Michael J. Kerrigan

Tufts University


In view of the above title, perhaps we should be assessing what schools of leadership at colleges and universities are teaching. I offer the following assessment based upon the ideal definition of leaders… those who are both ethical and effective. This character definition of leadership excludes the greater number of our countries leaders, those that maybe effective, but as Dr. Lerner of Tufts University states… “Leaders who show little evidence of possessing admirable attributes of character.”

Rich Lerner also notes that one of the key components is providing opportunities for students to get involved in leadership are through the moral action of character experiences. After hundreds of peer reviewed character publications, Rich believes character develops through mutually influential relations between an individual and multiple and interrelated settings of his or her life. *

My own assessment is that leadership scholars have not sufficiently incorporated the study of character development… Continue reading

Out-of-school programs in academics, sports, service, and other activities can foster the development of skills and attributes that young people need to flourish in school, the workplace, and their personal lives. Programs that include character development as part of their mission vary widely: they include boys and girls clubs; outdoor learning, arts, and science programs; mentoring and advocacy or service groups; and many more. They take place in venues including schools, museums, and community-based organizations, but what links them is their commitment to helping young people develop.

Whether the designers and leaders of such programs describe their work as building character, promoting positive development, or fostering social and emotional learning, they are eager to learn about promising practices used in other settings, evidence of effectiveness, and ways to measure the effectiveness of their own approaches.

This publication from the Board on Testing and Assessment summarizes a workshop held in July… Continue reading

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