Initiatives to cultivate character and virtue in moral education at school continue to provoke sceptical responses. Most of those echo familiar misgivings about the notions of character, virtue and education in virtue – as unclear, redundant, old-fashioned, religious, paternalistic, anti-democratic, conservative, individualistic, relative and situation dependent. I expose those misgivings as ‘myths’, while at the same time acknowledging three better-founded historical, methodological and practical concerns about the notions in question.
Kristján Kristjánsson is Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics; Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham. He is a scholar with the project Virtue, Happiness, & the Meaning of Life.