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Classroom Practices for Cultivating Virtue


Jenny Rallens


Imitation teaches us more than subjects and skills; our behaviors, dispositions, and affections are also formed primarily by imitation. We can’t just hold up Augustine’s faith, Bach’s counterpoint, or Christ’s life and expect students to imitate them. The student’s disposition toward learning requires cultivation through specific practices: tasting, envisioning, experiencing, trying, failing, and trying again. In this seminar we will discuss practical ways of cultivating affections via imitation in the way we teach lessons, assign homework, assess, and build classroom environments.