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How one community beat the system, and rebuilt their shattered streets - https://t.co/fTXTWYMvLd Eleanor Lee and her neighbours display #grit and #compassion as well as #communityspirit , essential for a flourishing society. Read our blog https://t.co/OtSaJ7Wvge to find out more.

Quote of the week

If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.Meister Eckhart

Director and Research Fellow meet with Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dubai

22/02/18

Professor James Arthur and Paul Watts met with Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Director of Education and Social Affairs Department in the Prime Minister’s Office of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, on Wednesday 21st February 2018. At the meeting, Prof. Arthur and Mr. Watts discussed strategy and policy in regard to character and happiness initiatives in UAE. They also met with a number of research analysts and officials from the Ministry of State for Happiness team and had detailed discussions about how the Jubilee Centre could assist the government in the UAE further develop the character strengths it seeks to promote in schools and wider society.

Professor Arthur and Mr Watts gave the first public lecture at the new University of Birmingham Dubai campus on character education, to an audience of school leaders. This was followed the next morning by a visit to the prestigious Sunmarke School, which uses the Jubilee Centre's curriculum in its teaching. Professor Arthur gave a talk on character building to the senior students in the school. James and Paul met with officials from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority to discuss how the Jubilee Centre might assist the Authority in utilising research tools to measure and evaluate character and happiness initiatives in Dubai. There is a desire in Dubai to establish a research centre dedicated to the study of character and virtue. James and Paul finally met with the International Positive Education Network team in Dubai, where Professor Arthur is a board member.

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Two New Edited Volumes Published

13/02/18

The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education, which was co-edited by Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, was published on 19th January 2018. This comprehensive and authoritative account of both the theoretical and practical complexities of cultivating virtue in education is compiled from the papers submitted to the Jubilee Centre’s 2017 annual conference. Cultivating Moral Character and Virtue in Professional Practice, which was edited by former Professor at the Jubilee Centre, David Carr, was published on 12th January 2018. This pioneering collection of essays by distinguished leaders in the application of virtue ethics focuses on the place of character and virtue in professional practice. The volume includes two chapters co-authored by Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and is compiled from the papers submitted to the Jubilee Centre’s 2016 annual conference.  

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Jubilee Centre Appoints Professor Candace Vogler

15/01/18

The Jubilee Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Candace Vogler as Chair in Virtue Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Vogler is the Principal Investigator on ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’, a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

She has authored two books, John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An essay in moral psychology (Routledge, 2001) and Reasonably Vicious (Harvard University Press, 2002), and essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas. Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant's ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism. Staff at the Jubilee Centre look forward to working with Candace in the near future.

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Deputy Director, Kristján Kristjánsson's Book Translated into Japanese

09/01/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book, Aristotelian Character Education (Routledge, 2015), which won a prize as the best Education Book of that year, has just come out in a Japanese translation, published by Reitaku University Press and translated by a team of scholars from that university.

The photograph to the left shows Professor Kristján Kristjánsson receiving the first copy of the Japanese translation from Professor Kazunobu Horiuchi at Oriel College during the Jubilee Centre’s 6th annual conference. The photograph to the right shows the new book cover. 

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Centre Hosts 6th Annual Conference 'Virtues in the Public Sphere'

09/01/18

The Jubilee Centre held its 6th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, January 4th -6th 2018, under the title Virtues in the Public Sphere. With four key note speeches, 48 seminar presentations and 102 delegates, the conference was highly successful and widely praised by the attendees for its content and organisation. The key note speeches by Professor John Milbank, Professor John Haldane, Professor Talbot Brewer, Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Professor Marvin Berkowitz were particularly well received. This year’s conference also saw the launch of the Centre’s Shaping the Future publication which documents the achievements of the Centre in terms of engagement, impact and influence. The conference delegates also had the pleasure of attending an outstanding performance of Schola Cantorum by The London Oratory School at Oriel College chapel. More information about the conference, including seminar papers, is available here.

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Professor James Arthur OBE

29/12/17
The Queen has, in the 2018 New Year Honours List (page N10),  bestowed upon Professor James Arthur the title of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to education.
 
In accepting the honour, James acknowledged the contribution of the Jubilee Centre team:
 
‘I am very honoured to be recognised in this New Year’s Honours List. To be awarded an OBE for my work in character education is also an acknowledgement of the incredible team in the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham.’
 
James will attend a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2018 to receive the award from the Queen.
 
