The Formation of Character: From Aristotle to the 21st Century offers an introduction to the foundations, practices, policies and issues of character formation historically. Following a chronological order, it charts the idea of character formation in the Western tradition by critically examining its precursors, origins, development, meanings and uses.

The book is based on the premise that current conditions and debates around character formation cannot be fully understood without knowledge of the historical background. It introduces many of the debates character formation has generated in order to offer different perspectives and possibilities and uses Aristotle as a lens to gain a better understanding of some of these positions, particularly the theoretical goals of character formation. Chapters explore character education from the classical period through the medieval, early modern, enlightenment and Victorian eras to 20th century influences, ending with a discussion of contemporary policies and themes relating to character education.

This book will appeal to academics, researchers, and post-graduate students in the fields of character and virtue education as well as the history of education.

chapter |7 pages


chapter Chapter 1|29 pages

Definitions and models of character

section Section I|61 pages


chapter Chapter 2|16 pages

Classical foundations

chapter Chapter 3|14 pages

Early medieval foundations

chapter Chapter 4|16 pages

Early modern foundations

chapter Chapter 5|13 pages

Scottish enlightenment foundations

section Section II|37 pages


chapter Chapter 6|10 pages

The English public school and character formation

chapter Chapter 7|14 pages

Victorian character formation

chapter Chapter 8|11 pages

20th-century influences on character formation

section Section III|38 pages

Policies and issues

chapter Chapter 9|21 pages

Contemporary policies and themes

chapter Chapter 10|15 pages