virtue ethics

15 February 2023

Seventy-five years ago, the Universal Dec- laration of Human Rights promoted a vision of education “directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strength- ening of respect for human rights and fun- damental freedoms" (United Nations, 1948, 26.2). In 2015, the UN Sustainable Develop- ment Goals (SDGs) took this further, stating in SDG 4 that “the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required by citizens to lead pro- ductive lives, make informed decisions and assume active roles locally and globally in facing and resolving global challenges can be acquired through education for sustainable development and global citizenship educa- tion” (United Nations Educational, Scien- tific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2016, p. 14). What might the adoption of this educational mission involve for higher education? And what does it mean in a chal- lenging global context following the COVID pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine? This paper argues that the current global tu- mult should catalyse reflection as to the pur- pose and content of higher education. It focus- es on the importance of education for “values and attitudes”, emphasized as an essential component of global citizenship and leader- ship education in the rubric of SDG 4. It pro- poses a return to the philosophical categories of “character” and “virtue”, arguing that the societal orientation of global universities and their aspiration “to educate the citizens and citizen-leaders for our society” (Harvard College, 2022) necessitates a renewal of theo- retically rigorous, pedagogically effective, and practically relevant character education.

Please, cite this article as follows: Brooks, E., & Villacís, J. (2023). Formar ciudadanos y ciudadanos-líderes para nuestra sociedad: renovando la educación del carácter en las universidades | To educate citizens and citizen-leaders for our society: Renewing character education in universities. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 81 (284), 51-72.