Intellectual Virtues Academy: Public High School

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Intellectual Virtues Academy Receives $1.5 Million Dollar Grant

Long Beach, CA, June 14, 2018: The Intellectual Virtues Academy of Long Beach has been awarded a $1.5 million grant to expand its highly successful high school (the Academy) over the next three years. The grant was awarded after a comprehensive review by the John Templeton Foundation, which accepted less than 2% of all proposals from some of the top organizations and researchers in the world. The review included a rigorous analysis of the Academy’s test score gains, unique humanities program, parent and student feedback, and proposed research partnership with USC. 

“We are excited to be partnering with the Academy,” said USC Professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. “This grant will allow us to study how teachers and students develop the intellectual virtues. The study appears to be the first to combine classroom observations and in-depth interviews about learning with brain imaging methods designed to uncover the physiological correlates of intellectually virtuous habits of mind.”

The Academy is based on an “intellectual virtues educational model,” which combines rigorous engagement of academic subjects with an emphasis on cultivating intellectual character virtues like curiosity, intellectual courage, humility, open-mindedness, and intellectual tenacity.  

The grant also funds an Intellectual Virtues Institute that will invite educators regionally and nationally to learn more about intellectual character education. “Through this Institute, we have an opportunity to share what we have learned at our high school and middle school about how to develop intellectual character traits, such as creative and critical thinking,” said Eric Churchill, board chairman for the Intellectual Virtues Academy.

The Academy is a non-profit, public, charter high school authorized by Los Angeles Office of Education in 2016. Its highly successful affiliated middle school of the same name, the Intellectual Virtues Academy, opened in 2013-14 and is authorized by the Long Beach Unified School District. The schools were designed as a dynamic demonstration of 21st century education, based on research and the “best thinking” in education, psychology, neuroscience, and more. The Academy will serve 115 ninth through eleventh graders in the fall of 2018 and is still accepting applications.