Nav: Home

Institute for Study of Human Flourishing fosters human well-being and development

November 04, 2015

At the heart of the newly-created University of Oklahoma Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing is the belief that humans flourish when they develop their fullest potential as rational and moral creatures living in healthy communities. Funded by a $2.95 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation and OU, the primary mission of the Institute is to advance the science of virtue, improve the flourishing of OU students and all Oklahomans.

"The University of Oklahoma is proud to have some of the best faculty in the world working at the intersection of philosophy, psychology and education. This grant is a recognition of the hard work of an amazingly talented team of researchers who have the potential to enrich the way we understand moral development," said Kyle Harper, OU Norman campus senior vice president and provost.

Nancy E. Snow, professor and director of the Institute, came to OU this summer after spending 25 years as professor of philosophy at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a leading expert in the philosophy of character, virtue and moral psychology, known for her philosophically rigorous and empirically informed scholarly contributions.

"It's a privilege to come to OU to lead this exciting and unique new Institute. I have been energized by the support and enthusiasm of colleagues here at OU and in the Oklahoma community. Together we can make a positive difference in our state, our nation and the world," said Snow.

Snow is already establishing relationships with other institutions across the U.S. and around the world to begin a 'Virtues Across Continents' initiative. Snow envisions the Institute acting as a central hub, bringing together other academic centers and universities to enable collaboration on large-scale, international programs.

The Institute's Leadership Team consists of Snow, Provost Kyle Harper; Ryan Brown, professor of social psychology in the OU College of Arts and Sciences; Gregg A. Garn, dean of the Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU; Nicole J. Campbell, associate professor of psychology and dean of University College at OU; and Linda Zagzebski, George Lynn Cross Research Professor and Kingfisher College Chair of Philosophy of Religion and Ethics in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.

The Institute takes the Sooner Virtues as a key theme of study and exploration. The Sooner Virtues are nine character traits that were collaboratively selected as best reflecting OU's moral identity and educational mission. Crucial for personal flourishing and academic success, Sooner Virtues fall into three categories: intellectual virtues (love of learning, intellectual humility and open-mindedness); executive virtues (self-regulation, perseverance and honesty); and civic virtues (civility, compassion and fairness).

At present, the Institute is launching programs for OU students and faculty; Oklahoma leaders in business, education the civic community; and parents. Student programs being developed include a Common Read program, in which all entering freshmen are assigned to read a book that relates to one or more of the Sooner Virtues. In the fall semester, the book's author will be invited to deliver a public lecture on campus and meet with smaller student groups. The Institute is also organizing an annual OU Welcome Lecture delivered by a distinguished OU faculty member, who will speak to the purposes and values of an OU education. Provost Kyle Harper will give this year's lecture on Dec. 8th.

OU's Gateway to College Learning course reaches thousands of first-year students, helping them to transition to college life. The Institute is actively working with Freshman Programs to integrate the Sooner Virtues into the content and structure of the Gateway course.
-end-
Camp IMPACT:

Spring Break with a Purpose, another student program under development, is designed to provide first and second-year OU students with an opportunity for in-depth exploration of the role of character in their lives. It includes volunteer/service opportunities; personal, cultural and social experiences; and civic engagement. Students will engage in these purposeful experiences for four days during Spring Break as well as participate in pre-and post-camp activities. Applications will be available in November and will be due at the end of the fall semester.

Oklahoma community and statewide programs include the development of a network of principals, teachers and other school leaders who are interested in using the latest research to learn how to develop virtue in students. The Institute is developing a suite of ideas aimed at corporate leaders that link virtue, thriving business and the betterment of the people and the state of Oklahoma.

A civic leadership training program is planned to include four executive training sessions throughout the year. Follow-up assistance and support will be provided, facilitated by online communities for participants. Sooner Parent programs will serve Oklahoma parents by providing online resources, events and workshops throughout the state.

The Institute has launched a new website at http://www.ou.edu/flourish for those with an interest in the study of human flourishing.

University of Oklahoma

Related Education Articles:

Online education platforms could scale high-quality STEM education for universities
Online and blended (online and in-person) STEM instruction can produce the same learning outcomes for students as traditional, in-person classes at a fraction of the cost, finds research published today in Science Advances.
Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.
The new racial disparity in special education
Racial disparity in special education is growing, and it's more complex than previously thought.
Education may be key to a healthier, wealthier US
A first-of-its-kind study estimate the economic value of education for better health and longevity.
How education may stave off cognitive decline
Prefrontal brain regions linked to higher educational attainment are characterized by increased expression of genes involved in neurotransmission and immunity, finds a study of healthy older adults published in JNeurosci.
Does more education stem political violence?
In a study released online today in Review of Educational Research, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, three Norwegian researchers attempt to bring clarity to this question by undertaking the first systematic examination of quantitative research on this topic.
Protestantism still matters when it comes to education, study shows
A new academic study, the first of its kind, reveals a significant and positive historical legacy of Protestant religion in education around the world.
Individual education programs not being used as intended in special education
Gone are the days when students with disabilities were placed in a separate classroom, or even in a completely different part of the school.
How does limited education limit young people?
A recent nationally-representative US Department of Education study found that 28 percent of fall 2009 ninth-graders had not yet enrolled in a trade school or college by February 2016 -- roughly six-and-a-half years later.
'Depression education' effective for some teens
In an assessment of their 'depression literacy' program, which has already been taught to tens of thousands, Johns Hopkins researchers say the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program (ADAP) achieved its intended effect of encouraging many teenagers to speak up and seek adult help for themselves or a peer.
More Education News and Education Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.