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More information on our MA programmes in Character Education/Positive Education planned for 2016 available here http://t.co/7xNaurE8eV

Quote of the week

Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity. Og Mandino

John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D, February 19, 1940 - May 16, 2015

19/05/15
The Jubilee Centre regrets to announce the death of Dr. Jack Templeton – may he rest in peace. President and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, Jack was actively involved in the Foundation since it was established in 1987 by his late father, Sir John Templeton.

A great man, great vision and a great heart.

 

The full obituary can be found here.
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Professor David Carr Delivers Inaugural Lecture

15/05/15
Professor David Carr delivered his Inaugural Lecture at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, on 6th May. The lecture, titled ‘The Importance of Philosophy for Education’ began with an overview of David’s background before taking his post as Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and went on to emphasise the critical role that techniques of analytical philosophy play in education. The abstract for the lecture can be found below:

One significant post-WWII development in educational theorising was the attempt on the part of distinguished modern philosophers – such as R. S. Peters and Israel Scheffler – to refashion philosophy of education as a serious branch of analytical philosophy. Despite this, the reputation of educational philosophy has continued to be somewhat chequered. While there are no doubt many and varied reasons for this – including the extremely variable quality of much recent educational philosophy itself, certain confused post-modern and related misconceptions of the aims and methods of analytical philosophy and an evergreen popular tendency to regard philosophy as dealing only in abstract and ivory tower speculations of little relevance to effective practice – this lecture will argue that the techniques of analytical philosophy are absolutely indispensable to clear professional thinking and theorising in education and other practical fields.   
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Professor James Arthur is Interviewed in the Guardian

14/05/15

Professor James Arthur was recently interviewed for an article by Will Storr titled 'Character classes: can you teach a six-year-old how to be good?' published in the Guardian.  The article explores the increased interest in character education that has come about in recent years and its place in education today.  Speaking about the importance of educating young people for life outside school, and not just for taking tests, Professor Arthur says "But when you go for a job interview, what's being examined is not your qualifications - you're being interviewed for your character".  Schools taking a particular approach to character education explain how it fits into their everyday teaching and the changes they have seen in pupils as a result.  The article goes on to highlight the lack of creativity apparent in students starting at University and the importance of moral, civic, intellectual and performance virtues when entering the world beyond school.


You can read the full article here

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Centre's 4th Annual Conference 2016 'Cultivating Virtues': Open Call for Papers

12/05/15

 

 Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Oriel College, Oxford, January 7–9, 2016

The annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham 

Open Call for Papers

Please submit an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015.

After a successful annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in January 2015 on ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’, we return to Oriel College, Oxford, for the Centre’s fourth annual conference in January 2016 on the theme:

Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches
In virtue ethics, in particular of the Aristotelian kind, virtue cultivation is not an extraneous addition to an understanding of morality or the study of moral philosophy; it is, rather, what such understanding and study are all about. We progress towards moral excellence only if we are educated from an early age – indeed from birth – to do so. A study of morality would thus, by Aristotle’s lights, be an entirely fruitless enterprise if it did not gauge the educational implications of its findings.
Contemporary moral philosophy is commonly lambasted – by moral psychologists for example – for its lack of attention to developmental issues and its almost complete neglect of childhood. Aristotle’s stance is so radically different here that he could almost be accused of the opposite error: of reducing moral philosophy to character education. For him, it is more precious to know how virtue arises than to know what it is. More specifically, regarding moral inquiry as such, its purpose ‘is not to know what virtue is, but to become good, since otherwise the inquiry would be of no benefit to us’ (NE, 1103b27–29]). It is difficult to think of a more suitable platform from which to launch programmes of virtue-and-character education.
Yet various thorny problems remain about the nature and execution of education in virtue. As Aristotle offers no detailed account of the nuts and bolts of such education, virtue ethicists and character educationists need to engage in some serious reconstructive work – if not simply leaving Aristotle behind and making a fresh start.
The aim of the 2016 Jubilee Centre conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the nuances of virtue cultivation, both within and across disciplinary boundaries. Can theorists from philosophy, education and developmental psychology here learn from each other’s work?
We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of ‘cultivating virtues’. Although the remit of this conference is more distinctly educational than in our two last conferences, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore virtue concepts or individual virtues from a philosophical/theoretical perspective, as long as those proposals also pay some attention to developmental issues.
We ask interested parties to send us an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015. We will send out notifications of acceptance before the end of July. 
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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Visits Saudi Arabia

