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Quote of the week

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.John F. Kennedy

Dr. Tom Harrison Interviewed in Schools Week

25/04/16

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, features in the Schools Week 'Experts Q&A' on 24th April 2016, answering questions about the Teaching Character Through Subjects programme, and the suites of teaching resources that the project has delivered. The resources are already proving incredibly popular, and the page is the most visited on the Jubilee Centre website since the online launch on Friday 15th April.

Interviewed by Catherine Murray, Deputy Editor of Schools Week, Tom answers questions about the specifics of the programme, the unique way that the resources demonstrate how to infuse character development within 14 different secondary curriculum subjects, and the intended impact of the project.

Schools Week is a weekly print and online publication providing news, investigations, expert columns and more to school leaders, governors and other education stakeholders.

The Q&A with Tom is available here.

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Emma Taylor Selected to Attend Speech by US President

25/04/16

On 23rd April 2016, Jubilee Centre Research Associate Emma Taylor was chosen by the US Embassy to attend a London Town Hall event with US President Barack Obama, during his visit to the UK. President Obama gave a short speech before taking questions from the audience of young people on topics ranging from activism to global conflict. He spoke about the importance of having a “moral compass” and retaining integrity and being true to your values. He spoke to the audience about the importance of holding a set of personal values, and that his own values included believing in the dignity and worth of all human beings, and how compromise is not about surrendering what you believe in, but recognising that those with whom you disagree may have valuable ideas too. President Obama also spoke about the importance of resilience, and that progress in areas that one cares deeply about can often be long term projects, not something to give up with. Emma was selected as part of the US Embassy’s Young Leaders UK programme, which aims to connect Britain’s rising leaders with Americans, with the United States as a whole, and with one another.

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Matt Bawden Concludes SecEd Series

21/04/16

During his term as Teacher-in-Residence at the Jubilee Centre, Matt Bawden worked on the Department for Education funded Teaching Character Through Subjects project. The resources were launched online on Friday 15th April 2016, and since the launch, Matt has written for SecEd to explain what the resources are and how the project came about.

Teaching Character Through Subjects worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented below as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through secondary curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the secondary school curriculum.

This article concludes a mini-series from SecEd on character Education. Read the other articles in the series here

The Teaching Character Through Subjects resources are available here

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Centre Staff Visit Tufts University to Discuss Synergies with Project CADET

15/04/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited Tufts University, Boston the week of 11th April to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with Prof. Richard Lerner and Dr Kristina Schmid Callina. Prof. Lerner, who holds the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and is the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, is Principal Investigator on Project CADET (Character Assessment with Development and Ethics Training), working with US Military cadets at West Point. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Walker were able to spend time with Prof. Lerner and Dr. Schmid Callina discussing synergies between the two projects.

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VLOG: 'Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life' by Professor Candace Vogler

15/04/16

Prof. Candace Vogler, University of Chicago, recently spent time as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Jubilee Centre. In this vlog, Prof. Vogler speaks about the ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’ project that she directs, and of synergies with Jubilee Centre projects. View the vlog here

Prof. Vogler also presented a paper titled ‘A Few Remarks About Self-Transcendence’ whilst at the Jubilee Centre, which is available here.

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Teaching Character Through Subjects Resources Launched

15/04/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues are delighted to launch the Teaching Character Through Subjects report and teaching resources. This year-long project, funded by the Department for Education, worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the secondary school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the school curriculum.

The key aims of the project are:

  • to contribute to the development and expansion of effective approaches for building character, which have a positive impact on educational attainment, engagement, employability and well-being;
  • to increase understanding of effective approaches that support other schools and colleges to develop and build character;
  • to encourage colleges and organisations to prioritise and implement their own initiatives.  

The project research report and all resources are available here. The content is free to access, and we encourage you to provide us with feedback and comments on how and where the materials are being used. Please contact us at jubileecentre@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

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Virtue Essay Contest and Youth Awards: Open for 2016

15/04/16

The 2016 Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest and the Jubilee Centre Youth Awards for Service are now open for entries. 

The Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest encourages young people to consider the meaning and importance of the virtues of honesty, courage and service.  The contest asks those aged between 9 and 18 to write a short essay exploring one of these particular virtues, focussing on how it has benefitted their life, and how it will be of benefit in the future.  The contest ran for the first time in 2015 and received essays from 400 young people across both primary and secondary schools.  Winning essays from 2015, and details of how to enter the 2016 competition, can be found here.

