Assessing virtue: measurement in moral education at home and abroad*

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How should we assess programs dedicated to education in virtue? One influential answer draws on quantitative research designs. By measuring the inputs and processes that produce the highest levels of virtue among participants according to some reasonable criterion, in this view, we can determine which programs engender the most desired results. Although many outcomes of character education can undoubtedly be assessed in this way, taken on its own, this approach may support favorable judgments about programs that indoctrinate rather than educate, because education in character entails teleological thinking that is volitional not merely determined. I argue instead that proper assessment of virtue requires an expansive view of character education in both particular and common goods that avoids the tendency to indoctrinate and an inclusive conception of measurement that takes into account qualitative in addition to quantitative methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-325
Number of pages16
JournalEthics and Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Character education
  • educational assessment
  • measurement and evaluation
  • moral education
  • virtue ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy


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