11/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, visited Saudi Arabia on April 25-28, at the invitation of the Al Ghad Foundation. Professor Kristjánsson attended a two-day event celebrating the opening of an Al Ghad Centre for Values Development, which has been established to support various youth development programmes in Saudi Arabia and to introduce character education into schools. The Jubilee Centre will be collaborating with the Foundation and a formal ceremony took place, attended by five ministers from the Saudi government and broadcast on Saudi TV, to celebrate this collaboration. The Centre will consult with the Al Ghad Foundation to design character-cultivating interventions for Saudi schools and engage in a further exchange of people and ideas. Discussions are now underway on the first steps to take this project forward.

 

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in Journal of Schooling Studies

08/05/15
Professor David Carr has published a paper entitled ‘Justice, Virtue and Education’ in the Journal of Schooling Studies. An abstract is provided below:

Given that justice is a fundamental principle or dimension of human moral association, it would also seem to be of some educational concern: in short, we should want to educate children and young people to be just or fair. However, this is not something that not something we may be hope to achieve by teaching theories of justice – since, as this paper indicates – such theories are often concerned with securing some measure of justice in circumstances where people cannot always be expected to be just or fair as individual citizens. Thus, educating for justice would seem to be more a matter of cultivating the virtue of justice. In this light, the paper proceeds to consider how this might be at least partly assisted by the moral exploration of imaginative literature.

 

You can view the paper here.

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Publishes New Book: 'Aristotelian Character Education'

01/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has published a new book titled 'Aristotelian Character Education'.  The book, published by Routledge, provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education in the context of current schooling.  Find a brief description below and a link to the publisher's page here.

 

This book provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education, shedding new light on what moral character really is, and how it can be highlighted, measured, nurtured and taught in current schooling. Arguing that many recent approaches to character education understand character in exclusively amoral, instrumentalist terms, Kristjánsson proposes a coherent, plausible and up-to-date concept, retaining the overall structure of Aristotelian character education.

After discussing and debunking popular myths about Aristotelian character education, subsequent chapters focus on the practical ramifications and methodologies of character education. These include measuring virtue and morality, asking whether Aristotelian character education can salvage the effects of bad upbringing, and considering implications for teacher training and classroom practice. The book rejuvenates time-honoured principles of the development of virtues in young people, at a time when ‘character’ features prominently in educational agendas and parental concerns over school education systems.

Offering an interdisciplinary perspective which draws from the disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy and sociology, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and students wanting a greater insight into character education. 

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Dr David Walker Attends Round-table on Quality of Life

29/04/15
Dr David Walker attended a round-table ‘Dialogue’ for Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life in Brussels on 22 April. The topic of focus was Quality of Life and the progress of individuals in environments where there is little personal autonomy, with insight from Defence, the Justice sector and the blue-collar Corporate sector. Dr Walker was invited because of his knowledge and experience of the British Army. 
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From Gratitude to Service: Engagement, Influence and Impact

17/04/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launches a new report detailing its impact, influence and reach. This report features figures and infographics for the different areas of the Centre’s work to date. Since launching in May 2012, the Jubilee Centre has conducted rigorous research into how character and virtues impact on individuals and society. During this time, the Centre has engaged with the British public in a range of different ways and has sought to make a significant difference to how character and virtues are perceived. This new report, From Gratitude to Service, demonstrates the influence the Centre has achieved on the ground in a short period of time and the wide variety of channels through which the Centre has promoted and applied its research evidence. The report explores all aspects of the Centre’s work including research, influence and engagement with policy, partnerships and international collaborations, its work with schools and the community.

