Character strengths are the foundation of optimal life-long development and thriving. Good character is not a singular thing but rather plural—a family of positive traits shown in one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This paper provides an overview of the Values in Action (VIA) project, which classifies and measures 24 widely-recognized and valued strengths. Research shows that character strengths are linked to important aspects of individual and social well-being, although different strengths predict different outcomes. This paper discusses ways to recognize and cultivate character strengths, within the context of a strengths-based approach to education and personal development. Character matters, and cultivating its components should be an important goal for all.
©2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston
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