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The moral and civic dimensions of personal character have been widely recognized and explored. Recent work by philosophers, psychologists, and education theorists has drawn attention to two additional dimensions of character: intellectual character and “performance” character. This article sketches a “four-dimensional” conceptual model of personal character and some of the character strengths or “virtues” proper to each dimension. In addition to exploring how the dimensions of character are related to each other, the article also examines the implications of this account for character education undertaken in a youth or adolescent context. It is argued that “intellectual character education,” which emphasizes the development of intellectual virtues like curiosity, open-mindedness, and intellectual courage, is an underexplored but especially promising approach in this context. The relationship between intellectual character education and traditional character education, which emphasizes the development of moral and civic virtues like kindness, generosity, and tolerance, is also explored.
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- The Varieties of Character and Some Implications for Character Education
- Springer US