You can view the report below, or download a copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre Appoints Joint Chair with Royal Institute of Philosophy

17/04/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Robert C. Roberts as Chair in Ethics and Emotion Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Roberts has worked closely with the Centre on its research into the virtue of gratitude, and wrote the foreword to the Attitude for Gratitude research report.  
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Centre Academics Feature in Journal of Moral Education

16/04/15
The first 2015 edition of the Journal of Moral Education includes a paper by Dr Blaire Morgan, Dr Liz Gulliford and Professor David Carr titled Educating Gratitude: Some conceptual and moral misgivings, and a review of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book Virtues and Vices in Positive Psychology. The review of Virtues and Vices in Positive Psychology is written by A.D. Seroczynski from the Center for Children and Families at the University of Notre Dame.  Both the paper and the book review can be found here.
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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Writes for 'Big Ideas'

15/04/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has written for the ‘Why be good?’ series as part of the Big Ideas program in Slate Magazine.  The Big Ideas program is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and explores the most challenging questions facing humankind.  The ‘Why be good?’ series presents essays and opinions from scholars across different disciplines in an attempt to explore different approaches to answering the question why be good?  Kristján’s article is titled ‘Why Aristotle wants you to be good’ and considers the answer from an Aristotelian viewpoint.

You can view the article, and other essays in this series, here

 

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Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan Visit the University of Melbourne

13/04/15
Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan recently visited the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne as part of a wider cross-cultural project titled Taking Thanks for Granted.  During their time in Australia, Liz and Blaire have delivered several seminars and lectures, including a speech at Janet Clarke Hall, a University of Melbourne college, where they also met with a group of students to talk about the work of the Centre.  They were also able to visit a number of schools who will be involved in carrying out some of the methods used in the Attitude for Gratitude project, and had the opportunity to meet the Head of Positive Education in some schools to discuss particular aspects of their approach to positive education and wellbeing programmes for students.  Liz and Blaire delivered a public lecture at St Peter’s College where they have been honoured with Rex J Lipman Fellowships.  The visit was extremely fruitful in highlighting the ways in which some schools are starting to develop their own approaches to positive education and the support that the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne provides for this.  Over the next month, data will be collected from various methods being carried out in Australia to add a cross-cultural dimension to the existing data from the Attitude for Gratitude project. 

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A Question of Character?

13/03/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has commissioned the production of a documentary exploring the place of character and virtues in the education of young people today, and in society at large. The documentary has been produced by the award-winning OneTwoFour and includes schools in both the UK and USA sharing their approaches to character education, and talking about how implementing character into the curriculum and school ethos has transformed their school and students. The documentary will be broadcast and made available in full in due course, but it is now possible to view an extract from the documentary here.

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New Film on Giving Thanks and Giving Back

13/03/15
The Give Thanks-Give Back project explored the relationship between gratitude and service in three schools in the Birmingham and Coventry area. The main aim of the project was to explore the virtue of gratitude in the lives of school pupils of various ages and the ways in which this motivated civic engagement and development within the community. This short documentary film has been produced to capture the work of the project and the ways in which people ‘give back’ to their community. You can watch the film here, or in our Media Centre. A brochure is also available here highlighting the case studies involved in the project.
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Young People Attend the Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony

13/03/15
On Tuesday 10th March, over 200 young people attended the Thank You Letter Award ceremony, where the winners and runners up were announced.  The Thank You Letter Awards ran for the first time this year and over 20,000 young people across the country participated.  The awards encouraged young people to write a letter expressing their gratitude to someone who has made a difference in their life, with many writing about special family members, friends, historical figures, and professionals such as nurses.  At the awards ceremony, the letters were displayed giving young people the opportunity to read about what other people were grateful for and special guest speaker, Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford, spoke about the people in his life he is most grateful for and why.
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Film Showcasing Gratitude in Britain

13/03/15

This new film, produced by Hark Pictures on behalf of and in collaboration with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, showcases the importance of gratitude in different people's lives. Through interviews with academics from the Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan, the film explores the various benefits of practising graittude, as well as some of the more negative feelings associated with the virtue of gratitude.  People for whom gratitude plays an important role in daily life also share their stories. 

The film also features some footage of the Jubilee Centre's celebrations of World Gratitude Day in September 2014. 

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's Paper is Most Read in British Journal of Educational Studies

10/03/15
Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's paper 'Ten Myths About Character, Virtue and Virtue Education – Plus Three Well-Founded Misgivings' in the British Journal of Educational Studies is currently the top most read article of the journal having now been downloaded 3,740 times.  The paper, published in April 2013, exposes the common misgivings about the notion of character, virtue and education in virtue as 'myths' and presents three better-founded historical, methodological and practical concerns about those notions.  The paper is available here.
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Centre Academics Publish in Teaching and Teacher Education

03/03/15

The paper titled 'Developing the whole child in an age of academic measurement: Can this be done according to U.K. teachers?' explores data from interviews with 102 secondary teachers in the UK and how they feel about their role in educating the whole child.  The paper is available to view here.  

