Thomas Lickona

Dr. Thomas Lickona is a developmental psychologist and Professor of Education at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he has done award-winning work in teacher education and currently directs the Center for the Fourth and Fifth Rs (Respect and Responsibility). He has also been a visiting professor at Boston and Harvard Universities. His publications include a graduate text, Moral Development and Behavior (1976); a popular book for parents, Raising Good Children (1983); a book describing his 12-point character education program, Educating for Character: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility (1991); a collection of essays by various authors, Character Development in Schools and Beyond (1992); and Sex, Love and You (1994).


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

The novelist Walker Percy once observed, "Some people get all A's but flunk life."  Succeeding in life takes character.  In Character Matters, award-winning psychologist-educator 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.

The culmination of a lifetime's work in character education, this landmark book gives us the tools we need to raise respectful and responsible children, create safe and effective schools, and build the caring and decent society in which we all want to live.

(Touchstone, February 2004)

Sex, Love and You

Teens today are under enormous pressure to be sexually active.  Popular culture tells them that uncommitted responsible sex is possible.  Television, movies, and the internet, anxious to depict "reality," find themselves promoting as perverse a view of sexual behavior as is imaginable.  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 the dangers of sexual activity and the rewards of waiting.  They 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: How Our Schools Can Teach Respect and Responsibility

Lickona, a professor of education at the State University of New York and the author of the highly praised Raising Good Children, addresses the controversial topic of "values" education and its place in today's classrooms. 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.  In his view, two great values, expressed as respect and responsibility, should define the public school's moral agenda.  Acknowledging that values education has often proved divisive, 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.

 --from Publishers Weekly

(Bantam Books, September 1992)