The Jubilee Youth Awards for Service recognise young people for their outstanding commitment to social action; this could be through volunteering or fundraising, caring for people or providing mentoring support in school, running campaigns or being part of a social enterprise.  There are two awards available: one for young people aged 10-15, and one for young people aged 16-20.  Find out more about the Jubilee Youth Awards, and how to nominate someone you know, here.

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Centre Manager Meets With Character.org CEO

14/04/16

On Monday 11th April 2016, Jubilee Centre Manager Aidan Thompson met with Becky Sipos, CEO of Character.org to discuss the partnership between the two organisations and opportunities for future collaboration. As well as discussing the Jubilee Centre projects, Aidan learned more about the Character.org Schools of Character programme and the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education which form the cornerstone of all work that Character.org do.

Character.org (formerly Character Education Partnership) have been a partner of the Jubilee Centre since its launch in 2012, and this was a great opportunity to discuss synergies and initiatives.

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Dr. David Walker and Professor Steve Thoma Present at AERA in Washington, DC

12/04/16

On Sunday 10th April 2016, Dr. David Walker and Prof. Steve Thoma presented a paper titled Cross-cultural responses to the Adolescent Intermediate Concept Measure:  An empirical summary of studies in USA, Taiwan, Macedonia and UK at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Washington, DC. 

The AERA Annual Meeting theme for 2016 was ‘public scholarship to educate diverse democracies’, and David and Steve gave the paper as part of the ‘Advances in the Assessment of Moral Growth and Issues in the Moral Dimensions of Teaching’ discussion, chaired by Dr. Richard D. Osguthorpe of Boise State University. The session also featured papers from Prof. Elizabeth Campbell and Dr. Bruce Maxwell.

A link to the presentation can be found here.

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Centre Members Contribute to New Volume

07/04/16

Deputy Director, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson and Research Fellow, Dr Liz Gulliford have recently had chapters published in a new edited volume Dual-Process Theories in Moral Psychology (edited by Cordula Brand, Springer VS, 2016). The volume emerged as a result of a Symposium initiated and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and took place between 8th and 15th March, 2014 at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Kristján’s chapter focused on ‘The "New Synthesis in Moral Psychology" versus Aristotelianism: Content and Consequences’. Liz submitted the chapter ‘Psychology’s Contribution to Ethics: Two Case Studies’, and provided the Epilogue to volume ‘The Word Thief’, an allegory about ordinary language philosophy, initially read at the symposium’s public engagement event on March 15th 2014.

The book is available via Springer here

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Director of Education Co-Authors Primary Character Education Book

05/04/16

Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison has published Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom with co-authors Dr. John Ryan and Ian Morris. The text is published by SAGE and aims to provide clear, accessible advice to primary school teachers and other education stakeholders on how to enhance character education provision within the classroom. The book covers core themes including what character education is, what it is not; why character matters; and what the role of the classroom teacher is in terms of building pupils' character.

The book provides practical advice and resources for delivering vital character education provision, be that in a discrete lesson, or as part of a whole school ethos.

Director of the Jubilee Centre, Prof. James Arthur commented:

"Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom provides an excellent and very accessible overview of the emerging field of character education.   It covers, in detail, the theory of character education as well as advice and guidance about how this should be applied in practice in primary schools." 

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Ministry of Defence Grant Ethical Clearance for Soldiers of Character

05/04/16

The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) has granted ethical approval for the Jubilee Centre Soldiers of Character research project to undertake research into the character strengths of Junior British Army Officers. The research project is the first of its kind in the UK, and, in part, will evaluate the utility and validity of measures designed to assess the Values and Standards of British Army officers. 

More information about the project can be found on the project page

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Professor David Carr Publishes on Virtue and Knowledge

01/04/16

Professor David Carr, Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre, has published an article titled 'Virtue and Knowledge' in Philosophy, the journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. The publisher's page can be found here and the abstract for the paper is below:

Abstract
In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle distinguishes fairly sharply between the practical deliberation of moral virtue and the epistemic reflection of theoretical or truth-focused enquiry. However, drawing on insights from Plato and Iris Murdoch, the present paper seeks a more robust epistemic foundation for virtuous deliberation as primarily grounded in clear or correct perception of the world and human association, character and conduct. While such perception may not be sufficient for moral virtue, it is here argued that it is necessary. Murdoch's view that literature may afford especially effective correction of moral misperception is also supported by appeal to literary examples.