You can find the abstract below: 

Abstract: Based on a qualitative analysis of interviews with 102 teachers in 33 U.K. secondary schools, the paper shows that “developing the whole child” and “preparing children for life” were personally important to teachers. As they worked, however, in institutions centrally focused on raising pupils' academic performance, this created a tension: the majority believed that the assessment system hindered the development of the whole child. Some teachers believed that they could still make a difference in children's lives by investing in their pedagogical relationship with children. The discussion focuses on how raising students' performances and cultivating their characters may be combined.

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Baroness Estelle Morris and Sir Anthony Seldon Launch New Centre Reports

27/02/15

On Friday 27th February 2015, the Centre launched two major research reports: Character Education in UK Schools and The Good Teacher: Understanding Virtues in Practice, at the City of Birmingham Council House.

Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley introduced The Good Teacher report.  During her speech, Baroness Morris spoke about the importance of making room for the development of character in schools and recognised that the priority placed on exams has led to values such as honesty, kindness and gratitude being lost in teaching. She emphasised that The Good Teacher report provides the stepping stones needed to begin to recover the language of values in education.

Sir Anthony Seldon introduced the Character Education in UK Schools report.  Beginning by highlighting that character development is fundamental to education, he went on to emphasise the importance of good leadership in implementing character education and particularly spoke about the recommendation the report makes regarding the need for each school to have a member of teaching staff expert in character education.  

The two reports are available to read online:

The reports have been covered widely by various media including articles in The Guardian and The TES.

A full list of coverage can be found below:

 

 

Photos from the launch event are available to view in our Media Centre

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in the British Journal of Educational Studies

27/02/15
Professor David Carr has published ‘The Paradox of Gratitude’ in the British Journal of Educational Studies. The article can be viewed here with the abstract provided below:

Since gratitude is a significant pro-social quality or virtue, it might be (and has been) considered of some educational concern. However, while it clearly needs to be understood as a response that is in some sense required or owed towards benefactors, gratitude would hardly seem genuine unless it is freely and perhaps joyfully given – perhaps on the basis of some specific grateful emotion. Despite some academic appreciation of tension between these aspects of gratitude, the psychological and normative implications of what we shall call here the ‘paradox of gratitude’ for its learning or acquisition have been less thoroughly explored. Following some consideration of rival educational perspectives on this tension, this article argues that the best route to its resolution may be to surrender the idea of a distinct pro-social emotion or sentiment of gratitude.
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Professor James Arthur and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Write for Big Questions Online

18/02/15

Professor James Arthur and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson have published an article titled 'Is Good Character Caught or Taught?' as part of the Big Questions Online, which explores the 'big questions' of human purpose.  Big Questions Online, a publication of the John Templeton Foundation, publishes essays from leading thinkers to foster thoughtful discussion of such topics and provides the opportunity, through comment boards, for an author-led discussion. 

The article discusses to the extent to which children learn virtues through instruction and the extent to which children learn virtues through the modeled behaviour of others, and is available to view here.

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Centre Director Judges the Department for Education's Character Awards

17/02/15

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February 2015, Centre Director Professor James Arthur, formed part of the judging panel for the Department for Education's Character Awards, which were announced in December 2014 under the Department's £5 million Character Innovation Fund to support the development of character in schools.  The 2015 Awards recognise 27 schools and organisations across the country for their efforts in promoting character traits, attitudes and behaviours, such as resilience and grit, among young people.  The winning schools will be announced on the Department for Education's website shortly, and the overall winner will be announced at the Character Awards Ceremony on 16th March in London.  

Professor Arthur was joined on the judging panel by the Chair, Victoria Beer CBE (Chair of the Teaching Schools Council and Executive Principal for the West Trafford Learning Partnership); Maggie Alphonsi MBE (England Rugby player, Athlete Mentor Manager and Rugby World Cup 2015 Ambassador); Rob Wall (Head of Education and Employment Policy, CBI); Dr Kevan Collins (CEO of The Education Endowment Foundation); Charlotte Hill (CEO of Step up to Serve); Jill Litchfield (Headteacher at Bournehall Primary School, Bushey, Hertfordshire and part of the national teaching schools network); and Diane Reynard (Principal of the East Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre in Leeds and a member of the Teaching Schools Council).

