The Cultivation of Virtue and the Telos of Education Part 4

David Diener February 15, 2017

Presented at:
2017 Winter Regional Conference


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 2 Part 3


Education Plato Students Virtue


David Diener
Dr. David Diener began his formal post-secondary education at Wheaton College where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Ancient Languages. After putting his philosophical training to work by building custom cabinets and doing high-end finish carpentry for an Amish company, he moved with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, where they served as missionaries for three years at a Christian international school. He then attended graduate school at Indiana University where he earned a M.A. in Philosophy, a M.S. in History and Philosophy of Education, and a dual Ph.D. in Philosophy and Philosophy of Education. He has taught at The Stony Brook School on Long Island, served as Head of Upper Schools at Covenant Classical School in Fort Worth, TX, and currently is the Head of School at Grace Academy in Georgetown, TX. He also teaches philosophy courses for Taylor University as an Adjunct Professor. The Dieners have four wonderful children and are passionate about classical Christian education and the impact it can have on the church, our society, and the world.

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