Virtue, practical wisdom and character in teaching

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Recent reflection on the professional knowledge of teachers has been marked by a shift away from more reductive competence and skill-focused models of teaching towards a view of teacher expertise as involving complex context-sensitive deliberation and judgement. Much of this shift has been inspired by an Aristotelian conception of practical wisdom (phronesis) also linked by Aristotle to the development of virtue and character. This has in turn led recent educational philosophers and theorists – inspired by latter-day developments in virtue ethics and virtue epistemology – to investigate the contribution of various forms of virtue to the effective practice of teaching. In this light, the present paper undertakes further exploration of the logical geography of virtue, character and practical deliberation in teaching.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2014


  • phronesis, teaching, virtue, character, practical deliberation