Kern Family Foundation Grant Supports Moral and Intellectual Virtue Studies

Cultivating moral and intellectual virtue in two core courses in teacher education is the focus of a $149,964 grant awarded to UNI College of Education faculty by the Kern Family Foundation for calendar year 2020.

Benjamin ForsythWith this support, a team of five faculty members in the Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations and Leadership Studies Ron Rinehart(EPFLS) will explore the literature on moral and intellectual virtues.  The team, led by Benjamin Forsyth (project leader) will then study how that connects to, and can inform changes in two foundational courses for teacher education.  Ron Rinehart and Anthony Gabriele will focus on how to emphasize and cultivate intellectual virtues, such as open-mindedness, in a course on learning and motivation. Suzanne Freedman and Elana Joram will examine ways that moral virtues, such as empathy, can be infused into a course on child and adolescentAnthony Gabriele development.

Suzanne Freedman"There is a great deal of literature on the importance of moral and intellectual virtues toward being a better teacher,” said Forsyth, EPFLS head. “We are going to do a deep dive into that, with our expected deliverable being recommended changes in curriculum for two specific courses that our EPFLS faculty teach here at UNI.” 

The team hopes to host virtual meetings with experts from other institutions to share their knowledge, and make these available to faculty across campus.

Elana JoramThis grant is in addition to support previously received from the Kern Family Foundation for expanded leadership educational opportunities by EPFLS’s Institute for Educational Leadership, under the direction of Denise Schares. The four-year IEL project includes think tanks and leadership camps, school board dialogues, mentor training and support for the Iowa School Finance Leadership Conference.