Critical consciousness can be defined as possession of curiosity about the workings of one’s society; perseverance and optimism for navigating its opportunities and challenges; and the beneficial purpose to strive for its continued betterment. Research has already demonstrated critical consciousness to be a positive predictor of adolescents’ health, academic and career outcomes, but little is known about whether particular schooling models are more effective than others at fostering the character virtues that comprise critical consciousness. In this project, we explore this core question through a longitudinal, mixed methods investigation of the impact of five different schooling models upon participating adolescents’ character virtues. Through a mixed methods design, we will uncover important insights about the ability of innovative schooling models ranging from expeditionary learning to No Excuses to Freirean to foster the particular character virtues that comprise critical consciousness. We will share these insights through outputs that include peer reviewed articles in high-impact journals; a book intended for school leaders and pre-service teachers; and a MOOC intended for practicing educators and the general public. Through these outputs, our study will provide school leaders with concrete practices for cultivating particular character virtues and also disrupt an increasingly prevalent trend of schools focusing their character education efforts exclusively upon a single character dimension (e.g. moral, performance, intellectual) rather than attributes such as critical consciousness that are composed of a diverse set of key character virtues. In so doing, this project will equip school leaders with pedagogy and practices capable of fostering character virtues such as curiosity, perseverance, optimism and beneficial purpose that are both championed by Sir John and also cut across the civic, performance and intellectual dimensions of character.