 

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HRH Duchess of Cornwall Visits Montenegro and Sees Jubilee Centre Project in Action

21/03/16

On 18th March 2016, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited schools in Montenegro to see how they are implementing a joint UNICEF and Jubilee Centre project on character education. The project, which launched its My Character and Values research report last month, looks at the ‘role of schools in developing students’ character, values and skills’ and follows an extensive collaboration between UNICEF Montenegro, the Bureau of Education in Montenegro and the Jubilee Centre. Members of the Centre’s team have visited colleagues in Podgorica and advised on the research, as well as presenting the Centre’s approach to character education to practitioners, politicians and policy-makers in Montenegro. Director of Partnerships Dr. Sandra Cooke and Teaching Fellow Michael Fullard attended the launch of the report last month, and the Centre will welcome the Montenegrin project team to Birmingham later this year. The Duchess’ visit was hosted by UNICEF Representative in Montenegro Benjamin Perks.

Ben Perks will join the Centre as a Senior Fellow for three, month-long periods during 2016.

Members of the UNICEF and Bureau of Education project teams will visit the Jubilee Centre in June 2016 to explore further project development opportunities.

The Duchess of Cornwall visited UNICEF’s programmes as part of a visit to the Western Balkans alongside The Prince of Wales from 14- 19 March 2016.

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Department for Education Continues Focus on Character Education

17/03/16

Following the Budget 2016 announcement yesterday (Wednesday 16th March 2016), the Department for Education has today released a White Paper titled Educational Excellence Everywhere, which was presented by Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education.

The White Paper sets out the Government's plans for education for the next five years, including a continued focus on 'character and resilience'. The Executive Summary of the White Paper states that: 'education should prepare children for adult life, giving them the skills and character traits needed to succeed academically, have a fulfilling career, and make a positive contribution to British society.' (p.20).

The paper goes on to state that 'a 21st century education should prepare children for adult life by instilling the character traits and fundamental British values that will help them succeed: being resilient and knowing how to persevere, how to bounce back if faced with failure, and how to collaborate with others at work and in their private lives.' (p.94).

The paper is available online here.

 

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Centre Welcomes Candace Vogler as Distinguished Visiting Professor

16/03/16

The Centre is delighted to have welcomed Candace Vogler as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2016.  Candace, who is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, is currently leading the <em>Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life</em> project and visited the Centre between 8th and 11th March.  During her visit Candace had the opportunity to meet with the Centre's researchers to discuss projects and delivered a seminar on self-transcendence as part of the Centre's bi-weekly seminar series.  The paper Candace presented will be available to view online in due course.

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Centre's 5th Annual Conference 2017: Open Call for Papers

15/03/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is pleased to announce its 5th annual conference 'Character, Wisdom and Virtue', which will be held at Oriel College, Oxford, 5th - 7th January 2017.  The aim of the conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the relationship between character, wisdom and virtue. Can theorists from philosophy, education and psychology learn from each other’s work? How can insights from theory and practice be integrated?  Find out more here.

The open call for papers is now open and details of how to make a submission can be found below:


Interested parties are asked to send an abstract of about 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2016. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out before the end of July.  The conference fee is 100 pounds and covers full board at Oriel College (2 nights), including the formal conference dinner. While there is a focus under the conference theme on wisdom, proposals that explore other character-related issues from a social scientific, philosophical or practice-oriented perspective will be considered favourably. Proposals from teachers and other practitioners are particularly welcome.

 

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Dr Sandra Cooke Speaks at Character Development Learning Day

14/03/16

Dr Sandra Cooke gave the invited keynote lecture at the Character Development Learning Day on Thursday 10th March 2016. Organised by Worth Unlimited and Frontier Youth Trust, the day was attended by youth workers from both organisations who were looking at how they could embed character development, for themselves and the young people they work with, in their practice. Later workshops examined how character development relates to good youth work principles, the difficulties in measuring outcomes from such work, and how character fits into working amongst diverse communities. 

