Education and Intellectual Virtues Essay

Submitted By Drewcooper
Words: 600
Pages: 3

Professors Barry Schwartz and Kenneth Sharpe article “ Colleges Should Teach Intellectual Virtues” emphasizes the importance of cultivating intellectual virtues into college students curriculum. The authors believe important life skills can be obtained through students social exposure to intellectual virtues in an academic setting. However, their colleagues would disagree in part to the meaning of “virtue” being so subjective to today’s society. But despite their opposition, Schwartz and Sharpe believdddde the development of intellectual virtues is a necessary component to the maturation of not only a good student but a contributing member of society. As it stands, most colleges focus on maximum retention and transfer of information through a educational system that has been proven over time but one that does not incorporate the development of intellectual virtues. While the authors agree the skills and knowledge attained from a college education is valuable. They argue the development of central intellectual virtues such as the love of truth, honesty, courage, fairness, and wisdom are all essential to a students intellectual and academic growth.
The importance of the these virtues I believe are due to the characteristic traits the authors believe students will obtain while developing these virtues. Skills such as listening, leadership, attentiveness, effective communication etc. all of which are necessary for effective students. Knowing the right questions to ask, when to ask them, and conveying their thoughts effectively allows the students to be actively engaged in an educational setting. Therefore maximizing the students potential for success. These according to the authors are some of the qualities that make up a good student. But on the other hand, Schwartz and Sharpe believe those skills cannot be developed if the teacher does not engage the students. The authors fear students who do not develop intellectual virtues during their education, will mostly likely neglect them later on in their professional careers.
To offset this Swartz and Sharpe suggest instructors take the initiative to integrate the development of intellectual virtues in their class. Borrowing an idea by Aristotle, “that character and wisdom are developed through practice and by watching those who have already mastered the relevant virtues”. The authors believe this can be accomplished through social interaction that is both rooted in the expansion of knowledge and the development of intellectual virtues. One example