 
 
 
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Contributing Towards the Common Good - Poll Findings

19/12/17

A new poll conducted by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and Populus has revealed that most Britons report a decline in displays of ‘public virtue’ in society. The Executive Summary of the poll is available here

Out of a nationwide sample of over 2,000 participants, 63% reported seeing a decline in ‘public virtue’, defined as a ‘willingness to set aside private interests for the good of society’.

50% of responses also reported ‘rarely’ seeing examples of public virtue within their local community.

The poll, which sought to understand perceptions of ‘public virtue’ and ‘the common good’ amongst the British public, also revealed that almost 1 in 3 respondents – 30% – said most people in Britain do not contribute either ‘greatly’ or ‘at all’ towards the common good.

On a more positive note, values with a strong moral component, like honesty and compassion, were identified as more important than those which are performance-focused, such as confidence and resilience.

86% of those asked saw honesty as an important value to have, with compassion following behind at 76%. There was a significant drop between these two and the third most popular option, which was civility at 41%.

Within this question there were some clear demographic differences, with women more likely to select honesty and compassion than men. There were also differences in age, with older participants seeing honesty and civility as more important and younger participants emphasising confidence and curiosity.

Differences in social grade were surprising, if only slight. More participants from lower social grades (D and E) selected honesty (88%) than those from the more professional middle classes (85%), suggesting the role of ethical codes and training in professional occupations has limited effect.

This runs counter to previous Jubilee Centre research which has highlighted the importance of virtues such as honesty to professional education and practice.

These differences were more significant with regard to household income bracket , with those in the high income group (£55-76,000) reporting honesty as less important than those in low-middle.

This difference was statistically significant, with around 87% consistently reporting honesty as important across the low, low-average, and average-high income groups, then dropping down to 73% in the high income group.

There was also a significant gap between the ideal values participants saw as important, and those they felt were ‘most prized’ in British society.

Whilst 86% identified honesty as important, only 45% said it was actually ‘prized’ or rewarded in Britain, revealing a gap between the ideal and reality of 41%.

This finding was mirrored with compassion, with 76% identifying it as important and only 35% saying they felt it was valued.

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Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education published

13/12/17

Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education considers the role an intervention on character might play in pre- and in-service professional education. The study reports on an intervention that was piloted with 1,456 students from 10 higher education institutions across Great Britain. Participants were either pre- or in-service students in the medical, teaching, or legal professions. The report seeks to extend the Centre’s work in professional ethics and is available to view here.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Participation in the interventions resulted in students developing their Virtue Knowledge and Understanding and became more familiar with the theory of virtue ethics;
  • Medical students developed their Virtue Reasoning during the intervention and were more likely to give character-based, as opposed to rules- and/or consequence based, reasons for responding in a certain way to an ethical dilemma;
  • Participating students and tutors found the intervention to be of high quality and of relevant content that complemented existing programmes of study.

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Research Papers Published on Parents and Social Media

13/12/17

Parents and Social Media and Empathy and Authenticity Online are two new research papers published by the Jubilee Centre. The papers comprise the outputs from a 3-year study that examined how social media use relates to young people’s experience and enactment of empathy and honesty, and their identification with moral virtues. The two papers are available to view here.

Parents and Social Media

In response to parental concerns about the impact of social media on young people’s character and moral development, the Parents and Social Media research paper focuses on parental regulation of adolescents’ social media use, with a particular emphasis on morally salient scenarios involving the virtues of empathy and honesty. The research provides practical advice and reassurance on strategies to regulate social media use in young people, especially in situations where moral values are implicated.
 

Empathy and Authenticity Online

The Empathy and Authenticity Online research paper explored the psychological constructs that encourage and discourage empathy and authenticity in the online environment. The findings indicate that moral identity is more strongly related to moral traits online and that by encouraging the development and accessibility of moral identity (through parental strategies, educational programmes, and priming accessibility, for instance) it may be possible to promote moral thoughts, feelings and behaviours when interacting in the online environment.

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Introducing Character Education to Macedonia

05/12/17

UNICEF and the government of Macedonia invited members of the Jubilee Centre to share Centre work on character education with over 400 invited guests at the Quality Education conference on Monday 4th December in Skopje. Professor James Arthur gave a key note address on the importance of character education in schooling. The conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev. Prof. Arthur had also given a presentation on Virtuous Medical Practice to a group of 50 delegates from the healthcare sector on Sunday 3rd December. Dr. Tom Harrison and Aidan Thompson taught a session on character dilemmas to a group of 70 students in a local school. Meetings were also held with the Minister of Education and her advisors on how to implement character education in schools.  Further meetings were held with representatives of the World Bank and UNICEF to discuss the growing significance of character education, globally.  On the evening of 4th December, the British Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr. Charles Garrett, held a reception for Jubilee Centre visitors. 