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Centre Academics Publish in Journal of Beliefs and Values

10/03/16

The Centre's Director of Education, Dr Tom Harrison, and Research Fellow, Jenny Higgins, have published an article titled 'How to assess children’s virtue literacy: methodological lessons learnt from the Knightly Virtues programme' in the Journal of Beliefs and Values with Dr Ian Davison (School of Education) and Dan Hayes (School of Education).  The article explores the challenges presented by the methodological approaches used in the Jubilee Centre's Knightly Virtues programme.

The article can be viewed here.

Abstract:

Character education is of growing importance in educational discourse. The Knightly Virtues programme draws on selected classic stories to teach eight moral virtues to nine- to 11-year-olds; it has proved to be hugely popular with UK schools. A finding of the trial was the different levels of ‘virtue literacy’ in faith and non-faith schools. This article outlines the key features of this trial which yielded the positive results and details its methodological strengths and potential shortcomings. Overall, statistical concerns are less problematic than the practical concerns of running trials designed to measure the impact of character education interventions. Of greatest theoretical interest is the conflation of general and virtue-specific literacy; in addition, we tease apart differences in understanding and motivation. The article highlights and discusses the challenges of running trials designed to measure character education, as well as providing insights into promising methodological approaches.

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Deputy Director Publishes with Former Jubilee Centre Erasmus Student

10/03/16

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, is the second author of the just published paper 'Sustainability, virtue ethics, and the virtue of harmony with nature', published in Environmental Education Research.  The paper is available to view here.

The first author, Karen Jordan, who is a PhD student at the University of Iceland, spent the autumn semester of 2014 as an Erasmus exchange student in the Jubilee Centre. 

Abstract:
This article argues that the dominant sustainable development approach fails to acknowledge the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of social and environmental issues, and that sustainability requires a ‘transformational’ approach, involving a fundamental change in how humans relate to each other and to nature. The authors propose that virtue ethics, grounded in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, provides a framework with which to tackle such a transformation; to redress the human-nature relationship and help foster a more ecological perspective; to facilitate a more holistic and integrative view of sustainability; and to explore questions of how to live and flourish within a more sustainable world. Beginning with an overview of virtue ethics and critique of current approaches in environmental virtue ethics, this article proposes a new virtue, ‘harmony with nature’, that addresses the interconnectedness of our relationship with nature. This is followed by a proposal for the re-visioning of human flourishing as being necessarily situated within nature. The article concludes with some of the implications of a virtue ethics approach to sustainability, and the new virtue, for both sustainability education and moral education.

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Centre's Online Course Reaches Over 15,000 Learners

07/03/16

The Centre has delivered its free online course What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education for the third time, attracting more than 15,000 learners from across the world since launching in January 2015.  The course, which is run in partnership with FutureLearn, has generated extensive discussion about character education, and in particular, the caught/taught debate, whether character should be taught in schools, and how it should be taught.  Altogether, more than 19,000 comments have been posted by learners on the course discussion boards demonstrating widespread engagement with the topic. The course also provided an excellent taster experience for anyone interested in further study in the area of character education, coinciding with the first round of applications for the University of Birmingham's brand new MA in Character Education. You can find out more here

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Director of Education Presents to Department for Education

04/03/16

Dr Tom Harrison, the Centre’s Director of Education, gave a presentation on ‘what is character education and why does it matter’ to staff at the Department for Education (DfE) on Thursday 3rd March 2016.  The presentation was watched live by staff in the DfE offices in London, Coventry, Sheffield, Darlington and Manchester.  The DfE invited Tom to present to help staff to gain a better understanding of what character education is given that the Secretary of State has made character a priority area and a new department of character and resilience been established.  

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Centre Launches 'Virtue Insight' Blog

02/03/16

The Jubilee Centre is delighted to launch its own blog 'Virtue Insight: Conversations on Character', which will run as a weekly blog, with contributions from Jubilee Centre staff. 

The first blog post is available via the Centre's wordpress page here.

On this blog, we, the staff of the Jubilee Centre, will be posting reflections on issues that are close to our hearts and to the work that we are undertaking across the field of character and virtues. We will also regularly take the temperature of the public, social-media and academic discourse on character and character education and respond to it when necessary. We look forward to the active involvement of you, the readers, in response to what we write.

http://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/1651/about/jubilee-centre-blog

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Dr. Tom Harrison Interviewed in Schools Week

25/04/16

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, features in the Schools Week 'Experts Q&A' on 24th April 2016, answering questions about the Teaching Character Through Subjects programme, and the suites of teaching resources that the project has delivered. The resources are already proving incredibly popular, and the page is the most visited on the Jubilee Centre website since the online launch on Friday 15th April.

