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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Office of Testing and Assessment
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Workshop on Approaches to the Development of Character

July 26-27, 2016
National Academy of Sciences Building
Lecture Room
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20418

Character education comes in many forms and under many names. Usually a component of structured activities or lessons that engage students in academics, sports, service, and other activities, its aim is to develop or strengthen positive behaviors, attitudes, values, or attributes in young people. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold a two-day workshop to review research and practice relevant to the development of character, with a particular focus on ideas that can support the adults who develop and run out-of-school programs. Workshop sessions will address:

  • Moving beyond definitional differences to identify alignments across research in different fields, including social and emotional learning and positive youth development, and research from in-school settings;
  • Identifying what works in developing character;
  • Effective program implementation and evaluation;
  • Issues in measuring growth and development of character.
  • The workshop will include break-out activities for participants to focus on messages and strategies they can use in pursuing their own programs’ goals.


Archived videos below.


Workshop Materials

Agenda (includes links to PowerPoint presentations)
Bios for committee members and speakers

Commissioned Papers

Effective Features and Practices that Support Character Development by Marvin W. Berkowitz, Melinda C. Bier, and Brian McCauley
Methodological Issues in Measuring the Development of Character by Noel A. Card
Construct(ion) and Context: A response to methodological issues in studying character by Nancy Deutsch
What you HAVE to know about Program Implementation by Joseph Durlak
Promises and Perils of Assessing Character and Social and Emotional Learning by Clark McKown
The Readiness of the Out-of-School Time Workforce to Intentionally Support Participants’ Social and Emotional Development: A Review of the Literature and Future Directions by Deborah A. Moroney 
Character: A Multi-faceted Developmental System by Larry Nucci
Advancing Evaluation of Character Building Programs by William M. Trochim and Jennifer Brown Urban

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