Captions:

(above) L to R: Ben Perks (UNICEF Reperesentative), Dr. Tom Harrison (Director of Education), Professor James Arthur (Jubilee Centre Director), Mr. Zoran Zaev (Prime Minister of Macedonia), Dr. Fiona Gatty (Templeton World Charity Foundation) and Aidan Thompson (Director of Strategy and Integration)

(below) L to R: Aidan Thompson, James Arthur, Mr. Charles Garrett (British Ambassador to Macedonia), Fiona Gatty and Tom Harrison.

  

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Dame Julia Cleverdon and Michael Lynas Launch A Habit of Service Report

22/11/17

Dame Julia Cleverdon, Co-founder of Step up to Serve and Michael Lynas, CEO of National Citizen Service launched the Jubilee Centre’s new research report A Habit of Service to 170 delegates at the Tower of London on 22nd of November. The delegates included policy makers and representatives from education and charities.

The report, which was conducted in partnership with the #iwill campaign, is the largest known study of its kind on youth social action and reports on evidence gathered from over 4,500 16-20 year olds about the factors that are associated with young people that have made a habit of service.

The event also celebrated the 50 new #iwill ambassadors and the publication of the new #iwill brochure and included a presentation from 2016 ambassador Naomi Lea, who spoke about her journey in social action.  

You can download the full report here.

The press release accompanying the report can be found here.

An article by Dr. Tom Harrison which discusses findings from the report was published in The Conversation. Read the article here.

      

[image] Professor James Arthur    [image] Naomi Lea #iwill ambassador

 

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Jubilee Centre Staff Present at AME Annual Conference

14/11/17

Staff from the Jubilee Centre recently presented papers at the 43rd Association for Moral Education’s Annual Conference in St Louis, Missouri. On the 2nd November, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson gave two presentations; the first was titled ‘The Relevance of Aristotle’s Megalopsychia for Contemporary Debates in Moral Education’. The other presentation was as part of a symposium discussing Professor Marvin Berkowitz’s contribution to character development and education and was titled ‘The Closet Philosopher’. On 3rd November, Dr. David Walker and Professor Stephen Thoma presented a paper titled, ‘Assessing Ethical Reasoning Among Junior British Army Officers’ and Research Fellow Dr. Daniel Moulin-Stozek presented a paper on virtue, titled, ‘A Social Theory of Virtue and its Implications for Character Education’

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Character Education in Mexico

14/11/17

Professor James Arthur and Dr. Tom Harrison presented to over a thousand parents, teachers and policy makers from Central and South America at two conferences in Guadalajara in Mexico.  On 9th November, Professor Arthur gave the key note address at the Interaxion National Congress at Universidad Panamericana. His presentation was titled ‘Character Education: The Virtue at the Centre of Adolescent's Life’.  At the same event Dr. Harrison gave a presentation about educational approaches to cultivating cyber-phronesis in children and young people, titled ‘Flourishing Online: Character, Virtue and the Digital Lives of Young People’. In addition Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison also gave a joint presentation titled 'Character Matters' at the FAPACE 4th National Congress. FAPACE is a national organisation for parents in Mexico and the conference was called Education in the Digital Era.

During the trip Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison also visited a school that has recently revised its curriculum to place character education at its heart.  The school are using the Jubilee Centre Framework and resources to develop their strategy.  The visit to Mexico demonstrated the strong interest in character education in Central and South America.

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Flourishing From the Margins launched by MD of Rathbone Training UK

26/10/17

On 26th October 2017, Ian Webber, Managing Director of Rathbone Training UK, launched the Jubilee Centre’s new research report Flourishing From the Margins in the Senate Chamber of the University of Birmingham. The report draws on insights from nearly 3,250 young people from mainstream and non-mainstream, marginalised and non-marginalised educational backgrounds; including state secondary schools, academies, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), Youth Offender Institutions, youth training organisations, and football academies. The study provides large-scale empirical data and in-depth qualitative data on young people’s perspectives of their own sense of purpose, factors influencing their impressions of living a ‘good life’, and their sense of character development. This report aims to give a ‘voice’ to young people on the margins of education.

