Thomas Lickona

Thomas Lickona

Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist, professor of education emeritus, and founding director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility) at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he has done national award-winning work in teacher and parent education. 

Moral Education: A Handbook calls him “the father of modern character education.”  A past president of the Association for Moral Education, he speaks around the world on fostering moral values and character development in schools, families, and communities.

His eight books on moral development and character education have been translated into ten languages. They include Raising Good Children; Educating for Character (known as “the bible of the character education movement”); Character Matters; and (with Matthew Davidson) Smart & Good High Schools.  Educating for Character received a Christopher Award “for affirming the highest values of the human spirit.”  His most recent book, How to Raise Kind Kids: and Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain, was published by Penguin in April 2018. 

His Center’s work was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover article, “Teaching Johnny to Be Good.”  He received the Character Education Partnership’s “Sandy Award” for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education and the University of San Francisco’s Outstanding Achievement in Moral Education Award.  He has been a guest on national media such as “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live Radio,” “Focus on the Family,” and National Public Radio.  His Center’s best-practices education letter, excellence & ethics, goes out to thousands of educators and parents around the world.  The Center currently partners with England’s University of Leeds on the Narnian Virtues English Curriculum Project, which uses The Chronicles of Narnia of C.S. Lewis to foster virtues in middle school children.

He and his wife Judith co-authored, with William Boudreau, M.D., a book for teens, Sex, Love and You: Making the Right Decision, and live in Cortland, New York.
 
photo by Evelyn Grimm 

Books

Character Matters

Character Matters

In Character Matters, Thomas 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. 

(Touchstone, February 2004)




Sex, Love and You

Sex, Love and You

Teens today are under enormous pressure to be sexually active. More than ever, teens continue to need a clear understanding of the physical and psychological fallout of acting out sexual behavior apart from marriage.  Strongly rooted in Catholic tradition, Sex, Love and You: Making the Right Decision promotes the value of chastity and tells teens how their lives will be better if they refrain from sexual intimacy before marriage. In a direct, no-nosense fashion, authors Tom and Judy Lickona examine and explore all sides of the sex debate--from helping distinguish between myth and fact, to examining the physical and emotional dangers of uncommitted sex; from unearthing fallacies and popular misconceptions about premarital sex, to developing a personal plan that will allow young people to live a chaste life. (Ave Maria Press, April 2003)




Educating for Character

Educating for Character

"In a well-balanced presentation distilling his decades of experience, Lickona suggests practical approaches that have been developed by several programs of moral education.  Proceeding from the principle that 'there is no such thing as value-free education,' the author demonstrates that character development is as necessary as academic achievement, and that parents and school administrators are increasingly aware of this need . . . Lickona specifies strategies likely, he believes, to make moral education effective and less anxiety-provoking for parents and teachers. This important study will be a resource for those concerned with the 'ethical literacy'' of children." 
-Publishers Weekly

(Bantam Books, October 1999)




How To Raise Kind Kids

How To Raise Kind Kids

Can you teach a child to be kind? This vital question is taking on a new urgency as our culture grows ever more abrasive and divided. Kindness doesn’t stand on its own. It needs a supporting cast of other essential virtues—like courage, self-control, respect, and gratitude. 

With concrete examples drawn from the many families Dr. Lickona has worked with over the years and clear tips you can act on tonight, How to Raise Kind Kids will help you give and get respect, hold family meetings to tackle persistent problems, discipline in a way that builds character, and improve the dynamic of your relationship with your children while putting them on the path to a happier and more fulfilling life.

(Penguin, April 2018)