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John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D, February 19, 1940 - May 16, 2015

19/05/15
The Jubilee Centre regrets to announce the death of Dr. Jack Templeton – may he rest in peace. President and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, Jack was actively involved in the Foundation since it was established in 1987 by his late father, Sir John Templeton.

A great man, great vision and a great heart.

 

The full obituary can be found here.
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Professor David Carr Delivers Inaugural Lecture

15/05/15
Professor David Carr delivered his Inaugural Lecture at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, on 6th May. The lecture, titled ‘The Importance of Philosophy for Education’ began with an overview of David’s background before taking his post as Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and went on to emphasise the critical role that techniques of analytical philosophy play in education. The abstract for the lecture can be found below:

One significant post-WWII development in educational theorising was the attempt on the part of distinguished modern philosophers – such as R. S. Peters and Israel Scheffler – to refashion philosophy of education as a serious branch of analytical philosophy. Despite this, the reputation of educational philosophy has continued to be somewhat chequered. While there are no doubt many and varied reasons for this – including the extremely variable quality of much recent educational philosophy itself, certain confused post-modern and related misconceptions of the aims and methods of analytical philosophy and an evergreen popular tendency to regard philosophy as dealing only in abstract and ivory tower speculations of little relevance to effective practice – this lecture will argue that the techniques of analytical philosophy are absolutely indispensable to clear professional thinking and theorising in education and other practical fields.   
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Professor James Arthur is Interviewed in the Guardian

14/05/15

Professor James Arthur was recently interviewed for an article by Will Storr titled 'Character classes: can you teach a six-year-old how to be good?' published in the Guardian.  The article explores the increased interest in character education that has come about in recent years and its place in education today.  Speaking about the importance of educating young people for life outside school, and not just for taking tests, Professor Arthur says "But when you go for a job interview, what's being examined is not your qualifications - you're being interviewed for your character".  Schools taking a particular approach to character education explain how it fits into their everyday teaching and the changes they have seen in pupils as a result.  The article goes on to highlight the lack of creativity apparent in students starting at University and the importance of moral, civic, intellectual and performance virtues when entering the world beyond school.


You can read the full article here

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Centre's 4th Annual Conference 2016 'Cultivating Virtues': Open Call for Papers

12/05/15

 

 Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Oriel College, Oxford, January 7–9, 2016

The annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham 

Open Call for Papers

Please submit an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015.

After a successful annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in January 2015 on ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’, we return to Oriel College, Oxford, for the Centre’s fourth annual conference in January 2016 on the theme:

Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches
In virtue ethics, in particular of the Aristotelian kind, virtue cultivation is not an extraneous addition to an understanding of morality or the study of moral philosophy; it is, rather, what such understanding and study are all about. We progress towards moral excellence only if we are educated from an early age – indeed from birth – to do so. A study of morality would thus, by Aristotle’s lights, be an entirely fruitless enterprise if it did not gauge the educational implications of its findings.
Contemporary moral philosophy is commonly lambasted – by moral psychologists for example – for its lack of attention to developmental issues and its almost complete neglect of childhood. Aristotle’s stance is so radically different here that he could almost be accused of the opposite error: of reducing moral philosophy to character education. For him, it is more precious to know how virtue arises than to know what it is. More specifically, regarding moral inquiry as such, its purpose ‘is not to know what virtue is, but to become good, since otherwise the inquiry would be of no benefit to us’ (NE, 1103b27–29]). It is difficult to think of a more suitable platform from which to launch programmes of virtue-and-character education.
Yet various thorny problems remain about the nature and execution of education in virtue. As Aristotle offers no detailed account of the nuts and bolts of such education, virtue ethicists and character educationists need to engage in some serious reconstructive work – if not simply leaving Aristotle behind and making a fresh start.
The aim of the 2016 Jubilee Centre conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the nuances of virtue cultivation, both within and across disciplinary boundaries. Can theorists from philosophy, education and developmental psychology here learn from each other’s work?
We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of ‘cultivating virtues’. Although the remit of this conference is more distinctly educational than in our two last conferences, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore virtue concepts or individual virtues from a philosophical/theoretical perspective, as long as those proposals also pay some attention to developmental issues.
We ask interested parties to send us an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015. We will send out notifications of acceptance before the end of July. 
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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Visits Saudi Arabia

11/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, visited Saudi Arabia on April 25-28, at the invitation of the Al Ghad Foundation. Professor Kristjánsson attended a two-day event celebrating the opening of an Al Ghad Centre for Values Development, which has been established to support various youth development programmes in Saudi Arabia and to introduce character education into schools. The Jubilee Centre will be collaborating with the Foundation and a formal ceremony took place, attended by five ministers from the Saudi government and broadcast on Saudi TV, to celebrate this collaboration. The Centre will consult with the Al Ghad Foundation to design character-cultivating interventions for Saudi schools and engage in a further exchange of people and ideas. Discussions are now underway on the first steps to take this project forward.

