1st Edition

Knowledge and Virtue in Teaching and Learning
The Primacy of Dispositions

ISBN 9780415899987
Published November 10, 2011 by Routledge
250 Pages

USD $62.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The challenge this book addresses is to demonstrate how, in teaching content knowledge, the development of intellectual and moral dispositions as virtues is not merely a good idea, or peripheral to that content, but deeply embedded in the logic of searching for knowledge and truth. 

It offers a powerful example of how philosophy of education can be brought to bear on real problems of educational research and practice – pointing the reader to re-envision what it means to educate children (and how we might prepare teachers to take on such a role) by developing the person, instead of simply knowledge and skills. Connected intimately to the practice of teaching and teacher education, the book sets forth an alternative theory of education where the developing person is at the center of education set in a moral space and a political order. To this end, a framework of public and personal knowledge forms the content, to which personal dispositions are integral, not peripheral.

The book’s pedagogy is invitational, welcoming its readers as companions in inquiry and thought about the moral aspects of what we teach as knowledge.

Table of Contents



I. Knowledge, Morality and Authority in Teaching

1. The Epistemological Presence in Teaching and Learning

2. The Individual as Seeker after Knowledge

3. The Moral and Epistemological Authority of the Teacher

II. Virtue and Public Knowledge

4. Truth and Truthfulness

5. Belief and Open-Mindedness

6. Evidence, Impartiality and Judgment

III. Virtue and Personal Knowledge

7. Experience and Integrity: The Historical Individual

8. Commitment, Courage and Will: The Belief-Holding Individual

9. Identity and Knowing One’s Self: The Self-Conscious Individual

IV. The Virtues of the Teacher

10. The Primacy of Dispositions as Virtues

11. Character, Intellect and Care

12. The Epistemological Presence and the Assessment of Teacher Quality


Procedures and Protocols

Further Reading



View More



Hugh Sockett is Professor of Education, Department of Public and International Affairs, College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, George Mason University.


"While space precludes detailed rehearsal of the rich and wide-ranging content of this work, the various virtues constitutive of [an ‘epistemological presence’] are examined in the context of a philosophically capable review of recent and educationally relevant epistemological work from which this work also seeks to draw out significant implications for teaching and teacher education." —David Carr, Cambridge Journal of Education