15 February 2023

No one questions the fact that technology has colonized various aspects of our lives. We make use of technology in our work in a great variety of professional fields, in establishing our social relationships or in order to look for on-the-spot information. This new digital world generates different reactions, which del range from pessimism arising from the risks provoked by a certain confusion, perplexity and, at times moral blockage, to an optimistic outlook based on the possibilities the digital world offers for human development. This article is centred at the intersection of these two viewpoints and aims to examine whether the digital world demands a new paradigm of virtues — a substantial change — or whether it simply requires an updating of the classical pattern of virtues to the new circumstances produced by technological change. The article will set out some of the principal characteristics which are provoked by the almost total presence of technology in our lives and will focus on the virtue of critical thinking, which has become especially necessary in view of problems of infoxication, post-truth or the more and more common methods of online fraud and abuse. After analysing these aspects and the limits of technology and of the digital paradigm, we argue that in the present-day context there are no elements which are incompatible with the classical conception of the virtues. It is certainly true that new challenges will emerge in character education in view of students’ immersion in the use of IT and that this situation will mean that certain virtues will require special reappraisal; such will be the case of critical thought, responsibility and the protection of privacy. However, there is no reason to suppose that the pillars of Aristotelian ethics have been in any way altered or have become obsolete. We defend the idea that an updating and adjustment to a demanding new context is preferable to any really substantial change, since the foundation and objectives of the ethics of virtue remain unchanged in the digital world.

Please, cite this article as follows: Fuentes, J. L., & Valero, J. (2023). Nuevas virtudes digitales o virtudes para el contexto digital: ¿es necesaria una nueva educación del carácter? | New digital virtues or virtues for the digital context. Do we need a new model of character education? Revista Española de Pedagogía, 81 (284), 123-141.

10 January 2019

This work examines how students’ character, habits, and mindset influence teaching-learning processes. Until recently character education was a matter of moral and civic education, but recent research into non-cognitive skills and social-emotional learning reflects how these personality traits give steadiness to school teaching-learning processes. Neuroscience here emphasises the value of executive functions: attention, inhibitory control, and planning are moments where the student unfolds her learning. Classical intelligence (IQ) focuses on analytical understanding, a specific moment; character intelligence focuses on the volitional processes that create the intellectual work that begins in the classroom and ends with planning of study at home. The first objective is to define non-cognitive skills, executive functions, and character, related frameworks that are present in school and family life. After this, the second objective is to assess how the social-family environment affects these processes. The third objective, in parallel with carrying out the study, is to propose tools to measure these strengths in elementary school: BFQ-N and BRIEF 2. If character education models for learning are proposed, tools should be offered to measure it intended to test the success of the programmes. The conclusion identifies a major initiative: universities, schools, and educational agents should think about a new integrated model of education for their students based on this convergence between character and classical intelligence. School failure and dropout have academic explanations but also family and personal ones. This complex and changing third millennium requires robust and flexible skills to face the challenges of a society that has still not shown us where it is going.


This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 272 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: De Bofarull, I. (2019). Carácter y hábitos para el aprendizaje: definición y proyecto de medición | Character and learning habits: definition and measurement proposal. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (272), 47-65. doi: