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The Cultivation of Virtue and the Telos of Education Part 2

Every model of education has a telos, a goal or purpose. Unfortunately, contemporary discourse on education typically avoids discussions of education’s overarching purpose and instead focuses on techniques. When the telos of education is discussed at all, seldom is ther cultivation of virtue taken to be a central goal. There are, however, two key problems with this: The conception of education without the cultivation of virtue as its central goal is strikingly unsatisfactory, and it also runs contrary to over two millennia of educational theory. In part one of this two-part seminar we will address these issues by first examining the central role that the cultivation of virtue plays in the educational thought of Plato. We then briefly will look at a number of other key educational thinkers throughout history who all concur that the central purpose of education is the formation of students who are virtuous. In part two we will apply these insights by discussing a number of practical steps we can take to cultivate virtue in our classrooms and schools.

Part 1 Part 3 Part 4