Is it possible to develop our character by emulating role models or exemplars? Can narratives of moral exemplars play a unique role in shaping specific character virtues? Can academic institutions employ exemplar interventions to promote moral development among their students? These questions animate our network project, “Exemplar Interventions to Develop Character.”
We believe that a significant gap exists between what we know generally about the theoretical and pedagogical value of exemplars and what we know specifically and practically about how they can promote character virtues. Integrating insights from philosophy, psychology, theology, literature, and education, the project aims to provide a strong foundation for exemplar interventions by examining three questions:
This project aims to provide concrete answers to these questions through a network of multi-site studies that seek insights on how exemplar interventions work for which virtues under what conditions. These studies will do the following:
We would like to offer a special thanks to the John Templeton Foundation for supporting this research. This project’s core goal of promoting character virtues through exemplars aligns squarely with Sir John Templeton’s concern for fostering character virtues through engagement with moral exemplars. The opinions expressed in this project are those of the researchers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation. Learn more about the John Templeton Foundation here.
For more details about each project, click here.
For a list of research collaborators and board of advisors, click here.