Interviewed by Catherine Murray, Deputy Editor of Schools Week, Tom answers questions about the specifics of the programme, the unique way that the resources demonstrate how to infuse character development within 14 different secondary curriculum subjects, and the intended impact of the project.

Schools Week is a weekly print and online publication providing news, investigations, expert columns and more to school leaders, governors and other education stakeholders.

The Q&A with Tom is available here.

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Emma Taylor Selected to Attend Speech by US President

25/04/16

On 23rd April 2016, Jubilee Centre Research Associate Emma Taylor was chosen by the US Embassy to attend a London Town Hall event with US President Barack Obama, during his visit to the UK. President Obama gave a short speech before taking questions from the audience of young people on topics ranging from activism to global conflict. He spoke about the importance of having a “moral compass” and retaining integrity and being true to your values. He spoke to the audience about the importance of holding a set of personal values, and that his own values included believing in the dignity and worth of all human beings, and how compromise is not about surrendering what you believe in, but recognising that those with whom you disagree may have valuable ideas too. President Obama also spoke about the importance of resilience, and that progress in areas that one cares deeply about can often be long term projects, not something to give up with. Emma was selected as part of the US Embassy’s Young Leaders UK programme, which aims to connect Britain’s rising leaders with Americans, with the United States as a whole, and with one another.

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Matt Bawden Concludes SecEd Series

21/04/16

During his term as Teacher-in-Residence at the Jubilee Centre, Matt Bawden worked on the Department for Education funded Teaching Character Through Subjects project. The resources were launched online on Friday 15th April 2016, and since the launch, Matt has written for SecEd to explain what the resources are and how the project came about.

Teaching Character Through Subjects worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented below as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through secondary curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the secondary school curriculum.

This article concludes a mini-series from SecEd on character Education. Read the other articles in the series here

The Teaching Character Through Subjects resources are available here

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Centre Staff Visit Tufts University to Discuss Synergies with Project CADET

15/04/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited Tufts University, Boston the week of 11th April to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with Prof. Richard Lerner and Dr Kristina Schmid Callina. Prof. Lerner, who holds the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and is the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, is Principal Investigator on Project CADET (Character Assessment with Development and Ethics Training), working with US Military cadets at West Point. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Walker were able to spend time with Prof. Lerner and Dr. Schmid Callina discussing synergies between the two projects.

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VLOG: 'Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life' by Professor Candace Vogler

15/04/16

Prof. Candace Vogler, University of Chicago, recently spent time as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Jubilee Centre. In this vlog, Prof. Vogler speaks about the ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’ project that she directs, and of synergies with Jubilee Centre projects. View the vlog here

Prof. Vogler also presented a paper titled ‘A Few Remarks About Self-Transcendence’ whilst at the Jubilee Centre, which is available here.

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Teaching Character Through Subjects Resources Launched

15/04/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues are delighted to launch the Teaching Character Through Subjects report and teaching resources. This year-long project, funded by the Department for Education, worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the secondary school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the school curriculum.

The key aims of the project are:

  • to contribute to the development and expansion of effective approaches for building character, which have a positive impact on educational attainment, engagement, employability and well-being;
  • to increase understanding of effective approaches that support other schools and colleges to develop and build character;
  • to encourage colleges and organisations to prioritise and implement their own initiatives.  

The project research report and all resources are available here. The content is free to access, and we encourage you to provide us with feedback and comments on how and where the materials are being used. Please contact us at jubileecentre@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

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Virtue Essay Contest and Youth Awards: Open for 2016

15/04/16

The 2016 Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest and the Jubilee Centre Youth Awards for Service are now open for entries. 

The Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest encourages young people to consider the meaning and importance of the virtues of honesty, courage and service.  The contest asks those aged between 9 and 18 to write a short essay exploring one of these particular virtues, focussing on how it has benefitted their life, and how it will be of benefit in the future.  The contest ran for the first time in 2015 and received essays from 400 young people across both primary and secondary schools.  Winning essays from 2015, and details of how to enter the 2016 competition, can be found here.

