Flourishing as the aim of Character Education

El florecimiento como fin de la Educación del Carácter

Aurora Bernal Martínez de Soria and Concepción Naval

DOI: https://doi.org/10.22550/REP81-1-2023-01

Human flourishing is a term that relates to the full development of people and societies, something we all long for, especially in times of crisis. It is widely accepted that education is an indispensable resource to promote human flourishing. The main aim of this article is to investigate whether human flourishing can be considered as the aim of character education in the virtues development approach. Publications on the subject of flourishing have proliferated in recent years. For this study we select ones that link flourishing and the aim of moral education from the perspective of the philosophy and theory of education, developed in the Anglo-American field. Assertions by David Carr (2021) and Kristján Kristjánsson (2020) on the subject of flourishing and character education provide a starting point and guide for the discussion that mainly revolves around the following questions. What notion of flourishing can be theoretically sustained as an educational goal? Why is character education not considered sufficient to promote flourishing? Why is it not considered necessary either? We conclude by underlining the value of educational theory based on a realistic view of flourishing as an attainable aim of character education. Some essential components of flourishing and moral education are absent from the theories reviewed.

Please, cite this article as follows: Bernal Martínez de Soria, A., & Naval, C. (2023). El florecimiento como fin de la educación del carácter | Flourishing as the aim of character education. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 81 (284), 17-32. https://doi.org/10.22550/REP81-1-2023-01

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Aurora Bernal Martínez de Soria is Associate Professor of Theory and His- tory of Education in the Faculty of Edu- cation and Psychology of the Universidad de Navarra. Her research interests are character education, moral education, and family education. She is a researcher in the Character Education Leadership Pro- gram for Mexican Public Schools project, funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation (ID:0510).


Concepción Naval is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Education and Psy- chology at the Universidad de Navarra. She has been Oliver Smithies Lecturer at the University of Oxford and Visiting Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. She directs the journal Estudios sobre Edu- cación and the Research Group "Education, Citizenship and Character". Her research centres on citizen education and social par- ticipation, character education, and educa- tional innovation in higher education.


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