top of page


Thomas Lickona, Ph.D., is a developmental psychologist, character educator, and professor of education emeritus at the State University of New York at Cortland. He was the founding director of the Center for the 4th and 5th Rs (Respect and Responsibility) from 1994 to 2022 at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he did 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 has spoken around the world on fostering moral values and character development in schools, families, and communities.

His ten books on moral development and character education have been translated into more than a dozen languages. They include Raising Good Children; Educating for Character (known as “the bible of the character education movement”); Character Matters; Smart & Good High Schools (with Matthew Davidson); Sex, Love and You: Making the Right Decision (with his wife Judy Lickona and William Boudreau, M.D.); How to Raise Kind Kids: And Get Respect, Gratitude, and a Happier Family in the Bargain; and Narnian Virtues: Building Good Character with C.S. Lewis (with Mark A. Pike).


His Center’s work was the subject of a New York Times Magazine cover article, “Teaching Johnny to Be Good.”  He received’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.


He and his wife Judy have two grown sons and 16 grandchildren and live in Cortland, New York.

bottom of page