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Institute Director Co-Authors Article with Dr. Scott Beck on Teaching Virtue

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January 24, 2018

Institute Director Co-Authors Article with Dr. Scott Beck on Teaching Virtue


Institute Director, Dr. Nancy Snow, recently co-authored an article with Dr. Scott Beck, Head Principal of Norman High School. Norman High School was the Institute's first partner school, and Dr. Beck joined our Leadership Team in February 2017.

Their co-authored article is on teaching virtue, and will be published in the Routledge Handbook of Moral Epistemology, edited by Aaron Zimmerman, Karen Jones and Mark Timmons. A penultimate draft of the paper is freely accessible in the Institute's online archive. Read the paper

Abstract: Can virtue be taught? The question is a controversial one, harking back to Confucianism and the Platonic dialogues. We assume that virtue can be taught in the sense that teachers can influence character development in their students and explore the challenges and opportunities of teaching virtue from a variety of perspectives. In part I, Nancy E. Snow surveys a number of theoretical perspectives on teaching virtue which have been or are being implemented in schools. Scott Beck, the principal of Norman High School, describes in part II the grassroots approach to character development recently initiated at his institution. In part III we discuss how features of the Norman High initiative illus-trate aspects of the approaches discussed in part I, and conclude with general observations about roles for askesis, or disciplined practice, in changing school communities and cultivating character. Read the full paper