Department of Educator Preparation, Innovation and Research

Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz is the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and University of Missouri President’s Thomas Jefferson Professor.  He has also served as the inaugural Ambassador H.H. Coors Professor of Character Development at the US Air Force Academy (1999),  and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University (1979-1999).  He was also founder and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research in Milwaukee.  Since 1999 he has directed the Leadership Academy in Character Education in St. Louis.

Born in Queens NY in 1950, he earned his BA degree in psychology from the State University of NY at Buffalo in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977.  He served as a Research Associate at the Center for Moral Development and Education at Harvard University 1977-79.  He has served as a visiting scholar in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, Spain, and Taiwan.

His scholarly focus and expertise is in character education and development.  He is author of You Can’t Teach Through a Rat: And Other Epiphanies for Educators (2012), Parenting for good (2005), editor of Moral education: Theory and application (1985) and Peer conflict and psychological growth (1985), and author of more than 100 book chapters, monographs, and journal articles.  He is founding co-editor of the Journal for Research in Character Education

Dr. Berkowitz was named "Outstanding Young Educator of 1983" by the Milwaukee Jaycees, was cited as one of Milwaukee’s "87 Most Interesting People" in Milwaukee magazine (1987), named “Best University Professor” in a 1998 readers’ poll of the Shepherd’s Express, was named Educator of the Year by the St. Louis Association of Secondary School Principals (2005), was an inaugural recipient of the Bill Porzukowiak Character Award (2005), received the Sanford  N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Character Education Partnership (2006), the first Exemplary Partner Award from the Charmm’d Foundation (2008), the Good Works Award from the Association for Moral Education (2010), and the University of Missouri System’s Thomas Jefferson Professorship (2011).

He is co-founder of ComedySportz, a nationally franchised improvisational comedy show, and has co-written the play “Chuck, Bob, and Louie” which won best of show at the 1994 Milwaukee Festival of Ten Minute Plays.  For five years he was author of a weekly newspaper column on parenting for character published in the Topeka (KS) Capitol-Journal. He is also a two time Missouri State Senior Division Soccer gold medalist (2006, 2007).  He has been married to Judith Gewanter Berkowitz for nearly 40 years and has one son, Daniel William Berkowitz.

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e-mail

berkowitzm@umsl.edu

phone

(314) 516-7521

office

G12 Marillac Hall

B.A. (Psychology) 1972 State University of NY at Buffalo
M.A. (Developmental Psychology) 1976 Wayne State University
Ph.D. (Developmental Psychology) 1977 Wayne State University

Before arriving at UMSL in 1999, Dr. Marvin Berkowitz was the inaugural Ambassador Holland H. Coors Professor of Character Development at the United States Air Force Academy.  Previously he served as Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University .  He was also founder and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research in Milwaukee and Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of WI.

He was born in Queens NY in 1950, attended public schools in Hewlett NY , and earned his BA degree with honors in psychology from the State University of NY at Buffalo in 1972.  He earned his Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977, after which he served as a Research Associate at the Center for Moral Development and Education at Harvard University for two years. 

He has taught at various institutions throughout the United States , Canada , and Europe .  He has served as a Visiting Professor at the Max-Planck-Institute for Human Development and Education in Berlin (1987-8) and as a Visiting Scholar for the Gordon Cook Foundation in Scotland (1995). 

Dr. Berkowitz is author of Parenting for good , editor of Moral education: Theory and application (1985) and Peer conflict and psychological growth (1985), and author of more than 70 book chapters, monographs, and journal articles.  He is co-editor of the Journal for Research in Character Education .  He has also served on the editorial boards of the Merrill-Palmer Quarterly and Journal of Psychological and Educational Consultation , as an Executive Member of the American Bar Association's Interdisciplinary Committee to Promote the Best Interest of the Child and on the boards of the Character Education Partnership, the Jean Piaget Society and the Association for Moral Education. 

Dr. Berkowitz was named "Outstanding Young Educator of 1983" by the Milwaukee Jaycees, was cited as one of Milwaukee's "87 Most Interesting People" in Milwaukee magazine in 1987, was invited to give the Henry Howe Chan Memorial Lecture at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 1992 and the first Great Midwest Conference Presidents' Lectureship in 1993, was co-recipient of the 1994 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Community Partnership Award, named Best University Professor in a Best of Milwaukee 98 readers' poll of the Shepherd's Express , served as Ethicist in Residence at the University of South Florida in 2002 and as Visiting Scholar at Azusa Pacific University in 2003, received the International Leadership Network "Applause Award" in 2004, was named Educator of the Year by the St. Louis Association of Secondary School Principals in 2005, and was an inaugural recipient of the Bill Porzukowiak Character Award from the Belleville (IL) 118 School District in 2005.

He is co-founder of ComedySportz , a nationally franchised improvisational comedy show, and has co-written the play "Chuck, Bob, and Louie" which won best of show at the 1994 Milwaukee Festival of Ten Minute Plays.  He is author of a weekly newspaper column on parenting for character published in the Topeka (KS) Capitol-Journal.

He has been married to Judith Gewanter Berkowitz for over 30 years and has one son, Daniel William Berkowitz (born 9/21/86).