    

The press release accompanying the report can be found here.

The research report was featured in the Times Educational Supplement and Aidan Thompson, report author, wrote the Birmingham Brief on 26th October.

In addition to the research report, a film was produced to capture the 'voices' of some project participants, both young learners and tutors, and a suite of teaching resources for use in alternative and non-mainstream education provision.

    

 [photos] Aidan Thompson (left) and Ian Webber (right), Managing Director of Rathbone Training UK, launching the report

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'Gratitude and Related Character Virtues' Report Published

20/10/17

On Friday 20th October, the Jubilee Centre published a new research report titled, Gratitude and Related Character Virtues. The project examined both theoretically and empirically, how gratitude relates to other virtues.

The research took the form of a school-based intervention study focussed on promoting either gratitude or compassion over a five-week period which was aimed at 11-13 year olds. Two teacher handbooks were created with the aim of promoting the virtues of gratitude and compassion.

The research project broke new ground in its ambitions and scope. The theoretical significance of the project lies in the valuable work carried out in thinking through the design and form of an intervention study to examine the mutual interrelationship of virtues. This model could be adapted for studying other potentially reinforcing strengths of character.

You can download the full report here.

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'Schools of Virtue' Research Report Launched

19/10/17

On Thursday 19th October, the Jubilee Centre launched a new research report, titled Schools of Virtue. The report was launched at the University of Birmingham School by Gary Lewis, Chair of the Association for Character Education and Executive Head of Kings Langley School. The project focussed on three schools in Birmingham that place the development of their pupils’ character at the heart of their educational vision. The Schools involved in the study were the University of Birmingham School, Nishkam High School, and St Brigid's Roman Catholic Primary School. This report demonstrates how a neo-Aristotelian conception of character education can be brought to life in any type of school, and where teachers see themselves as character educators, they can act as 'role models' in the development of shared 'virtue literacy' among students. The Press Release published for the report is available to view here

The study also found that pupils at the two secondary schools displayed higher levels of moral reasoning, when compared with a national survey of more than 10,000 pupils in the Centre's 2015 Character Education in Uk Schools study. Pupils reported moral virtues such as honesty and gratitude as being more important to them than performance virtues such as self-discipline and resilience.

You can download the full report here.

 

 

 

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Jubilee Centre Presence at Capstone Conference in Chicago

18/10/17

Four members of the Jubilee Centre, Professors James Arthur, Kristján Kristjánsson and Robert C. Roberts, and Research Fellow Dr. Panos Paris, participated in a capstone conference on 13th and 14th October, marking the final stage of the John Templeton Foundation funded project Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life at the University of Chicago. At the conference, Professor Kristjánsson presented a paper on 'Epiphanic Moral Conversations' and Professor Roberts talked about his work in the Jubilee Centre in a panel discussion. Former Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Centre, Candace Vogler, also presented a paper on 'The Place of Virtue in a Meaningful Life'. On the final night of the conference, the Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago gave a keynote presentation on solidarity and virtue.

 (Photo: from left to right) Dr. Panos Paris, Professor James Arthur, Cardinal Cupich, Professor Candace Vogler and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson

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Jubilee Centre Discusses Transforming US Medical Education with Medical College Wisconsin

05/10/17

From 25-27th September 2017, Prof. James Arthur and Aidan Thompson spent time visiting Medical College Wisconsin (MCW), and the newly formed Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education, discussing the Jubilee Centre theories and methodologies underpinning the Centre’s research into professional ethics and medical education, which is becoming the basis of the Kern Institute’s approach.

During the visit, Prof. Arthur gave the inaugural Grand Rounds keynote lecture to faculty, staff and students, speaking on 'The Role of Character in Medical Education', and referencing the Jubilee Centre's work in medical education and the Virtuous Medical Practice research project.

MCW is developing a '3 C's' approach to medical education; character, caring, competence. MCW is working in partnership with other US Medical Schools as part of the National Transformation Network, and the development of a character-led approach to medical education could br rolled out across the Network in due course.

