About the International Educational Foundation
Global trends in education increasingly recognize the value of fostering character development throughout
the curriculum and nurturing a moral ethos in schools. At the same time, there is heightened interest in
social and emotional learning and relationship education. Encouraging these trends, the International
Educational Foundation (IEF) has been active in Russia, China, the United States and other nations.
IEF is a nonsectarian, not for profit educational organization founded in 1990 to advocate character
education, service learning, family education and prevention education in all parts of the world.
To that end, IEF's objectives are:
•To explore perspectives on universal values that seek to integrate the best of Eastern and Western,
spiritual and material as well as traditional and contemporary values.
•To develop a heart-centered approach to character development and a love-centered view of morality
•To support the work of educators, parents, community leaders and others involved with helping youth and
families to enhance the cooperation of the home, school and community in the pursuit of child, adolescent
and adult character development.
•To develop materials and produce books that promote character education and service learning in general,
target specific youth issues such as sexuality education, drug abuse prevention and conflict resolution, and
that empower families through marriage and parenting education.
About the International Educational Foundation
This work began in the countries of the former Soviet Union in 1990 with an international exchange that brought
students and educators to the United States for leadership training seminars. This led to collaboration with
Russian educators to produce comprehensive educational materials for moral and prevention education in local
schools. Since then, hundreds of teacher training seminars have been held to introduce teachers to these
materials and to new methodologies that successfully integrate universal values with specific local cultural
traditions. Currently, curricula developed by IEF are being used in over 10,000 schools in Russia, Mongolia and
other countries of the former Soviet Union. The IEF Eurasian office is in Moscow.
In Asia, the work of IEF has involved conferences with local educators and community workers in China,
Mongolia, India and other nations with the aim of cooperatively developing heart and character education
resources and teacher training materials. Numerous seminars and trainings promoting character, marriage and
parenting education have been held in all provinces of China, with the support of universities, teacher colleges,
local departments of education and a broad spectrum of other organizations. The organization maintains its Asian
office in Beijing.
In the United States, IEF generates publications while offering consulting services to local schools and making
presentations at national and regional teacher and academic conferences. The organization's American and
international headquarters is in New York. IEF is now expanding its work into South America, Europe and Africa.
Visit our website: http://www.internationalcharacter.org
About this CD
As the world grows smaller and intercultural exchange increases, the citizens of tomorrow's world need to be
more adaptable than any previous generation. Good character, the ability to make good and loving
relationships and the heart to make a social contribution become all the more important when society is in
constant flux and cultural cues are less certain. Thus, it is helpful for young people to be grounded in
fundamental, universal values that will aid them in the diverse situations they will be facing.
Yet educators, parents and leaders worldwide are debating about how best to transmit those values in this
era of unprecedented change. Family breakdown and the attendant social ills are grave concerns. Crime
rates among adolescents are escalating. Teachers report rising peer cruelty among their students, increased
ethnic bigotry, and lack of respect for authority. Illicit drug use is increasing at younger ages. Shoplifting,
vandalism, lying, and cheating have become rampant. In the words of character educator Dr. Thomas
Lickona, students in general are more "resistant to control and basic socialization."
Effective methods, both new and traditional, are needed to help caring adults guide youth. It is also
necessary to present compelling and attractive reasons for living a life for the sake of others. Searching for
Life’s True Purpose: Perspectives on Morality and Ethics Series helps to answer these needs, offering insights
for moral and ethical education that have been developed through research and experience working with
educators for over a decade in Russia, China, and the United States, as well as in other countries. This
resource is for educators, parents, social activists and all those interested in raising young people to become
responsible and caring adults.
Searching for Life’s True Purpose: Perspectives on Morality and Ethics is
a series representing the fruit of thousands of presentations given in
Eurasia, Asia and North America. Each handsome, full-color volume is
intended to serve as a manual for presenters, a resource for deeper
study, and a general introduction to IEF perspectives. Ideal for
educators, school administrators, clergy, counselors, community leaders
and parents. Titles in the series include:
The Need for Moral Education
The Role of Religion in Moral Education
Universal Principles and Life Goals
The Family as the School of Love
The Consequences of the Sexual Revolution
Family Life Education: Which Road to Take?
An Ethic of True Love and Sexuality
Preparing Youth for Marriage
Promoting a Marriage Culture
Building Healthy Marriages
Causes and Resolution of Conflict
Fostering a Culture of Peace through Service
Drugs and Our Youth: Focus on Prevention
Cultivating Heart and Character: Educating for Life's Most Essential Goals
Tony Devine, Joon Ho Seuk, Andrew Wilson, Editors
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Character Development Publishing, 2000
(On the web)
The perfect reference for educators, counselors, home schoolers, religious leaders, and concerned
parents. This book explains the essence of character and provides practical ways to foster
character and emotional intelligence, good relationships and social responsibility. Topics include
the moral impact of marriage and family, sexual ethics and drug abuse prevention.
"If you are a parent, educator or youth specialist concerned with character education (and you
should be!), then buy this book."
Wade Horn, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary, Dept. Health and Human Services
Building Character through Service Learning
Kathy Winings, Ed.D.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Character Development Publishers, 2002
This offers an in-depth look at the integral role service plays in the development of character.
Educators, community leaders and parents will find insight and practical information to connect
service learning with civic, family and character education. Best practices, helpful theory and "how
to" methods provide a rich discussion of the importance of service learning in education and
"For many young people, service to others is the key to escape from the shackles of selfpreoccupation… This brief book provides educators with a complete and compelling guide to… the
dynamic service learning movement."
Dr. Kevin Ryan, Boston University Center for the Advancement of Ethics and Character
My Journey in Life: A Student Textbook for Character Development
Moscow: IEF, 2001
This engaging middle school and high school resource for moral education touches upon classic
questions about life and what it means to be a good person that young people think about as well as
introduces the founders and teachings of the world's religions. This text established IEF's reputation in
Eurasia. Full of exercises, illustrations and stories, it was originally developed for the former Soviet
Union and can be adapted for any context.