The Jubilee Youth Awards for Service recognise young people for their outstanding commitment to social action; this could be through volunteering or fundraising, caring for people or providing mentoring support in school, running campaigns or being part of a social enterprise.  There are two awards available: one for young people aged 10-15, and one for young people aged 16-20.  Find out more about the Jubilee Youth Awards, and how to nominate someone you know, here.

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Centre Manager Meets With Character.org CEO

14/04/16

On Monday 11th April 2016, Jubilee Centre Manager Aidan Thompson met with Becky Sipos, CEO of Character.org to discuss the partnership between the two organisations and opportunities for future collaboration. As well as discussing the Jubilee Centre projects, Aidan learned more about the Character.org Schools of Character programme and the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education which form the cornerstone of all work that Character.org do.

Character.org (formerly Character Education Partnership) have been a partner of the Jubilee Centre since its launch in 2012, and this was a great opportunity to discuss synergies and initiatives.

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Dr. David Walker and Professor Steve Thoma Present at AERA in Washington, DC

12/04/16

On Sunday 10th April 2016, Dr. David Walker and Prof. Steve Thoma presented a paper titled Cross-cultural responses to the Adolescent Intermediate Concept Measure:  An empirical summary of studies in USA, Taiwan, Macedonia and UK at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Washington, DC. 

The AERA Annual Meeting theme for 2016 was ‘public scholarship to educate diverse democracies’, and David and Steve gave the paper as part of the ‘Advances in the Assessment of Moral Growth and Issues in the Moral Dimensions of Teaching’ discussion, chaired by Dr. Richard D. Osguthorpe of Boise State University. The session also featured papers from Prof. Elizabeth Campbell and Dr. Bruce Maxwell.

A link to the presentation can be found here.

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Centre Members Contribute to New Volume

07/04/16

Deputy Director, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson and Research Fellow, Dr Liz Gulliford have recently had chapters published in a new edited volume Dual-Process Theories in Moral Psychology (edited by Cordula Brand, Springer VS, 2016). The volume emerged as a result of a Symposium initiated and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and took place between 8th and 15th March, 2014 at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Kristján’s chapter focused on ‘The "New Synthesis in Moral Psychology" versus Aristotelianism: Content and Consequences’. Liz submitted the chapter ‘Psychology’s Contribution to Ethics: Two Case Studies’, and provided the Epilogue to volume ‘The Word Thief’, an allegory about ordinary language philosophy, initially read at the symposium’s public engagement event on March 15th 2014.

The book is available via Springer here

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Director of Education Co-Authors Primary Character Education Book

05/04/16

Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison has published Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom with co-authors Dr. John Ryan and Ian Morris. The text is published by SAGE and aims to provide clear, accessible advice to primary school teachers and other education stakeholders on how to enhance character education provision within the classroom. The book covers core themes including what character education is, what it is not; why character matters; and what the role of the classroom teacher is in terms of building pupils' character.

The book provides practical advice and resources for delivering vital character education provision, be that in a discrete lesson, or as part of a whole school ethos.

Director of the Jubilee Centre, Prof. James Arthur commented:

"Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom provides an excellent and very accessible overview of the emerging field of character education.   It covers, in detail, the theory of character education as well as advice and guidance about how this should be applied in practice in primary schools." 

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Ministry of Defence Grant Ethical Clearance for Soldiers of Character

05/04/16

The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) has granted ethical approval for the Jubilee Centre Soldiers of Character research project to undertake research into the character strengths of Junior British Army Officers. The research project is the first of its kind in the UK, and, in part, will evaluate the utility and validity of measures designed to assess the Values and Standards of British Army officers. 

More information about the project can be found on the project page

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Professor David Carr Publishes on Virtue and Knowledge

01/04/16

Professor David Carr, Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre, has published an article titled 'Virtue and Knowledge' in Philosophy, the journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. The publisher's page can be found here and the abstract for the paper is below:

Abstract
In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle distinguishes fairly sharply between the practical deliberation of moral virtue and the epistemic reflection of theoretical or truth-focused enquiry. However, drawing on insights from Plato and Iris Murdoch, the present paper seeks a more robust epistemic foundation for virtuous deliberation as primarily grounded in clear or correct perception of the world and human association, character and conduct. While such perception may not be sufficient for moral virtue, it is here argued that it is necessary. Murdoch's view that literature may afford especially effective correction of moral misperception is also supported by appeal to literary examples.

