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Books and articles

Several books and articles across multiple disciplines (e.g. education, psychology, and philosophy) shed important light on the practice of educating for intellectual virtues. (For additional resources on the theoretical dimensions of intellectual character education, see here.)

Featured books

Jason Baehr, Deep in Thought: A Practical Guide to Teaching for Intellectual Virtues (2021). This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date treatment of educating for intellectual virtues in a classroom setting. Chapters 3-11 explain the “principles, postures, and practices” teachers can use to help their students grow in intellectual virtues.

Jason Baehr, ed., Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology (2016). While this book is written mainly for an academic audience, chapters 10-13 address the question, “How Can Intellectual Virtues Be Fostered in the Classroom?”

Ron Ritchhart, Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It (2002). An outstanding treatment of what it looks like to educate for intellectual character growth. Research-based, but aimed at practitioners.

Ron Ritchhart, Creating Cultures of Thinking (2015). Ritchhart’s latest book. Emphasizes the importance of creating “cultures of thinking” to the enterprise of educating for intellectual virtues.

Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church, and Karin Morrison, Making Thinking Visible (2011). A comprehensive and very useful treatment of “thinking routines” and related classroom-based strategies that provide students with opportunities to practice the virtues of good thinking.

C.J. Simister, The Bright Stuff: Playful Ways to Nurture Your Child’s Extraordinary Mind (2009). Especially suitable for parents interesting in helping their children cultivate intellectual virtues.

Shari Tishman, David Perkins, and Eileen Jay, The Thinking Classroom (1994). A practical, but theoretically rich discussion of steps teachers can take to foster good thinking and the character traits that support it. Incorporates research conducted at Harvard’s Project Zero.

Phil Dow, Virtuous Minds (2013). Chapters 12-13 contain practically useful steps that educators and others can take to help students (and themselves) grow in intellectual virtues.

Scott Seider, Character Compass: How Powerful School Culture Can Point Students Toward Success (2012). Useful for teachers and administrators alike. Examines three approaches to character education: moral, civic, and performance. Many of the insights are applicable to intellectual character education.

Kevin Ryan and Karen Bohlin, Building Character in Schools: Practical Ways to Bring Moral Instruction to Life (2003). Makes a theoretical case for character education and offers a wide array of resources for teachers and parents.

Thomas Lickona, Character Matters: How to Help Children Develop Good Judgment, Integrity, and Other Essential Virtues (2004). A comprehensive defense and explanation of character education. Chapter 6 addresses ways of integrating a focus on character development with academic teaching and learning.


Featured articles and book chapters

Ron Ritchhart and David Perkins, “Life in the Mindful Classroom: Nurturing the Disposition of Mindfulness” (2000). Discusses the importance of “mindfulness” (understood as an intellectual character trait) and several classroom-based practices aimed at fostering this strength.

Heather Battaly, “Teaching Intellectual Virtues” (2006). Discusses how a focus on intellectual virtues can be incorporated into critical thinking and logic courses. Especially useful for college and university educators.

Steve Porter, “A Therapeutic Approach to Intellectual Character Formation,” in Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology, ed. Jason Baehr (2016). Addresses what teachers can do when the “standard approach” to intellectual virtue formation isn’t working. Draws on research in several areas of psychology.

Marvin Berkowitz and Melinda Bier, “What Works in Character Education: A Research-Driven Guide for Educators” (2006). A helpful, research-based overview of “best practices” in character education, many of which are easily adaptable to educating for intellectual virtues.

Jason Baehr, “Educating for Intellectual Virtues: From Theory to Practice” (2013). Applies virtue epistemology to educational theory and practice. Includes a discussion of several pedagogical strategies.

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom. The Centre recently hosted a conference on “Cultivating Virtue” that brought together leading scholars and researchers from education, psychology, philosophy, and related fields. Drafts of the conference papers, many of which address the practical dimensions of character education (including intellectual character education), are available here.