Virtues are objectively good human qualities

Virtues are objectively good human qualities
Virtues have been defined as objectively good human qualities– good for us whether we know it or not. They have a claim on our personal and collective conscience. They are affirmed by cultures and religions around the world; they express our common humanity. They transcend time and culture. Diligence, wisdom, the pursuit of truth, justice, respect, responsibility, honesty, unselfishness, compassion, courage, patience, and perseverance always have been and always will be virtues, regardless of how many people practice them.

We can claim that virtues are objectively good, and that we are obliged to uphold and practice them, because they meet the following ethical criteria:

• They affirm our human dignity.
• They promote the well-being and happiness of the individual person.
• They serve the common good, making it possible for us to live in community.
• They define our rights and obligations as citizens.
• They meet the classical tests of reversibility (Would you want to be treated this way?) and universalizability (Would you want all persons to act this way?).

To develop character through the curriculum, the school must strive to be a healthy community in which moral and intellectual virtues are modeled, expected, studied, reflected upon, upheld, celebrated, and continually practiced in daily life.

Adapted from: What is Character Education? http://www2.cortland.edu/dotAsset/279645.pdf

Analyze, in a scholarly but personalized discussion, your personal beliefs regarding the teaching of character through the curriculum.

• Examine the etymology of virtue and how that might inform your beliefs.
• Use perspectives from the Lickona and Kohn readings, the videos Raising Good Children and The Story of Fern Creek, and other research you may conduct.

Ponder the pros and cons of teaching character in schools; I welcome equal and opposing, principled positions to fully examine this topic!

 

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