 

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HRH Duchess of Cornwall Visits Montenegro and Sees Jubilee Centre Project in Action

21/03/16

On 18th March 2016, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall visited schools in Montenegro to see how they are implementing a joint UNICEF and Jubilee Centre project on character education. The project, which launched its My Character and Values research report last month, looks at the ‘role of schools in developing students’ character, values and skills’ and follows an extensive collaboration between UNICEF Montenegro, the Bureau of Education in Montenegro and the Jubilee Centre. Members of the Centre’s team have visited colleagues in Podgorica and advised on the research, as well as presenting the Centre’s approach to character education to practitioners, politicians and policy-makers in Montenegro. Director of Partnerships Dr. Sandra Cooke and Teaching Fellow Michael Fullard attended the launch of the report last month, and the Centre will welcome the Montenegrin project team to Birmingham later this year. The Duchess’ visit was hosted by UNICEF Representative in Montenegro Benjamin Perks.

Ben Perks will join the Centre as a Senior Fellow for three, month-long periods during 2016.

Members of the UNICEF and Bureau of Education project teams will visit the Jubilee Centre in June 2016 to explore further project development opportunities.

The Duchess of Cornwall visited UNICEF’s programmes as part of a visit to the Western Balkans alongside The Prince of Wales from 14- 19 March 2016.

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Department for Education Continues Focus on Character Education

17/03/16

Following the Budget 2016 announcement yesterday (Wednesday 16th March 2016), the Department for Education has today released a White Paper titled Educational Excellence Everywhere, which was presented by Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education.

The White Paper sets out the Government's plans for education for the next five years, including a continued focus on 'character and resilience'. The Executive Summary of the White Paper states that: 'education should prepare children for adult life, giving them the skills and character traits needed to succeed academically, have a fulfilling career, and make a positive contribution to British society.' (p.20).

The paper goes on to state that 'a 21st century education should prepare children for adult life by instilling the character traits and fundamental British values that will help them succeed: being resilient and knowing how to persevere, how to bounce back if faced with failure, and how to collaborate with others at work and in their private lives.' (p.94).

The paper is available online here.

 

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Centre Welcomes Candace Vogler as Distinguished Visiting Professor

16/03/16

The Centre is delighted to have welcomed Candace Vogler as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2016.  Candace, who is the David B. and Clara E. Stern Professor of Philosophy and Professor in the College at the University of Chicago, is currently leading the <em>Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life</em> project and visited the Centre between 8th and 11th March.  During her visit Candace had the opportunity to meet with the Centre's researchers to discuss projects and delivered a seminar on self-transcendence as part of the Centre's bi-weekly seminar series.  The paper Candace presented will be available to view online in due course.

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Centre's 5th Annual Conference 2017: Open Call for Papers

15/03/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is pleased to announce its 5th annual conference 'Character, Wisdom and Virtue', which will be held at Oriel College, Oxford, 5th - 7th January 2017.  The aim of the conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the relationship between character, wisdom and virtue. Can theorists from philosophy, education and psychology learn from each other’s work? How can insights from theory and practice be integrated?  Find out more here.

The open call for papers is now open and details of how to make a submission can be found below:


Interested parties are asked to send an abstract of about 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2016. Notifications of acceptance will be sent out before the end of July.  The conference fee is 100 pounds and covers full board at Oriel College (2 nights), including the formal conference dinner. While there is a focus under the conference theme on wisdom, proposals that explore other character-related issues from a social scientific, philosophical or practice-oriented perspective will be considered favourably. Proposals from teachers and other practitioners are particularly welcome.

 

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Dr Sandra Cooke Speaks at Character Development Learning Day

14/03/16

Dr Sandra Cooke gave the invited keynote lecture at the Character Development Learning Day on Thursday 10th March 2016. Organised by Worth Unlimited and Frontier Youth Trust, the day was attended by youth workers from both organisations who were looking at how they could embed character development, for themselves and the young people they work with, in their practice. Later workshops examined how character development relates to good youth work principles, the difficulties in measuring outcomes from such work, and how character fits into working amongst diverse communities. 