Dr. Berkowitz was Principal Investigator of the following:

· A National Institute on Drug Abuse grant to study the relation of moral development to adolescent drug use

·A study of "What works in character education" funded by the John Templeton Foundation grant

· A US Department of Education grant to establish a national resource center in character education

Teaching Interests

  • Character education
  • Child and adolescent development
  • Social and moral development

Research Interests

  • Character education effectiveness
  • Child and adolescent character/moral development
  • Child and adolescent risk behavior

Representative Publications

  • Berkowitz, M.W., Begun, A.L., Zweben, A., Giese, J.K., Mulry, G., Horan, C., Wheeler, T., Gimenez, J., & Piette, J. (1994). Assessing how adolescents think about the morality of substance use. Drugs and Society, 8, 111-124.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (1997). The complete moral person: Anatomy and formation. In J.M. Dubois (Ed.), Moral issues in psychology: Personalist contributions to selected problems (pp.11-41). Lanham, MD: University Press of America. (Reprinted in Japanese in T. Muto (Ed.), The new development of the character-value education – Japan, USA, and UK. Tokyo: Gakubun-sha. A. Aria, translator).
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (1998). A primer for evaluating a character education initiative. Washington, D.C.: Character Education Partnership.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., & Grych, J. (1998). Fostering goodness: Teaching parents to facilitate children’s moral development. Journal of Moral Education, 27, 371-391.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., & Fekula, M.J. (1999). Fostering character on college campuses. About Campus, 4(5), 17-22.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (2000). Civics and moral education. In R. Moon, S. Brown, & M. Ben-Peretz (Eds.), Routledge International Companion to Education (pp. 897-909). London: Routledge Ltd.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (2000). Character education as prevention. In W.B. Hansen, S.M. Giles, & M.D. Fearnow-Kenney (Eds.), Improving prevention effectiveness (37-45). Greensboro, NC: Tanglewood Research.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., & Grych, J.H. (2000). Early character development and education. Early Education and Development, 11, 55-72.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., Schaeffer, E.F., & Bier, M.C. (2001). Character education in the United States. Education in the North, 2001-2002(9), 52-59.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., Vincent, P.F., & McKay, L. (2001). The two faces of community in character education. School Public Relations Journal, 22, 4-14.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (2002). The science of character education. In W. Damon (Ed.), Bringing in a new era in character education (pp. 43-63). Stanford CA: Hoover Institution Press.
  • Berkowitz, M. W., & Begun, A. L. (2003). Designing prevention programs: The developmental perspective. In Z. Sloboda & W. J. Bukoski (Eds.), Handbook of drug abuse prevention: Theory, science, and practice (pp.327-348). Hingham MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (In press). Character on record. Chapel Hill, NC: Character Development Publishing.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (In press). The Best of Berkowitz. Chapel Hill, NC: Character Development Publishing.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. (In press). Research-based character education. In Evans, D., & Seligman, M. E. P. (Eds.) (In press). Adolescent mental health. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Berkowitz, M.W. & Bier, M. (In press). The interpersonal roots of character education. In D.K. Lapsley & F.C. Power (Eds.), Character psychology and character education. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., & Sherblom, S.A. (In press). Moral reasoning/judgment. In C. Peterson & M. Seligman (Eds.), Values in Action classification of strengths.
  • Berkowitz, M.W., & Simmons, P. (In press). Integrating science education and character education: The role of peer discussion. In D. Zeidler (Ed.), The role of moral reasoning on socioscientific issues and discourse in science education. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer.

Grants/Projects

  • Journal of Research in Character Education. Co-editor (with Dr. Andrew Milson of Baylor University). Journal debuts in 2003 and is sponsored by the Character Education Partnership.
  • National Character Education Resource Center. Funded by a grant from the US Department of Education, we are developing a national resource center in character education, in collaboration with the Character Education Partnership (www.character.org). The project director is Dr. Melinda Bier, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Education at UMSL. Val Turner, an UMSL Educational Psychology doctoral student, serves as a research assistant on this project. Other graduate students are earning credit by doing their research internships on this project.
  • The Relation of Character Education to Academic Achievement. A grant from the John Templeton Foundation (in collaboration with Dr. Jacques Benninga, project PI, at Fresno State University) supported a research project to examine the relation of character education in California elementary schools to academic achievement on the California state test (SAT-9). Karen Smith, an UMSL doctoral student in Educational Leadership, worked as a research assistant on this project. She expects to do her dissertation on this topic as well.
  • What Works in Character Education. Funded by the John Templeton Project, we are collecting all outcome studies on the effectiveness of character education. Dr. Melinda Bier, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Education at UMSL, is the Project Director. This project is being done in collaboration with the Character Education Partnership (www.character.org).
  • Caring School Communities. This four year US Department of Education grant to the Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis (CSD) has a sub-contract to UMSL for the qualitative evaluation of 10 elementary schools implementing the CSC model. Dr. Steven Sherblom, Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at UMSL, is directing this project.
  • Leadership Academies in Character Education. In collaboration with the Cooperating School Districts of Greater St. Louis, we administer two Leadership Academies in Character Education each year for school leaders (30 per Academy). Dr. Beverly Nance co-directs these academies with Dr. Berkowitz. They are one-year academies and are free to accepted participants. (http://csd.org/staffdev/ldrchared.html)