On July 31st and August 1st, the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing hosted a Civic Virtues Workshop at the University of Oklahoma. Led by the Institute’s Assessment Coordinator, Dr. Michael Warren, the workshop provided middle and high school teachers with an overview of a semester-long quasi-experimental study in which teachers will deliver in-class lessons on civility, compassion, and fairness. A draft of the Teachers’ Guide to Civic Virtues—a working document with over 65 virtue activities—was shared with the teachers and served as a foundation for the creation of developmentally sensitive virtue lessons. After constructing concrete lesson plans that will be implemented throughout fall 2019, teachers were briefed on an assessment plan by which the efficacy of the virtue lessons will be evaluated according to how well they foster the development of civic virtues in students’ lives. The event was rounded out with a brief lecture by Dr. Nancy Snow on the relevance of civic virtues in the lives of students, and by a sample lesson presented by Dr. Pamela Pittman-Adkins from Norman North High School.
The workshop was attended by educators from Norman High School, Norman North High School, and Irving Middle School. In addition, school counselors, administrators, and officials from Norman Public Schools district participated. At the close of the workshop, attendees completed a survey that assessed how well key workshop objectives were achieved. A forthcoming assessment report is in progress to document the survey results. Teachers will begin in-class virtue lessons during the week of August 20, when the new school year begins.