The Anteater Virtues project is designed to bring the intellectual virtues into the heart of the UCI curriculum. It is designed and led by Professor Duncan Pritchard, with assistance from graduate students in the Schools of Humanities and Education. The project also benefits from input from a distinguished international advisory board.
The project is focussed on four specific intellectual virtues in particular (these are the so-called 'Anteater Virtues'): curiosity, integrity, intellectual humility, and intellectual tenacity. The project consists of a completely online course available to all UCI students on Canvas, with a course module devoted to each of the four Anteater Virtues and an introductory module about the intellectual virtues in general. The modules feature disciplinary perspectives on the intellectual virtues from faculty across the UCI campus, reflections on particular historical figures such as Shakespeare and Marie Curie and what they can teach us about the intellectual virtues, and practical components designed to help students develop their own intellectual virtue. Starting in summer 2020, a streamlined version of the Anteater Virtues course was made part of the orientation materials provided for all incoming UCI students and their families. Starting in fall 2020, the full Anteater Virtues course was made available to all UCI students on Canvas, and integrated into core courses across the UCI curriculum. Further details are available for faculty interested in this resource here, and for students interested in this resource here. See also the announcement about this initiative from the Division of Undergraduate Education.
Aside from being a curriculum project, the Anteater Virtues also has an important research dimension. Part of the impetus for this project is the wealth of educational work done on the pedagogical importance of the intellectual virtues (some of this by Professor Pritchard himself), and this project is meant to be a contribution to this literature. A pilot study was conducted in 2019-20 with support from the Education Research Initiative, and the results from this have been written up and are currently under review. The pilot results have also been presented at educational conferences, including most recently as part of a keynote talk given by Professor Pritchard at the Human Cognition and Learning: An Educational Perspective international conference at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. A more comprehensive study is planned in the near future. A conference on 'Education and Virtue' was held September 2019 to coincide with the launch of the project, with further conferences planned (COVID-permitting).
The project is supported by funding from the Division of Teaching Excellent and Innovation.
The Anteater Virtues project is one of two ongoing initiatives run by the KTS Center that have an educational focus. The other is the TH!NK philosophy in schools program.
Click here to listen to a recent interview with Professor Pritchard about the Anteater Virtues project.