The Character Building Project

Michael J. Kerrigan


This review is from: The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds 

Not since reading The Black Swan, Tuxedo Park and The Inevitable have I thought more about the implications of The Undoing Project. Like many of my friends, I enjoyed reading The Big Short, Moneyball, Liars Poker and several others of Michael Lewis books. However, The Undoing Project was the most challenging of all his books I’ve read. I found Lewis general focus on decision-making theory rewarding and riveting and specifically relevant to my study of character building.

The book is especially entertaining as Lewis describes the relationship of its two heroes: Israeli psychologists Daniel Kaheneman and Amos Tversky as well as their original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. The Undoing Project is about a compelling collaboration between these two men and how their work created the field of behavioral economics, revolutionized… Continue reading

Readers of the Character Building Project will enjoy the excellent article, which follows. Not only does it connect present day character education with the values of our country’s founders but also is based on research-based approaches to character.

Perhaps the authors in their next article might cite the work of four education achievers: Mike Matthews, the research scientist at West Point who brought Angela Duckworth to study why some cadets are eagles and others turkeys; but also the vision of positive youth development (PYD) of Rich Lerner best summarized in his 5C’s- character, competence, confidence, connection, and caring the 38 years of research by Paul Stoltz, foremost expert on resilience and finally, and Gary Comer College Prep H.S. Chicago’s most successful charter school in sending graduates on to college, led by Greg Mooney. College counselors should grasp the importance of character attributes and do well to study the work of… Continue reading

Today’s higher education marketplace offers a mind-boggling array of options ranging from community colleges to online PhD programs. As with any industry in a free economy, different institutions offer different levels of quality.

So I was pleased when I recently I learned of Accredited Schools Online which is an organization focused on providing students with information about online learning and broader educational topics.

Of particular interest to me is their focus on assisting veterans transfer skills from military service to the civilian workplace. This guide outlines options for veterans to learn a vocation using a GI Bill, along with scholarships, resources, and a directory of transferable skills.

Veterans learn a host of skills from military service that translate well in the civilian workplace. Employers like to hire veterans because they have a blend of real-world experience in leadership, teamwork, diversity, integrity and global awareness. Having these skills… Continue reading

For the last several weeks, I have reached out to character scholars and other academics asking that they more skillfully, embrace the future of technology’s impact on character education.

Might Technology Provide Character Education A Needed Upgrade?

Will The Fast-Moving System Of Technology Bend The Character   Culture?

Who Will Be First To Use Machine Learning For Character Education?

Character Education Free But Pay for Personalization

In other posts I have encouraged academics to steadily turn their attention to the sphere of social networking and collaboration.

Character Scholars And Ordinary Citizens Could Create A Character Wiki

Could Character Scholars Cooperate By Creating Platform Synergy?

Time For Character Scholars To Participate In The Sharing Economy

Can Character Ventures Be Commercially Funded?

I have asked these scholars to address the apparent gap between the cultures of intellectual elites and the ordinary public. One way to do so is to reconsider their… Continue reading


Professor Gelernter, in today’s Opinion page of the has rightly diagnosed many of the problems in higher education; namely that student are not receiving value for the costs and society’s demands that colleges  are not being met. Further those colleges are refusing “to provide the books and skills that students need to build an educational foundation.”

The professor of computer science at Yale argues that many colleges will do well teaching STEM courses by throwing out the arts and humanities and will soon be offering online-education options instead. Gelernter notes students will need “digital guides and mentors who are experts in online education.” As Bachelor degrees are replaced by certified transcripts. Interestingly, Gelernter points out the role of the private sector in “running small certification departments, in effect granting degrees.”

The solution to from “Higher Ed’s Ruins” is, in his opinion, “A High-Tech Rebirth” is internet teaching… Continue reading

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Mottoes & Quotes

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.

— Anne Frank

For the Visually Impaired

Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.