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Demos Publishes 4th Report on Character

02/10/17

The Moral Web: Youth Character, Ethics and Behaviour is the 4th report by think-tank Demos on character published since 2015. The report was launched at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 2nd October. Jubilee Centre Director Professor James Arthur joined speakers Vicky Ford MP, Jamie Bartlett (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media), Jonathan Baggaley (PSHE Association), Alex Holmes (Diana Award) to speak in a panel debate chaired by Nicholas Hellen (The Sunday Times). The Moral Web examines the behaviour and decision-making of young people online. The research involved 668 16-to-18 year olds, recruited via Facebook, and explored their online behaviour and responses to different social media scenarios. The research found that 26 per cent of participants admitted to bullying or insulting someone online, while 15 per cent of participants admitted to ‘trolling’ a public figure. The research also found that 88 per cent of participants reported that they have given emotional support to someone via social media.

The report is the fourth report on character published by Demos since 2015, and follows the Demos Character Inquiry in 2011. Previous reports include Learning by Doing, Character Nation and Mind Over Matter, and The Moral Web extends the focus of character development into the online world. Demos suggests that a young person’s character may be significant in determining the extent to which they engage in positive or negative online behaviours. Young people who admitted to engaging in risky or unethical behaviour online demonstrated lower levels of moral sensitivity, and had lower self-reported character strengths. The research also found that young people with higher levels of empathy and self-control were less likely to engage in bullying via social media.

Report author Peter Harrison-Evans has written a blog piece for HuffPost UK. The report was also covered in the Daily Telegraph.

You can read the full report here.

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'Virtuous Practice in Nursing' Research Report Published

28/09/17

The Jubilee Centre has today published a new research report titled Virtuous Practice in Nursing. The report draws on insights from nursing departments, students, and practitioners, and is designed to deepen understanding of the place of virtues and values in the initial education, training and subsequent professional practice in nursing. 

The key findings of the report reveal that NHS pressures are hindering ethical practice and caring among nurses, with 8 out of 10 nurses reporting that they face barriers to working in a caring and compassionate manner.  In his foreword to the report, Sir Robert Francis QC, who chaired the Mid Staffordshire NHS inquiry, calls for nurses to be supported without having 'values and compassion crushed out of them'.

The report offers some key recommendations for enhancing the ethical dimensions of nursing education and nursing practice.

The full report can be downloaded here.

A press release accompanying the report can be found here. The report was also featured in a number of media outlets including:

The Times

The Telegraph

The Nursing Times

The Nursing Standard

Politics Home

 

 

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CIPD's Head of Strategy Development Launches Centre Report

27/09/17

On Wednesday 27th September, Ruth Stuart, Head of Strategy Development at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) launched the Jubilee Centre's new research report Character Virtues in Business and Finance at the CIPD headquarters in Wimbledon, London. The report presents findings from research which draws on insights from business schools, students, and practitioners to examine character and virtues in the business and finance professions, exploring in particular the extent to which such students and alumni draw on virtue-based reasoning when confronted with ethical dilemmas.

The launch event also included a presentation by lead author of the report Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Centre, and an address by Peter Cheese, the CEO of the CIPD. Martin Martinoff, Programme Manager at the The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, also spoke about the report.

A summary of the key findings and recommendations can be found at the report page. Read the full report here.

 

 

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Jubilee Centre Contributes to New CofE Report on Leadership

20/09/17

The Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership has today released a new report, Leadership of  Character Education: Developing Virtues and Celebrating Human Flourishing in Schools. The report, which has been produced in partnership with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and is underpinned by the Centre’s research, examines the importance of character education and the leadership required to develop it effectively.

Through its collaboration with the Jubilee Centre, the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership recognises the importance of leadership as the central driver of any school’s approach to character education, and the report explores the practical steps that school leaders can take to create, sustain and embed approaches to character education, through consideration of leadership virtues.

Focusing on the development and celebration of human flourishing in schools, the report outlines the Christian inspiration for the leadership of character education, examines the importance of developing leadership virtues in school teams and provides some practical tools for leaders to use in unpacking the Church of England’s values in their own leadership contexts.

The report was launched at the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership national conference in Birmingham, where the Jubilee Centre’s Professor James Arthur gave a keynote address.

 

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Jubilee Centre App Now Available for Android Devices

14/09/17

The new Jubilee Centre app is now available for Android devices. The mobile app allows users to download teaching resources produced by the Centre, directly onto their mobile or tablet devices. Aimed primarily at teachers, the Jubilee Centre App has been designed to make accessing and viewing key character resources from our online library much easier. Users can ‘favourite’ the resources they use most and download content to access offline.  The app is now available to download from the Google Play store and the Apple Store.