 

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in Journal of Schooling Studies

08/05/15
Professor David Carr has published a paper entitled ‘Justice, Virtue and Education’ in the Journal of Schooling Studies. An abstract is provided below:

Given that justice is a fundamental principle or dimension of human moral association, it would also seem to be of some educational concern: in short, we should want to educate children and young people to be just or fair. However, this is not something that not something we may be hope to achieve by teaching theories of justice – since, as this paper indicates – such theories are often concerned with securing some measure of justice in circumstances where people cannot always be expected to be just or fair as individual citizens. Thus, educating for justice would seem to be more a matter of cultivating the virtue of justice. In this light, the paper proceeds to consider how this might be at least partly assisted by the moral exploration of imaginative literature.

 

You can view the paper here.

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Publishes New Book: 'Aristotelian Character Education'

01/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has published a new book titled 'Aristotelian Character Education'.  The book, published by Routledge, provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education in the context of current schooling.  Find a brief description below and a link to the publisher's page here.

 

This book provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education, shedding new light on what moral character really is, and how it can be highlighted, measured, nurtured and taught in current schooling. Arguing that many recent approaches to character education understand character in exclusively amoral, instrumentalist terms, Kristjánsson proposes a coherent, plausible and up-to-date concept, retaining the overall structure of Aristotelian character education.

After discussing and debunking popular myths about Aristotelian character education, subsequent chapters focus on the practical ramifications and methodologies of character education. These include measuring virtue and morality, asking whether Aristotelian character education can salvage the effects of bad upbringing, and considering implications for teacher training and classroom practice. The book rejuvenates time-honoured principles of the development of virtues in young people, at a time when ‘character’ features prominently in educational agendas and parental concerns over school education systems.

Offering an interdisciplinary perspective which draws from the disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy and sociology, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and students wanting a greater insight into character education. 

/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/KKbook.png

Dr David Walker Attends Round-table on Quality of Life

29/04/15
Dr David Walker attended a round-table ‘Dialogue’ for Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life in Brussels on 22 April. The topic of focus was Quality of Life and the progress of individuals in environments where there is little personal autonomy, with insight from Defence, the Justice sector and the blue-collar Corporate sector. Dr Walker was invited because of his knowledge and experience of the British Army. 
/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/sodexo1.png

From Gratitude to Service: Engagement, Influence and Impact

17/04/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launches a new report detailing its impact, influence and reach. This report features figures and infographics for the different areas of the Centre’s work to date. Since launching in May 2012, the Jubilee Centre has conducted rigorous research into how character and virtues impact on individuals and society. During this time, the Centre has engaged with the British public in a range of different ways and has sought to make a significant difference to how character and virtues are perceived. This new report, From Gratitude to Service, demonstrates the influence the Centre has achieved on the ground in a short period of time and the wide variety of channels through which the Centre has promoted and applied its research evidence. The report explores all aspects of the Centre’s work including research, influence and engagement with policy, partnerships and international collaborations, its work with schools and the community.

You can view the report below, or download a copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre Appoints Joint Chair with Royal Institute of Philosophy

17/04/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Robert C. Roberts as Chair in Ethics and Emotion Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Roberts has worked closely with the Centre on its research into the virtue of gratitude, and wrote the foreword to the Attitude for Gratitude research report.  
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Centre Academics Feature in Journal of Moral Education

16/04/15
The first 2015 edition of the Journal of Moral Education includes a paper by Dr Blaire Morgan, Dr Liz Gulliford and Professor David Carr titled Educating Gratitude: Some conceptual and moral misgivings, and a review of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book Virtues and Vices in Positive Psychology. The review of Virtues and Vices in Positive Psychology is written by A.D. Seroczynski from the Center for Children and Families at the University of Notre Dame.  Both the paper and the book review can be found here.
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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Writes for 'Big Ideas'

15/04/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has written for the ‘Why be good?’ series as part of the Big Ideas program in Slate Magazine.  The Big Ideas program is sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation and explores the most challenging questions facing humankind.  The ‘Why be good?’ series presents essays and opinions from scholars across different disciplines in an attempt to explore different approaches to answering the question why be good?  Kristján’s article is titled ‘Why Aristotle wants you to be good’ and considers the answer from an Aristotelian viewpoint.

