Aristotelian Character Education: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Aristotelian Character Education

1st Edition

By Kristján Kristjánsson


186 pages

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This book provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education, shedding new light on what moral character really is, and how it can be highlighted, measured, nurtured and taught in current schooling. Arguing that many recent approaches to character education understand character in exclusively amoral, instrumentalist terms, Kristjánsson proposes a coherent, plausible and up-to-date concept, retaining the overall structure of Aristotelian character education.

After discussing and debunking popular myths about Aristotelian character education, subsequent chapters focus on the practical ramifications and methodologies of character education. These include measuring virtue and morality, asking whether Aristotelian character education can salvage the effects of bad upbringing, and considering implications for teacher training and classroom practice. The book rejuvenates time-honoured principles of the development of virtues in young people, at a time when ‘character’ features prominently in educational agendas and parental concerns over school education systems.

Offering an interdisciplinary perspective which draws from the disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy and sociology, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and students wanting a greater insight into character education.


"Kristja´nsson’s book is a valuable contribution to moral education and a timely corrective to contemporary character education efforts. Even the skeptical reader may have the impression that his goals are achievable, and the many references to his ongoing work at the Jubilee Centre suggest that he will continue to show us how." - Matthew J. Hayden, Journal of Moral Education

"This highly informative and rigorous book gives the best available explanation of the importance and significance of Aristotelian character education, reminding readers that performance is not enough if it is not underpinned by moral virtue and providing a desirable social vision of flourishing individuals in a flourishing society." - SciMedNet

"Overall, Aristotelian Character Education answers many questions, rebuts many objections, and clarifies the strengths, weaknesses, and remaining challenges for ACE. It is an exceptionally useful, cross-disciplinary resource." - Howard J. Curzer, The Philosophical Quarterly

"It is difficult to find fault with Aristolian Character Education by Kristjan Kristjansson. In eight engagingly written and thoroughly researched chapters, he introduces the reader to Aristotelian character education, defends it against critics and develops a contemporary version in the spirit, if not always the letter, of Aristotle’s virtue theory." - Nancy E. Snow, The University of Oklahoma, British Journal of Educational Studies

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: What is Aristotelian character education? 2. Some Persistent Myths about Aristotelian Character Education 3. Measuring Virtue for Aristotelian Character Education 4. Phronesis and Aristotelian Character Education 5. Can Aristotelian Character Education Undo the Effects of Bad Upbringing? 6. Towards Method: Dialogue and Aristotelian character education 7. Educating the Educators: Teachers and Aristotelian character education 8. Concluding Reflections

About the Author

Kristján Kristjánsson is Professor of Character Education and Virtue Ethics, Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Education

This series aims to present the latest research from right across the field of education. It is not confined to any particular area or school of thought and seeks to provide coverage of a broad range of topics, theories and issues from around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child