Across society, the need for intellectual virtues is increasingly apparent. Employers are eager to hire workers with "soft skills" including curiosity, intellectual tenacity, and intellectual humility. Discourse online and in the public square is marked by dogmatism, intellectual arrogance, and closed-mindedness. High-ranking political leaders exhibit an indifference toward - if not an outright contempt for - truth, evidence, and complex thinking.
These conditions underscore the importance of "intellectual character education" (ICE), which is the attempt to foster intellectual virtues in the process of academic teaching and learning. Our project is aimed at (a) strengthening and disseminating our existing school-based work in ICE and (b) advancing the research in this field. It has three main components:
1. Capacity-building: Partial funding for key personnel positions and related activities will enable us to complete a systematic and comprehensive implementation of an intellectual virtues educational model at the IVA high school in Long Beach, CA.
2. Research: Our team will produce one monograph on intellectual virtues for philosophers, psychologists, and education theorists, a second monograph on the "principles and practices" of ICE for middle school and high school educators, three empirical studies on the mind, brain, and education processes integral to fostering intellectual virtues in a classroom setting, and at least three journal articles reporting the findings of these studies.
3. Dissemination: We will host two year-long institutes for a total of 60 educators from across the country. Participants will be trained in the theory and practice of ICE by leading researchers, accomplished school leaders, and veteran IVA teachers.
This cutting-edge work will advance a growing and much-needed movement aimed at understanding and improving the intellectual character and conduct on display throughout society.