 

     

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Director and Research Fellow meet with Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, Dubai

22/02/18

Professor James Arthur and Paul Watts met with Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Director of Education and Social Affairs Department in the Prime Minister’s Office of the United Arab Emirates in Dubai, on Wednesday 21st February 2018. At the meeting, Prof. Arthur and Mr. Watts discussed strategy and policy in regard to character and happiness initiatives in UAE. They also met with a number of research analysts and officials from the Ministry of State for Happiness team and had detailed discussions about how the Jubilee Centre could assist the government in the UAE further develop the character strengths it seeks to promote in schools and wider society.

Professor Arthur and Mr Watts gave the first public lecture at the new University of Birmingham Dubai campus on character education, to an audience of school leaders. This was followed the next morning by a visit to the prestigious Sunmarke School, which uses the Jubilee Centre's curriculum in its teaching. Professor Arthur gave a talk on character building to the senior students in the school. James and Paul met with officials from the Knowledge and Human Development Authority to discuss how the Jubilee Centre might assist the Authority in utilising research tools to measure and evaluate character and happiness initiatives in Dubai. There is a desire in Dubai to establish a research centre dedicated to the study of character and virtue. James and Paul finally met with the International Positive Education Network team in Dubai, where Professor Arthur is a board member.

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Two New Edited Volumes Published

13/02/18

The Theory and Practice of Virtue Education, which was co-edited by Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, was published on 19th January 2018. This comprehensive and authoritative account of both the theoretical and practical complexities of cultivating virtue in education is compiled from the papers submitted to the Jubilee Centre’s 2017 annual conference. Cultivating Moral Character and Virtue in Professional Practice, which was edited by former Professor at the Jubilee Centre, David Carr, was published on 12th January 2018. This pioneering collection of essays by distinguished leaders in the application of virtue ethics focuses on the place of character and virtue in professional practice. The volume includes two chapters co-authored by Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and is compiled from the papers submitted to the Jubilee Centre’s 2016 annual conference.  

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Jubilee Centre Appoints Professor Candace Vogler

15/01/18

The Jubilee Centre is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Candace Vogler as Chair in Virtue Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Vogler is the Principal Investigator on ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’, a project funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

She has authored two books, John Stuart Mill's Deliberative Landscape: An essay in moral psychology (Routledge, 2001) and Reasonably Vicious (Harvard University Press, 2002), and essays in ethics, social and political philosophy, philosophy and literature, cinema, psychoanalysis, gender studies, sexuality studies, and other areas. Her research interests are in practical philosophy (particularly the strand of work in moral philosophy indebted to Elizabeth Anscombe), practical reason, Kant's ethics, Marx, and neo-Aristotelian naturalism. Staff at the Jubilee Centre look forward to working with Candace in the near future.

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Deputy Director, Kristján Kristjánsson's Book Translated into Japanese

09/01/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book, Aristotelian Character Education (Routledge, 2015), which won a prize as the best Education Book of that year, has just come out in a Japanese translation, published by Reitaku University Press and translated by a team of scholars from that university.

The photograph to the left shows Professor Kristján Kristjánsson receiving the first copy of the Japanese translation from Professor Kazunobu Horiuchi at Oriel College during the Jubilee Centre’s 6th annual conference. The photograph to the right shows the new book cover. 

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Centre Hosts 6th Annual Conference 'Virtues in the Public Sphere'

09/01/18

The Jubilee Centre held its 6th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, January 4th -6th 2018, under the title Virtues in the Public Sphere. With four key note speeches, 48 seminar presentations and 102 delegates, the conference was highly successful and widely praised by the attendees for its content and organisation. The key note speeches by Professor John Milbank, Professor John Haldane, Professor Talbot Brewer, Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Professor Marvin Berkowitz were particularly well received. This year’s conference also saw the launch of the Centre’s Shaping the Future publication which documents the achievements of the Centre in terms of engagement, impact and influence. The conference delegates also had the pleasure of attending an outstanding performance of Schola Cantorum by The London Oratory School at Oriel College chapel. More information about the conference, including seminar papers, is available here.

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Professor James Arthur OBE

29/12/17
The Queen has, in the 2018 New Year Honours List (page N10),  bestowed upon Professor James Arthur the title of Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire for services to education.
 
In accepting the honour, James acknowledged the contribution of the Jubilee Centre team:
 
‘I am very honoured to be recognised in this New Year’s Honours List. To be awarded an OBE for my work in character education is also an acknowledgement of the incredible team in the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham.’
 
