How can we teach for intellectual virtues?

Written for educators at all levels, Deep in Thought (Harvard Education Press) is a comprehensive guide to teaching for qualities like curiosity, open-mindedness, intellectual courage, and intellectual humility. Author Jason Baehr explains what intellectual virtues are, why they matter, and what it looks like to nurture them in a classroom setting.

Deep in Thought
Favorite book for educators in 2021

Published by Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

About the Book

Deep in Thought - Hardcover Mockup

About the Book

What are intellectual virtues?

Chapters 1-4 provide accessible and well-illustrated profiles of nine “core virtues,” describe their importance to teaching and learning, and identify several practical “principles” and “postures” for helping students grow in intellectual virtues.

What does teaching for intellectual virtues look like in practice?

Chapters 5-11 explain the practical steps all teachers can take to cultivate intellectual virtues in their students. These include introducing students to the language of intellectual virtues (Ch.5), facilitating an awareness of their own intellectual character attributes (Ch. 6), teaching for deep learning and understanding (Ch. 7), providing with well-supported opportunities to practice target virtues (Ch. 8), authentically modeling these virtues (Ch. 9), and more.

Rooted in scholarly research and hands-on experience

Deep in Thought draws on scholarly research in education, psychology, and philosophy. It also incorporates Baehr’s extensive hands-on work in education, including his co-founding of the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach with a grant of over $1 million from the John Templeton Foundation and his ongoing professional development work with primary, secondary, and post-secondary teachers across the globe.

For teachers who yearn to guide students toward meaningful, thoughtful lives

“For teachers who yearn to guide students toward meaningful, thoughtful lives, rather than cramming them with marketable skills, Jason Baehr’s book is water to the thirsty. They will find in these pages an ennobling road map for teaching children what really matters: the capacity to think deeply about the problems and challenges that matter most. By the time they’ve finished the book, readers will have a new sense of purpose about education and a clear idea of how to proceed.”

Susan Engel

Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Williams College

Jason Baehr is an anomaly and a pioneer

“Jason Baehr is an anomaly and a pioneer. He is an accomplished philosopher who saw a practical problem and decided to leverage his scholarly knowledge of intellectual virtue to create a middle school designed to promote intellectual virtue development in students. This book introduces us to the theory and practice of that remarkable accomplishment and provides a practical framework for others to follow.”

Marvin W. Berkowitz

Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education at University of Missouri–St. Louis

Invaluable guidance to educators

“In Deep in Thought, philosopher Jason Baehr impressively weaves together philosophy, social science, and his own on-the-ground work in schools to offer invaluable guidance to educators for nurturing their students’ intellectual virtues.”

Scott Seider

Associate Professor of Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology at Boston College

Reconnect with your passion for teaching

Deep in Thought provides teachers with the tools they need to rediscover and reconnect with some of their deeper aims and desires, such nurturing a “love of learning” and helping students become “lifelong learners” and “critical thinkers.” It imbues classroom teaching with meaning and purpose, for teachers and students alike.

About the author

Jason Baehr

Jason Baehr is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he has been teaching for 20 years. From 2012-2015, he was Director of the Intellectual Virtues & Education Project at LMU, which involved the founding of the Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach, a successful charter middle school in Southern California. In addition to his scholarly work in philosophy, Baehr has done extensive research in education and regularly works with K-12 and university teachers interested in learning how to educate for intellectual virtues. His other books include Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology (Routledge, 2016) and The Inquiring Mind (Oxford University Press, 2011). Baehr lives with his family in Long Beach, CA.

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