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Character education is a fairly new and rapidly evolving topic for curriculum interventions. Character can encompass such moral and ethical values as respect, fairness, and caring -- as well as responsibility, trustworthiness, and citizenship. It can refer to the demonstration of these values in behavior, reasoning, and emotions. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) identified programs that deliberately attempt to develop students' character by teaching core values and that had most if not all of their lesson plans or prescribed activities directly related to instilling those values. Most programs did not enter its review because of this criterion. For those that did, most had only one or two small studies that met its evidence standards. This Character Education Topic Report summarizes the available evidence of the effects of 13 Character Education interventions in three outcome domains: behavior; knowledge, attitudes and values; and, academic achievement. Effectiveness ratings for the 13 programs in three domains are provided in tabular form. WWC examined 93 studies of 41 programs that qualified for its review. Of these, 18 studies of 13 programs met its evidence standards, 7 without reservations, and 11 with reservations. (Contains 2 tables, 3 figures, and 5 appendices.)

Descriptors: Values Education, Program Effectiveness, Student Behavior, Student Attitudes, Values, Academic Achievement, Outcomes of Education, Elementary Secondary Education

What Works Clearinghouse. 2277 Research Boulevard, MS 5M, Rockville, MD 20850. Tel: 866-992-9799; Fax: 301-519-6760; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: What Works Clearinghouse


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