You can view the article, and other essays in this series, here

 

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Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan Visit the University of Melbourne

13/04/15
Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan recently visited the Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne as part of a wider cross-cultural project titled Taking Thanks for Granted.  During their time in Australia, Liz and Blaire have delivered several seminars and lectures, including a speech at Janet Clarke Hall, a University of Melbourne college, where they also met with a group of students to talk about the work of the Centre.  They were also able to visit a number of schools who will be involved in carrying out some of the methods used in the Attitude for Gratitude project, and had the opportunity to meet the Head of Positive Education in some schools to discuss particular aspects of their approach to positive education and wellbeing programmes for students.  Liz and Blaire delivered a public lecture at St Peter’s College where they have been honoured with Rex J Lipman Fellowships.  The visit was extremely fruitful in highlighting the ways in which some schools are starting to develop their own approaches to positive education and the support that the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne provides for this.  Over the next month, data will be collected from various methods being carried out in Australia to add a cross-cultural dimension to the existing data from the Attitude for Gratitude project. 

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A Question of Character?

13/03/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has commissioned the production of a documentary exploring the place of character and virtues in the education of young people today, and in society at large. The documentary has been produced by the award-winning OneTwoFour and includes schools in both the UK and USA sharing their approaches to character education, and talking about how implementing character into the curriculum and school ethos has transformed their school and students. The documentary will be broadcast and made available in full in due course, but it is now possible to view an extract from the documentary here.

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New Film on Giving Thanks and Giving Back

13/03/15
The Give Thanks-Give Back project explored the relationship between gratitude and service in three schools in the Birmingham and Coventry area. The main aim of the project was to explore the virtue of gratitude in the lives of school pupils of various ages and the ways in which this motivated civic engagement and development within the community. This short documentary film has been produced to capture the work of the project and the ways in which people ‘give back’ to their community. You can watch the film here, or in our Media Centre. A brochure is also available here highlighting the case studies involved in the project.
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Young People Attend the Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony

13/03/15
On Tuesday 10th March, over 200 young people attended the Thank You Letter Award ceremony, where the winners and runners up were announced.  The Thank You Letter Awards ran for the first time this year and over 20,000 young people across the country participated.  The awards encouraged young people to write a letter expressing their gratitude to someone who has made a difference in their life, with many writing about special family members, friends, historical figures, and professionals such as nurses.  At the awards ceremony, the letters were displayed giving young people the opportunity to read about what other people were grateful for and special guest speaker, Olympic athlete Greg Rutherford, spoke about the people in his life he is most grateful for and why.
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Film Showcasing Gratitude in Britain

13/03/15

This new film, produced by Hark Pictures on behalf of and in collaboration with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, showcases the importance of gratitude in different people's lives. Through interviews with academics from the Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Dr Liz Gulliford and Dr Blaire Morgan, the film explores the various benefits of practising graittude, as well as some of the more negative feelings associated with the virtue of gratitude.  People for whom gratitude plays an important role in daily life also share their stories. 

The film also features some footage of the Jubilee Centre's celebrations of World Gratitude Day in September 2014. 

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's Paper is Most Read in British Journal of Educational Studies

10/03/15
Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's paper 'Ten Myths About Character, Virtue and Virtue Education – Plus Three Well-Founded Misgivings' in the British Journal of Educational Studies is currently the top most read article of the journal having now been downloaded 3,740 times.  The paper, published in April 2013, exposes the common misgivings about the notion of character, virtue and education in virtue as 'myths' and presents three better-founded historical, methodological and practical concerns about those notions.  The paper is available here.
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Centre Academics Publish in Teaching and Teacher Education

03/03/15

The paper titled 'Developing the whole child in an age of academic measurement: Can this be done according to U.K. teachers?' explores data from interviews with 102 secondary teachers in the UK and how they feel about their role in educating the whole child.  The paper is available to view here.  