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Centre Academics Publish in Journal of Beliefs and Values

10/03/16

The Centre's Director of Education, Dr Tom Harrison, and Research Fellow, Jenny Higgins, have published an article titled 'How to assess children’s virtue literacy: methodological lessons learnt from the Knightly Virtues programme' in the Journal of Beliefs and Values with Dr Ian Davison (School of Education) and Dan Hayes (School of Education).  The article explores the challenges presented by the methodological approaches used in the Jubilee Centre's Knightly Virtues programme.

The article can be viewed here.

Abstract:

Character education is of growing importance in educational discourse. The Knightly Virtues programme draws on selected classic stories to teach eight moral virtues to nine- to 11-year-olds; it has proved to be hugely popular with UK schools. A finding of the trial was the different levels of ‘virtue literacy’ in faith and non-faith schools. This article outlines the key features of this trial which yielded the positive results and details its methodological strengths and potential shortcomings. Overall, statistical concerns are less problematic than the practical concerns of running trials designed to measure the impact of character education interventions. Of greatest theoretical interest is the conflation of general and virtue-specific literacy; in addition, we tease apart differences in understanding and motivation. The article highlights and discusses the challenges of running trials designed to measure character education, as well as providing insights into promising methodological approaches.

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Deputy Director Publishes with Former Jubilee Centre Erasmus Student

10/03/16

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, is the second author of the just published paper 'Sustainability, virtue ethics, and the virtue of harmony with nature', published in Environmental Education Research.  The paper is available to view here.

The first author, Karen Jordan, who is a PhD student at the University of Iceland, spent the autumn semester of 2014 as an Erasmus exchange student in the Jubilee Centre. 

Abstract:
This article argues that the dominant sustainable development approach fails to acknowledge the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of social and environmental issues, and that sustainability requires a ‘transformational’ approach, involving a fundamental change in how humans relate to each other and to nature. The authors propose that virtue ethics, grounded in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, provides a framework with which to tackle such a transformation; to redress the human-nature relationship and help foster a more ecological perspective; to facilitate a more holistic and integrative view of sustainability; and to explore questions of how to live and flourish within a more sustainable world. Beginning with an overview of virtue ethics and critique of current approaches in environmental virtue ethics, this article proposes a new virtue, ‘harmony with nature’, that addresses the interconnectedness of our relationship with nature. This is followed by a proposal for the re-visioning of human flourishing as being necessarily situated within nature. The article concludes with some of the implications of a virtue ethics approach to sustainability, and the new virtue, for both sustainability education and moral education.

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Centre's Online Course Reaches Over 15,000 Learners

07/03/16

The Centre has delivered its free online course What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education for the third time, attracting more than 15,000 learners from across the world since launching in January 2015.  The course, which is run in partnership with FutureLearn, has generated extensive discussion about character education, and in particular, the caught/taught debate, whether character should be taught in schools, and how it should be taught.  Altogether, more than 19,000 comments have been posted by learners on the course discussion boards demonstrating widespread engagement with the topic. The course also provided an excellent taster experience for anyone interested in further study in the area of character education, coinciding with the first round of applications for the University of Birmingham's brand new MA in Character Education. You can find out more here

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Director of Education Presents to Department for Education

04/03/16

Dr Tom Harrison, the Centre’s Director of Education, gave a presentation on ‘what is character education and why does it matter’ to staff at the Department for Education (DfE) on Thursday 3rd March 2016.  The presentation was watched live by staff in the DfE offices in London, Coventry, Sheffield, Darlington and Manchester.  The DfE invited Tom to present to help staff to gain a better understanding of what character education is given that the Secretary of State has made character a priority area and a new department of character and resilience been established.  

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Centre Launches 'Virtue Insight' Blog

02/03/16

The Jubilee Centre is delighted to launch its own blog 'Virtue Insight: Conversations on Character', which will run as a weekly blog, with contributions from Jubilee Centre staff. 

The first blog post is available via the Centre's wordpress page here.

On this blog, we, the staff of the Jubilee Centre, will be posting reflections on issues that are close to our hearts and to the work that we are undertaking across the field of character and virtues. We will also regularly take the temperature of the public, social-media and academic discourse on character and character education and respond to it when necessary. We look forward to the active involvement of you, the readers, in response to what we write.

http://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/1651/about/jubilee-centre-blog

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