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Presentations at conferences

Conference Papers: Causas

Leveraging Colegios Mayores for Character Development

Integrating Research on Character and Virtues: 10 Years of Impact

Oriel College, Oxford, 8th - 10th September 2022 (Accepted)

Jubilee center for character and virtues

Juan P. Dabdoub, Aitor R. Salaverría, Marvin W Berkowitz, Concepción Naval

Colegios Mayores are the Spanish version of the European Colleges, a relatively unknown and long-standing innovation in higher education to serve the socialization of future ethical leaders of society. Over nearly a millennium, they have existed at universities across Europe. In part, they represent a brilliant and extremely innovative approach to this task, by relying on democratic structures, long before democracy reemerged in Europe since ancient Greece. To capitalize on the promise and legacy of Colegios Mayores, it would be advantageous to build upon contemporary knowledge and practice in nurturing the development of ethical character and just leadership. The models PRIMED for character education and Kohlberg’s Just Community approach to moral education are proposed for this endeavor. First, we introduce and describe the common elements of the nature, mission, and practices of Colegios Mayores, and then apply these two models as prescriptions for the optimal developmental format of Colegios Mayores to serve its educational purpose.


Keywords: Colegios Mayores, Character Education, Character development, Moral education, PRIMED model, Just Community, Higher education, Value-driven community, Non-formal education.

Leveraging Colegios Mayores for moral development in higher education 
through the Just Community approach

Moral Development and Moral Education in Global Transition

48th AME Annual Conference

Manchester, UK, 20-23 July 2022 (Accepted)

Juan P. Dabdoub, Aitor R. Salaverría, Marvin Berkowitz, Clark Power, Concepción Naval, Miroslava Duranková​

Colegios Mayores are the Spanish version of the European Colleges, a relatively unknown and long-standing innovation in higher education to serve the socialization of future ethical leaders, mostly by relying on democratic structures. Despite their long tradition, they do not have a formal statement regarding their educational goals, methods, or assessments, and little or no effort has been done to enhance their practices with the theory and experience of prominent moral education approaches. This paper aims to identify broad and adaptable guidelines from Kohlberg’s Just Community approach that can help to enhance the moral education potential of Colegios Mayores.

PRIMED for Character Education in Spain

Moral Development and Moral Education in Global Transition

48th AME Annual Conference

Manchester, UK, 20-23 July 2022 (Accepted)

Juan P. Dabdoub, Concepción Naval, Aurora Bernal, Aitor R. Salaverría. In M. Berkowitz, M. Bier, & J. P. Dabdoub (Chairs) PRIMED for Character Education on Four Continents [Symposium]

The PRIMED framework for effective character education (Berkowitz, 2021; Berkowitz, Bier & McCauley, 2017) presents six evidence-based design principles for effectively transforming schools to nurture the flourishing of human goodness. It is based on nearly a quarter century of collection and analysis of the empirical literature on school-based interventions (Berkowitz & Bier, 2007; Berkowitz, 2011). PRIMED has now been implemented in at least three languages and on at least four continents. This symposium will present the framework, and describe its adoption in English, Spanish and Chinese in the USA, Taiwan, Colombia, Mexico and Spain.

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