James will attend a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in 2018 to receive the award from the Queen.
 
 
 
 
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Contributing Towards the Common Good - Poll Findings

19/12/17

A new poll conducted by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and Populus has revealed that most Britons report a decline in displays of ‘public virtue’ in society. The Executive Summary of the poll is available here

Out of a nationwide sample of over 2,000 participants, 63% reported seeing a decline in ‘public virtue’, defined as a ‘willingness to set aside private interests for the good of society’.

50% of responses also reported ‘rarely’ seeing examples of public virtue within their local community.

The poll, which sought to understand perceptions of ‘public virtue’ and ‘the common good’ amongst the British public, also revealed that almost 1 in 3 respondents – 30% – said most people in Britain do not contribute either ‘greatly’ or ‘at all’ towards the common good.

On a more positive note, values with a strong moral component, like honesty and compassion, were identified as more important than those which are performance-focused, such as confidence and resilience.

86% of those asked saw honesty as an important value to have, with compassion following behind at 76%. There was a significant drop between these two and the third most popular option, which was civility at 41%.

Within this question there were some clear demographic differences, with women more likely to select honesty and compassion than men. There were also differences in age, with older participants seeing honesty and civility as more important and younger participants emphasising confidence and curiosity.

Differences in social grade were surprising, if only slight. More participants from lower social grades (D and E) selected honesty (88%) than those from the more professional middle classes (85%), suggesting the role of ethical codes and training in professional occupations has limited effect.

This runs counter to previous Jubilee Centre research which has highlighted the importance of virtues such as honesty to professional education and practice.

These differences were more significant with regard to household income bracket , with those in the high income group (£55-76,000) reporting honesty as less important than those in low-middle.

This difference was statistically significant, with around 87% consistently reporting honesty as important across the low, low-average, and average-high income groups, then dropping down to 73% in the high income group.

There was also a significant gap between the ideal values participants saw as important, and those they felt were ‘most prized’ in British society.

Whilst 86% identified honesty as important, only 45% said it was actually ‘prized’ or rewarded in Britain, revealing a gap between the ideal and reality of 41%.

This finding was mirrored with compassion, with 76% identifying it as important and only 35% saying they felt it was valued.

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Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education published

13/12/17

Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education considers the role an intervention on character might play in pre- and in-service professional education. The study reports on an intervention that was piloted with 1,456 students from 10 higher education institutions across Great Britain. Participants were either pre- or in-service students in the medical, teaching, or legal professions. The report seeks to extend the Centre’s work in professional ethics and is available to view here.

Summary of Key Findings

  • Participation in the interventions resulted in students developing their Virtue Knowledge and Understanding and became more familiar with the theory of virtue ethics;
  • Medical students developed their Virtue Reasoning during the intervention and were more likely to give character-based, as opposed to rules- and/or consequence based, reasons for responding in a certain way to an ethical dilemma;
  • Participating students and tutors found the intervention to be of high quality and of relevant content that complemented existing programmes of study.

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Research Papers Published on Parents and Social Media

13/12/17

Parents and Social Media and Empathy and Authenticity Online are two new research papers published by the Jubilee Centre. The papers comprise the outputs from a 3-year study that examined how social media use relates to young people’s experience and enactment of empathy and honesty, and their identification with moral virtues. The two papers are available to view here.

Parents and Social Media

In response to parental concerns about the impact of social media on young people’s character and moral development, the Parents and Social Media research paper focuses on parental regulation of adolescents’ social media use, with a particular emphasis on morally salient scenarios involving the virtues of empathy and honesty. The research provides practical advice and reassurance on strategies to regulate social media use in young people, especially in situations where moral values are implicated.
 

Empathy and Authenticity Online

The Empathy and Authenticity Online research paper explored the psychological constructs that encourage and discourage empathy and authenticity in the online environment. The findings indicate that moral identity is more strongly related to moral traits online and that by encouraging the development and accessibility of moral identity (through parental strategies, educational programmes, and priming accessibility, for instance) it may be possible to promote moral thoughts, feelings and behaviours when interacting in the online environment.

