On May 1st there was a reception at the American Education Research Association (AERA) in Denver, Colorado to release the the launch of the International Research Handbook on Values Education and Student Wellbeing, which contains a chapter by myself, Tom Lickona, and Vlad Khmelkov: The Power of Character: Needed for, and Developed from, Teaching and Learning. Terry Lovat, from The University of Newcastle Australia, was the lead editor. Richard Pring, Emeritus Professor of Education and former Dean of the Faculty of Education at Oxford University, wrote the preface and introduction to the handbook, while Nel Noddings, Emeritus Professor of Education at Stanford University, served as chief reviewer for the project.
Handbooks like this tend to be expensive for the average person to purchase (I guess I would consider myself average, since even for me, a person with a pretty serious book-habit, $350 is a lot!). However, it is an impressive piece of scholarship “informed by the most up-to-date research from around the world, as well as examples of good practice. This handbook analyzes values education in the context of a range of school-based measures associated with student wellbeing. These include social, emotional, moral and spiritual growth – elements that seem to be present where intellectual advancement and academic achievement are being maximized.”
Our chapter represents some of our ongoing efforts to contribute to the overall knowledge of the field of character education, while specifically trying to influence schools of education. Tom Lickona and our partner organization, The Center for the 4th and 5th Rs, provide the primary leadership for education and dissemination on our approach to future educators, schools of education, and the field of character education generally. It’s an important aspect of advancing our work, since it’s vital for our approach to be part of the education and public policy debate, even as we seek to build a wider network of demonstration sites. Concrete, replicable, researchable programming is our core focus, but we still strive to ground our work in high quality research, that brings rigor and credibility to those using our programming. Tom is a tireless ambassador for character education generally, and for our Smart & Good approach specifically. Those interested in our chapter can check out our website for forthcoming links. Also, for those with above average interest (and/or those with influence in a school of education, library, etc), here’s a link to the handbook site http://www.springer.com/education+&+language/book/978-90-481-8674-7.