This article by Brooks and Kann does an excellent job of identifying the key factors to effective character education. From visual reinforcement to parent involvement, the authors examine eleven components to successful social and emotional instruction. This article is a great resource for determining if a specific character education program is right for a specific classroom or school.
The Association of American Educators has compiled this amazing list of effective character education programs. Each recommended program is presented with a brief description of the program components and targeted grades. This is an excellent starting point for teachers just beginning to delve into character education or the teacher looking for new or additional resources.
With so many character education programs available, determining the effective from the ineffective can be overwhelming. Alfie Kohn does an amazing job of taking a critical look at character education instruction. In this article, Kohn takes a deeper look at what traditional character education instruction may be implicitly promoting, as well as alternative and enduring ways of promoting good character in students.
Character.org has provided a treasure trove of lesson plans for character education. Each detailed lesson plan was created by actual teachers and includes an overview to the lesson, along with lesson objectives, materials and detailed procedures. I refer to these lesson plans because they also include suggestions for extension and adaptation, as well as links to additional resources.
This paper by the Center for Social and Emotional Education is an excellent resource for numerous reasons. It not only presents, in detail, five social/emotional learning activities, but they also explain what skill(s) the activity targets, how long it should take, variations to the activity, and debriefing questions that can be asked. Additionally, this resource presents feasible tips for developing classroom rules/expectations as well as how to engage parents in their child's development.
Berkowitz and Bier provide an amazing, in-depth review of several evidence-based character education programs. This white paper is a cornucopia of effective character education programs and information. They explain what character education is, why it is important, as well as how they identified effective character education programs. I always turn to this resource first when researching successful character education instruction.
This website presents a great list of technology resources focused on social and emotional learning. Each activity includes a description of the learning goals, how to complete the activity, and examples of completed student work. I love the suggestions on this page because of their creativity and ability to appeal to a variety of student interests, abilities and learning environments.
This infographic by Amanda Morin is a terrific overview of the general behaviors and perspectives youth exhibit at different ages ands stages of development. I like it because it is a quick-and-easy resource that can be used to begin to understand a particular student's behaviors, as well as planning a social/emotional skills lesson for the whole class. This is a great resource to either bookmark or print out so that it's always on hand.