project devoted to spreading the word about people who "stick their necks out for the common good". Its various programs include The Giraffe Heroes Program, a story-based curriculum that teaches “courageous compassion and active citizenship”; the Giraffe Heroes Training Program; and a variety of public information and awareness programs. offers free character education resources for K-12 teachers, coaches, and youth group leaders, all organized by topic and grade level. You'll find curriculum materials, discussion questions, writing assignments, group learning activities, opportunities for student action and lots of teacher support material. This is the place to start for immediate implementation of a character development unit for any grade level. Check back frequently as this site is constantly updated.

The Institute is a nonsectarian, global research and educational organization that supports public discourse and practical action around significant ethical issues. The institute divides its efforts into three primary areas: corporate services, educational programs and public policy programs. Under its EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS the Institute promotes a variety of Ethical Fitness seminars for students and teachers and offers several curricula including Building Decision Skills (middle and high school), Elementary Decision Skills (K-2 and 3-5) and Ethics and Service. Our challenge is to explore the global common ground of values, elevate awareness of ethics, provide practical tools for making ethical decisions, and encourage moral actions based on those decisions.

Journal of College & Character includes resources and information designed to encourage discussion, research, and educational strategies on character development in college. 

The Journal of Research in Character Education publishes articles that report the results of research relevant to character education, as well as conceptual articles that provide theoretical, historical, and philosophical perspectives on the field of character education as it is broadly defined. offers a selection of classroom videos for character education, violence prevention, conflict resolution, and guidance. Created for grades K-12, these videos help young people become caring, respectful, responsible people who think critically, solve problems non-violently, and make choices based on what's right. Free previews are available. 

Curricula and lesson plans are at the heart of the Ethics Center's efforts in elementary, middle, and high school character education.  In addition, we provide workshops and training for teachers and principals.  Our programs serve a range of students in many settings, including regular and alternative schools, parochial schools, and home schools. 


The Mediator Mentors Project at Fresno State is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists support the development of conflict resolution skills in school children. At California State University, Fresno, Dr. Negin Tahvildary in the College of Arts and Humanities directs the program. Teachers and students in the public schools receive 10-12 hours of communication and conflict resolution training and university students coach and mentor at lunch periods in elementary school or fifth period in middle school. More than 7,000 children and teachers have participated in the program! 

A publisher and distributor for Character Education resources, and an organization that provides regional and statewide conferences providing training for educators. Check out its catalog. 

A for-profit organization which is “committed to providing schools with Character Education materials that encourage students to reflect” on values and their application. The centerpiece of the program is a collection of thought-provoking messages to be read over the PA system. The program also includes a reproducible set of weekly themes, weekly journals, classroom discussion guides and a booklet of quotations for the classroom. 

The School for Ethical Education (SEE) teaches strategies to put ethics in action for positive student character formation.  SEE’s programs help teachers provide students with opportunities to recognize ethical situations, make and prioritize an ethical judgment and demonstrate the will and skill to act on that judgment. Our work is based on the research of the modern character-education movement and anchored in the practices published by the national professional association of character educators - and their 11 Principles of Effective Character Education.

Search Institute is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership, knowledge, and resources to promote healthy children, youth, and communities. To accomplish this mission, the institute generates and communicates new knowledge, and brings together community, state, and national leaders. At the heart of the institute's work is the framework of 40 Developmental Assets, which are positive experiences and personal qualities that young people need to grow up healthy, caring, and responsible.

The Stanford Center on Adolescence (Professor William Damon, Director) aims to promote the character and competence of all young people growing up in today's world. The Center's work provides guidance for parenting, for improved educational practice, and for youth development in a wide variety of community settings. The Center's research agenda examines classic issues of adolescent learning, identity, and character formation in an array of settings found in modern society. Many faculty and students at the Center are studying ways in which contemporary institutions may be revitalized in order to promote social, moral, and work-related skills and values among youngsters.

This site at the University of Illinois, Chicago is edited by Dr. Larry Nucci. It aims to connect educators and other human service professionals who are interested in the "developmental/constructivist" conception of moral development and education. The site contains a list of “Featured Articles” selected by the webmaster and mostly focused on the theme of cognitive-developmental approaches to moral education; an annotated set of classroom practices including constructivist alternatives to discipline and developmental discipline ideas; several articles describing how to hold dilemma discussions; an annotated short list of moral education and character education books; and information on how to join an interesting listserv of educators and psychologists discussing related topics.

At Thrive our goals are to look at what thriving is, what’s worth strengthening in youth, what tools are available to track and support thriving, and who’s out there for young people. Our ultimate goal is: more youth who are living up to their potential and on track towards a hopeful future. Thrive Foundation for Youth does not accept outside requests for grants. We believe that we can be most effective by focusing on three components: defining thriving indicators, assessing those indicators, and creating alignment between indicators and action. We seek to support purposeful actions that families, individuals, schools, communities, and governments take which enhance the character and quality of each young person's life, so that each youth can become all that God intends.

The What Works Clearinghouse was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences to provide educators, policymakers, researchers and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. The WWC review of character education focuses on character education programs designed for use in elementary, middle, or high schools with attention to student outcomes related to positive character development, prosocial behavior, and academic performance. WWC Intervention Reports provide all findings that "Meet Evidence Standards" or "Meet Evidence Standards with Reservations" for studies on a particular intervention.

WiseSkills is an innovative program that unites schools, families, and communities in teaching character to young people. The easy-to-use WiseSkills K-12 curricula organizes the school year around monthly Character Themes and features a variety of practical resources, including interdisciplinary projects, discussion ideas, character quotations, journal writing ideas, biographies, reproducible pages, and much more. The program also includes materials to help families strengthen character at home.