Whereas character education is not new, scientific study of its effectiveness has been only sporadically implemented during the past thirty-five years. Much of the application of character education is therefore not informed by a scientific knowledge base. This article introduces a scientific perspective on character education and a summary of the research base examining the Individual impact of school-based character education. From this research base, general principles of effective practice are derived. This in turn is used to offer suggestions to practitioners and policy makers for the improvement of school-based character education.