Inspiring Character Newsletter

Browse the latest articles and links


April 29, 2021

Heather Cazad interviews Dr. Marvin Berkowitz about his new book, PRIMED for Character Education: Six Design Principles for School Improvement.

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The PRIMED model has been implemented in the US and internationally after assessing decades of research.

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Dr. Berkowitz's book has been officially released and is available for order now.

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April 22, 2021

Barbara Whitlock explores how to have courageous conversations with students to cultivate civic character.

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This Education Next article showcases high school survey data that links social-emotional learning to long-term success. 

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Scott Seider and others investigate adolescents' critical consciousness development in this article for the Journal of Youth and Adolescence. 

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April 15, 2021

Heather Cazad interviews Jim Thompson who shares why he founded This! Is What We Did in the hope of building a groundswell of support to combat climate change.

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Heather Cazad reflects on all the ways nature has supported and provided her with comfort throughout obstacles and challenges. 

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In this op-ed, Jim Thompson responds to the question: "What did you do to fight the climate crisis?"  

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April 8, 2021

The CHARACTER COUNTS! app, CharacterDaily, provides lessons, songs, videos and activities across six essential “Pillars of Character” that includes robust content in multiple formats for grades K-12 filtered by topic and grade level.

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The Mood Meter app was conceived by the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. The app helps you learn how your feelings are affecting your decisions and relationships. 

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Like a book of daily readings, the Virtue Matters app features different virtues and character strengths. The app's “shake the phone” feature adds some additional fun.  

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March 18, 2021

Author David Streight shares his perspective on the importance of Principle 7 in Character.org's 11 Principles Framework by focusing on students' needs for belonging, autonomy, and competence.

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Educator Liliana Borrero responds to Dr. Jacques Benninga's October article on Principle 7 with her research and experience on intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation.

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January 21, 2021

Barbara Scott explains how she incorporates character lessons in her music classes.

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Brandon DiCroce highlights the ways golf can positively influence individual character strengths and career.

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Bryan Stanton outlines the relationship between character development and the arts.  

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There's still time to register and submit a poster for the Color the World with Character initiative.

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December 10, 2020

Dr. Arthur Schwartz talks about positivity in this CharacterPlus video series segment.

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The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology published this article on self-talk as a regulatory mechanism.

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The Morningside Center shares these activities for secondary students to develop positive self-talk.  

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The Morningside Center shares these activities for elementary students to develop positive self-talk.

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November 24, 2020

Dr. Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, shares his expertise on gratitude.

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Heather Cazad writes a letter of gratitude to her high school English teacher who inspired her love of books and helped shape the person she wanted to be.

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Emily Campbell pens this article for the Greater Good Science Center on how practicing gratitude can help to reduce student anxiety and boost their well-being.  

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This article from AdventHealth highlights six ways to practice gratitude during the pandemic.

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November 12, 2020

Mary Uenking, from PETA's TeachKind, encourages educators to incorporate compassion for animals in their lessons to foster character development.

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Arthur Schwartz interviews his daughter-in-law Madison Schwartz about her animal advocacy and volunteer work.

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We feature three of our 2020 Promising Practices from schools across the country that focus on animals as part of their character initiatives.  

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Frans de Waal's TEDTalk explores the moral behavior in animals and how many species exhibit empathy, cooperation, and other traits.

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October 29, 2020

Sheldon Berman, a school superintendent, writes about a civic character curriculum framework he helped to develop for K-5 students with this article first published in School Administrator Magazine.

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Arthur Schwartz interviews his former student Janelle Rouse about her experience teaching in Brooklyn during this moment of political and cultural unrest.

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High school teacher and coach Charlie Abourjilie shares two civic-inspired concepts that inspire students to make a difference inside the classroom or on the athletic field.

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Generation Citizen has developed an "Action Civics" curriculum that focuses on student-driven projects aligned with state standards.

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October 15, 2020

Dr. Jacques Benninga examines whether Character.org's Principle 7 ("the school fosters students' self-motivation") aligns with the science of motivation in children and adolescents.

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Paul Hussman, a high school counselor, argues that too many schools do not provide an optimal climate for our marginalized students to practice intrinsic motivation.

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Principal Terri Power describes how her school's PBIS initiative motivates students to do what's right over time and as they mature.

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October 1, 2020

Dr. Sheila Ohlsson Walker explains the benefits of youth sports in character development and how coaches can foster positive traits and habits in their athletes.

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Mark Horbinski, also the founder of Won80, describes how to help create a caring culture using sports.

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Mark Horbinski, teacher and coach, shares how athletic teams at Necedah High School strive to cultivate character strengths.

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September 17, 2020

David Holmes from the Character Collaborative explores the idea of using character as college admission criteria instead of standardized tests and in addition to academic factors.

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Sherryann Sylvestre, a counselor at Union Academy Charter School, responds to Holmes' article and gives her take on character development as a measure of potential student success.

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Two high school students, Amanda and Lucas, describe how being a well-rounded person is a better goal than focusing strictly on high academic achievement.

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Greg MacDonald and Florence Hines, both admissions directors at their respective colleges, share their thoughts on Holmes' article from the university perspective.

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