Pilot Testing the Moral Ecology Framework in Latin America​
TWCF Number
Project Duration
January 1 / 2021
- April 1 / 2022
Core Funding Area
Character Virtue Development
South America
Amount Awarded
Grant DOI*

* A Grant DOI (digital object identifier) is a unique, open, global, persistent and machine-actionable identifier for a grant.

Alejandro Canton
Institution SyC Investigaciones Academicas

What are the roots of character strengths, and what conditions help those roots grow?

This project applies a “moral ecology” approach to determine the physical, cultural, philosophical, and religious influences that lead to the development of character strengths in children. “Moral ecology” refers to the web of symbols, norms, goods, laws, habits, rituals, practices, tools, and institutions that ground our identities, guide our individual and collective action, and shape our life purposes in a given social, historical, and moral context. 

This project will test the utility of the moral ecology framework for understanding the process of character formation in educational settings in Argentina. It will offer greater insights into the conditions necessary for good character to take root in children so that they may grow into virtuous citizens and leaders. 

Building upon a multiyear study in the U.S. led by James Davison Hunter at the University of Virginia, this project will investigate the moral ecology of 27 diverse schools in Argentina. Using historical research, interviews, and ethnographic methods, the research team will compile an ecological profile of each school. Such profiles will help identify the factors which contribute to the development of positive character strengths and those which challenge it, with a view towards developing appropriate intervention strategies in the future. 

Opinions expressed on this page, or any media linked to it, do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. does not control the content of external links.
Person doing research
Projects &
Explore the projects we’ve funded. We’ve awarded hundreds of grants to researchers and institutions worldwide.

Projects & Resources