You can find the abstract below: 

Abstract: Based on a qualitative analysis of interviews with 102 teachers in 33 U.K. secondary schools, the paper shows that “developing the whole child” and “preparing children for life” were personally important to teachers. As they worked, however, in institutions centrally focused on raising pupils' academic performance, this created a tension: the majority believed that the assessment system hindered the development of the whole child. Some teachers believed that they could still make a difference in children's lives by investing in their pedagogical relationship with children. The discussion focuses on how raising students' performances and cultivating their characters may be combined.

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Baroness Estelle Morris and Sir Anthony Seldon Launch New Centre Reports

27/02/15

On Friday 27th February 2015, the Centre launched two major research reports: Character Education in UK Schools and The Good Teacher: Understanding Virtues in Practice, at the City of Birmingham Council House.

Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley introduced The Good Teacher report.  During her speech, Baroness Morris spoke about the importance of making room for the development of character in schools and recognised that the priority placed on exams has led to values such as honesty, kindness and gratitude being lost in teaching. She emphasised that The Good Teacher report provides the stepping stones needed to begin to recover the language of values in education.

Sir Anthony Seldon introduced the Character Education in UK Schools report.  Beginning by highlighting that character development is fundamental to education, he went on to emphasise the importance of good leadership in implementing character education and particularly spoke about the recommendation the report makes regarding the need for each school to have a member of teaching staff expert in character education.  

The two reports are available to read online:

The reports have been covered widely by various media including articles in The Guardian and The TES.

A full list of coverage can be found below:

 

 

Photos from the launch event are available to view in our Media Centre

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in the British Journal of Educational Studies

27/02/15
Professor David Carr has published ‘The Paradox of Gratitude’ in the British Journal of Educational Studies. The article can be viewed here with the abstract provided below:

Since gratitude is a significant pro-social quality or virtue, it might be (and has been) considered of some educational concern. However, while it clearly needs to be understood as a response that is in some sense required or owed towards benefactors, gratitude would hardly seem genuine unless it is freely and perhaps joyfully given – perhaps on the basis of some specific grateful emotion. Despite some academic appreciation of tension between these aspects of gratitude, the psychological and normative implications of what we shall call here the ‘paradox of gratitude’ for its learning or acquisition have been less thoroughly explored. Following some consideration of rival educational perspectives on this tension, this article argues that the best route to its resolution may be to surrender the idea of a distinct pro-social emotion or sentiment of gratitude.
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Professor James Arthur and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Write for Big Questions Online

18/02/15

Professor James Arthur and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson have published an article titled 'Is Good Character Caught or Taught?' as part of the Big Questions Online, which explores the 'big questions' of human purpose.  Big Questions Online, a publication of the John Templeton Foundation, publishes essays from leading thinkers to foster thoughtful discussion of such topics and provides the opportunity, through comment boards, for an author-led discussion. 

The article discusses to the extent to which children learn virtues through instruction and the extent to which children learn virtues through the modeled behaviour of others, and is available to view here.

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Centre Director Judges the Department for Education's Character Awards

17/02/15

On Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February 2015, Centre Director Professor James Arthur, formed part of the judging panel for the Department for Education's Character Awards, which were announced in December 2014 under the Department's £5 million Character Innovation Fund to support the development of character in schools.  The 2015 Awards recognise 27 schools and organisations across the country for their efforts in promoting character traits, attitudes and behaviours, such as resilience and grit, among young people.  The winning schools will be announced on the Department for Education's website shortly, and the overall winner will be announced at the Character Awards Ceremony on 16th March in London.  

Professor Arthur was joined on the judging panel by the Chair, Victoria Beer CBE (Chair of the Teaching Schools Council and Executive Principal for the West Trafford Learning Partnership); Maggie Alphonsi MBE (England Rugby player, Athlete Mentor Manager and Rugby World Cup 2015 Ambassador); Rob Wall (Head of Education and Employment Policy, CBI); Dr Kevan Collins (CEO of The Education Endowment Foundation); Charlotte Hill (CEO of Step up to Serve); Jill Litchfield (Headteacher at Bournehall Primary School, Bushey, Hertfordshire and part of the national teaching schools network); and Diane Reynard (Principal of the East Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre in Leeds and a member of the Teaching Schools Council).

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