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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 forthcoming book, How to Raise Kind Kids: and Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain, will be 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 have two grown sons and 15 grandchildren.  They 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.

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