Friday, September 30, 2022

UCI awarded $1 million from Templeton Foundation for Anteater Virtues Program

Irvine Calif., July 19, 2022 – The University of California, Irvine has received a $1 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to expand its Anteater Traits Project, which promotes intellectual character traits that help students develop into more curious, open-minded and authentic individuals helps to.

UCI is the only research university in the US to systematically incorporate curiosity, integrity, humility, and perseverance into the center of its curriculum.

The brainchild of Duncan Pritchard, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at UCI and principal investigator on the grant, Anteater Properties is a series of interdisciplinary, faculty-led modules focused on character development through the study of these qualities. Pritchard began the project as a pilot in 2019 with support from UCI’s Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, and the modules are now integrated into the campus’ undergraduate orientation and curriculum.

“I am thrilled to receive this support from the Templeton Foundation, which was an early supporter of the program,” said Michael Denin, dean of UCI’s Undergraduate Education Division and Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning. “With the development this funding enables, I expect more students to be positively impacted by such a one-of-a-kind curriculum.”

The grant enables Pritchard and co-principal investigators Richard Arum, UCI Professor of Education and Sociology and former Dean of the School of Education, and Jason Behr, Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University, to expand on the series of modules and evaluate the results of the study. Impact on graduate student success.

“Intellectual qualities foster ways of thinking, reasoning, and seeking truth. Learning intellectual humility, for example, can foster open-mindedness and respect for other people’s opinions, while intellectual perseverance can help overcome intellectual barriers.” can improve students’ desire for He added that these skills are essential not only for academic pursuits, but also for navigating daily life that is increasingly online and often associated with misinformation and manipulation.

Pritchard, along with a team of UCI researchers, will refine existing curricula and develop new and advanced modules, such as “Tackling Misinformation in the Information Age”, which are deeply interdisciplinary on how to understand and respond to misinformation. will provide perspective. -Fake video and propaganda online campaign. A proposed range of capstone modules will combine specific disciplines, such as nursing and engineering, with properties. The goal is to empower students to apply what they have learned about intellectual traits by addressing specific questions that may arise in their chosen field of study.

Arum will lead the evaluation of the programme. Building on the Mellon Foundation-funded Next Generation Undergraduate Success Measurement Project, of which Arum is the principal investigator, a group is testing the intervention’s usefulness through a randomized control trial, as well as the effectiveness of anteater properties through monitoring long-term effects. will assess. with course.

“It is imperative to combine exciting pedagogical innovations such as anteater virtuoso, with ongoing rigorous research to track educational efficacy,” Arum said.

Already, Anteater Virtues has shown promising results. A recent educational study found that students who took the module demonstrated greater intellectual development than their peers, with this positive effect being constant across all main demographic groups.

Pritchard, Arum and Behar hope that the extended series will enhance this success and impact a larger student population.

Pritchard said, “The new modules will enable UCI students to progress through the antitar qualities at the same time as they progress through their degrees, which they have developed into the virtuous intellectual character to bear on subjects in their major disciplines.” learned about.” “We hope that the more comprehensive academic study that this funding facilitates will further demonstrate the pedagogical effectiveness of bringing intellectual qualities to the heart of higher education and thereby encourage other universities to launch similar programs.” will encourage.”

The next phase of Anteater Virtues will launch this fall.

About UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on October 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and raising $2 billion in philanthropic investments, UCI strives to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. Humanities schools and education schools play an important role in the success of the campaign. Learn more at and

About University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the top 10 public universities in the country. US news and world report, The campus has produced five Nobel Prize winners and is known for its academic achievement, major research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gilman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It is located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion nationwide. For more information about UCI, visit

Media reach: Radio programs/stations may, for a fee, use the on-campus ISDN line to interview UCI faculty and experts, subject to availability and approval of the University. For more UCI news, visit Additional resources for journalists can be found at

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