In addition to the Discussion Guides and curated lists of media to help develop each of the character strengths, below are resources that explore character development as a field, from the researchers, scientists, and educators devoted to bringing character development into all of our lives.

Character Strengths Survey:

  • Character Strength Survey: Take the VIA Me survey from The VIA Institute on Character (one of our amazing partners and advisors on The Science of Character) for a free assessment of your character strengths.
  • Character trainings and reports from the VIA Institute on Character: Our partners have generously offered some specials for educators participating in #CharacterDay.

Books about Character Development:

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Websites about character education and development:

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  • The Character Lab: Founded by Angela Duckworth, David Levin, and Dominic Randolph, this nonprofit aims to improve K-12 student achievement by connecting educators with the latest psychological research.

  • The VIA Institute on Character aims to advance both the science and the practice of character by offering the VIA Survey, free of charge, across the globe.  Since their inception, the VIA Survey has been taken by over 2 million people in 193 countries and 21 languages.

  • Authentic Happiness offers tons of questionnaires that will help you measure things like your own character strengths, relationship style, level of optimism, and grit.

  • DCN Labs: Home page of neuroscientist Adele Diamond, with links to her publications and more information about her research on executive functions and other areas.

  • The Duckworth Lab: The website of Angela Duckworth, professor at UPenn’s Positive Psychology Center. The site offers a questionnaire to learn your own grit score.

  • Mindset: Learn more about Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck and her concept of the growth mindset.

  • Quite a Character Neal Mayerson, Ph.D,  is founder and chairman of the VIA Institute on Character .Neal Mayerson’s blog on the Psychology Today website, is about focusing on understanding your personality traits and others’.
  • The Virtues Project- The Virtues Project is a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life, sparking a global revolution of kindness, justice and integrity in more than 100 countries. They offer a free Virtues Reflection Cards Short Deck and Iphone Educators Virtues Gifts.
  • KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program): Visit the KIPP Foundation’s site to learn more about the national network of free open-enrollment college preparatory schools in underserved areas. KIPP emphasizes the importance of character development to student success.

  • Paul Tough has written extensively on the topics of character and education.

  • Random Acts of Kindness (for educators): For any educational context, from preschool and elementary through the teen years, in schools large and small as well as home-school, we provide resources to supplement, complement, and support positive behavior goals. You'll find excellent resources like our free lesson planskindness project ideas, downloadable calendars and graphics, and more.

  • True Spark is a nonprofit, charitable organization whose mission is to expose, immerse, and engage America's youth on issues of character through watching inspiring movies and participating in interactive activities.

  • Foundation for a Better Life creates public service campaigns to communicate the values that make a difference in our communities. These uplifting messages, utilizing television, movie theaters, billboards, radio and the internet, model the benefits of a life lived by positive values. 
  • Character Education Partnership (CEP): The website of Character Education Partnership, an umbrella organization for character education. Learn more on the character education movement and National Schools of Character.

  • Positive Psychology News Daily: Regular articles sent out via email to review the latest research and practices in positive psychology, of which the science character strengths is a “backbone."

  • The Center for Character & Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education conducts research, education, and advocacy in the area of character strengths.

  • Lifeplan Institute is a nonprofit mentoring process and web portal kids can use to create their own life plans.

  • Positive Psychology Learn more about positive psychology, the branch of psychology founded by Martin Seligman that focuses on what’s working, rather than what’s not.
  • What Matters Most?“What Matters Most” is VIA Institute on Character Education Director Ryan Niemiec’s blog on the Psychology Today website, focusing on using your strengths to better your life.

  • WiseBrain brings you skillful means for happiness, love, and wisdom – from the fertile common ground of psychology, neurology, and contemplative practice.

  • Flourish and www.tayyabrashid.com: Lots of free resources and a comprehensive assessment of well-being.

  • Corner on Character Blog

Articles and Research Papers on Character Development: 

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If you have additional resources to add to the above lists, please leave a comment.


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  • commented 2014-03-26 16:24:53 -0700
    I appreciate your efforts. I would like to suggest a book for your reading list:
    “On Character and Mental Toughness” by William James Moore