2017 EdComm Conference

2017 Conference Page Topper Image Panel

Conference Topic: Virtuous Minds - Intellectual Character Development

In 2017 we were privileged to have Dr Philip Dow (Superintendent, Rosslyn Academy, Nairobi, Kenya) and Mr Tony George (Incoming Headmaster of The Kings School, Sydney) as our keynote speakers. Dr Dow delivered three keynote addresses on "Intellectual Character Development" while Mr George spoke prior to the evening dinner on "Educational Hermeneutics: The Contribution of Christian Education".

Below you will find recordings of the talks and resources connected to the conference proceedings.

Dr Philip Dow

Dr Philip Dow has been involved in education for the last twenty years, first as a history teacher, as a researcher and writer and for the last six years as the Superintendent of Rosslyn Academy (an international Christian school in Nairobi, Kenya, that serves over 650 students from 50 different nations). Phil is internationally recognised for his research and studies at Cambridge and for his role, over the past ten years, with a rapidly growing group of academics and educators all of whom are convinced that “educating for intellectual character” needs to become an integral feature of classrooms around the world.

Phil’s award-winning book on the topic, Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development for Students, Educators and Parents (IVP Academic, 2013) as well as his upcoming chapter in Integrity, Honesty and Truth Telling (Oxford University Press, 2018) asserts that the ultimate purpose of education is not just the accumulation of knowledge and skills (as important as these are) but the transformation of the thinking habits that lie beneath, and guide and inform, all of our learning and decision-making – our intellectual character.

For teachers in Anglican and other faith-based schools in Australia, educating for intellectual character should have particularly profound significance, as the language and practices of intellectual virtue naturally bring together the valuable and practical general aims of education with the deeper and more holistic pursuit of loving God with all of our minds.

Phil, his wife Catherine, and their two daughters, Emma (10) and Sophie (7) live in Nairobi.

Mr Tony George

Mr Tony George is currently the Headmaster of The Kings School, Sydney. At the time of the conference he had just completed his tenure as Principal of St Stephen’s School in Perth, Western Australia, a Uniting Church K-12 school. With more than 2,600 students and 450 staff on a multi campus site, St Stephens is now considered one of Australia’s largest and most complex schools. During his tenure as Principal, Tony has introduced a strong focus on teacher recruitment, improving teacher training and professional development, technology in learning, co-curricular programs, school community and strategic partnerships with external organisations. Tony will become the 20th Head of The Kings School mid-2017.

Tony has tertiary qualifications in Science (BSc), Education (MEd, GradDipEd), Management (MBA), and Theology (BTh(Hons), DipMin). His doctoral studies (PhD) are in the Philosophy of Education with respect to the collaborative roles that religious, philosophic and scientific modes of human knowing contribute to our understanding of education.

Pre-conference interview video

Conference Videos - Philip Dow

Conference Video - Tony George

Further Reading for Teacher Identified Professional Learning

Below you will find a number of readings connected to the event that have been identified as further reading. These readings will give you further insight into the content of the conference and will be valuable to inform your thinking.


1. Dow, P. (2013). Virtuous Minds: Intellectual Character Development. Downer's Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

2. George, T (2017). Introduction. In Ken Goodlet, John Collier and Tony George (Eds), Better Learning, Barton: St Mark’s NTC Publishing, pp.9-16.

3. George, T (2017). Human knowing and the disciplines. In Ken Goodlet, John Collier and Tony George (Eds), Better Learning, Barton: St Mark’s NTC Publishing, pp. 153-164.

4. Baehr, J (2015). Cultivating Good Minds: A Philosophical & Practical Guide to Educating for Intellectual Virtues. Jason Baehr: intellectualvirtues.org

5. Baehr, J (2011). The Inquiring Mind: On Intellectual Virtues and Virtue Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press

6. Baehr, J (2016). Intellectual Virtues and Education: Essays in Applied Virtue Epistemology. New York, NY: Routledge.

7. Ritchhart, R. (2002). Intellectual Character: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Get It. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons

8. Ritchhart, R. (2015). Creating Cultures of Thinking: The 8 Forces we must master to Truly Transform Our Schools. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

9. Roberts, R.C. & Wood, W.J. (2007). Intellectual Virtues: An Essay in Regulative Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.