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Introducing Character Education to Macedonia

05/12/17

UNICEF and the government of Macedonia invited members of the Jubilee Centre to share Centre work on character education with over 400 invited guests at the Quality Education conference on Monday 4th December in Skopje. Professor James Arthur gave a key note address on the importance of character education in schooling. The conference was opened by the Prime Minister of Macedonia, Mr. Zoran Zaev. Prof. Arthur had also given a presentation on Virtuous Medical Practice to a group of 50 delegates from the healthcare sector on Sunday 3rd December. Dr. Tom Harrison and Aidan Thompson taught a session on character dilemmas to a group of 70 students in a local school. Meetings were also held with the Minister of Education and her advisors on how to implement character education in schools.  Further meetings were held with representatives of the World Bank and UNICEF to discuss the growing significance of character education, globally.  On the evening of 4th December, the British Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr. Charles Garrett, held a reception for Jubilee Centre visitors. 

Captions:

(above) L to R: Ben Perks (UNICEF Reperesentative), Dr. Tom Harrison (Director of Education), Professor James Arthur (Jubilee Centre Director), Mr. Zoran Zaev (Prime Minister of Macedonia), Dr. Fiona Gatty (Templeton World Charity Foundation) and Aidan Thompson (Director of Strategy and Integration)

(below) L to R: Aidan Thompson, James Arthur, Mr. Charles Garrett (British Ambassador to Macedonia), Fiona Gatty and Tom Harrison.

  

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Dame Julia Cleverdon and Michael Lynas Launch A Habit of Service Report

22/11/17

Dame Julia Cleverdon, Co-founder of Step up to Serve and Michael Lynas, CEO of National Citizen Service launched the Jubilee Centre’s new research report A Habit of Service to 170 delegates at the Tower of London on 22nd of November. The delegates included policy makers and representatives from education and charities.

The report, which was conducted in partnership with the #iwill campaign, is the largest known study of its kind on youth social action and reports on evidence gathered from over 4,500 16-20 year olds about the factors that are associated with young people that have made a habit of service.

The event also celebrated the 50 new #iwill ambassadors and the publication of the new #iwill brochure and included a presentation from 2016 ambassador Naomi Lea, who spoke about her journey in social action.  

You can download the full report here.

The press release accompanying the report can be found here.

An article by Dr. Tom Harrison which discusses findings from the report was published in The Conversation. Read the article here.

      

[image] Professor James Arthur    [image] Naomi Lea #iwill ambassador

 

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Jubilee Centre Staff Present at AME Annual Conference

14/11/17

Staff from the Jubilee Centre recently presented papers at the 43rd Association for Moral Education’s Annual Conference in St Louis, Missouri. On the 2nd November, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson gave two presentations; the first was titled ‘The Relevance of Aristotle’s Megalopsychia for Contemporary Debates in Moral Education’. The other presentation was as part of a symposium discussing Professor Marvin Berkowitz’s contribution to character development and education and was titled ‘The Closet Philosopher’. On 3rd November, Dr. David Walker and Professor Stephen Thoma presented a paper titled, ‘Assessing Ethical Reasoning Among Junior British Army Officers’ and Research Fellow Dr. Daniel Moulin-Stozek presented a paper on virtue, titled, ‘A Social Theory of Virtue and its Implications for Character Education’

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Character Education in Mexico

14/11/17

Professor James Arthur and Dr. Tom Harrison presented to over a thousand parents, teachers and policy makers from Central and South America at two conferences in Guadalajara in Mexico.  On 9th November, Professor Arthur gave the key note address at the Interaxion National Congress at Universidad Panamericana. His presentation was titled ‘Character Education: The Virtue at the Centre of Adolescent's Life’.  At the same event Dr. Harrison gave a presentation about educational approaches to cultivating cyber-phronesis in children and young people, titled ‘Flourishing Online: Character, Virtue and the Digital Lives of Young People’. In addition Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison also gave a joint presentation titled 'Character Matters' at the FAPACE 4th National Congress. FAPACE is a national organisation for parents in Mexico and the conference was called Education in the Digital Era.

During the trip Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison also visited a school that has recently revised its curriculum to place character education at its heart.  The school are using the Jubilee Centre Framework and resources to develop their strategy.  The visit to Mexico demonstrated the strong interest in character education in Central and South America.

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Flourishing From the Margins launched by MD of Rathbone Training UK

26/10/17

On 26th October 2017, Ian Webber, Managing Director of Rathbone Training UK, launched the Jubilee Centre’s new research report Flourishing From the Margins in the Senate Chamber of the University of Birmingham. The report draws on insights from nearly 3,250 young people from mainstream and non-mainstream, marginalised and non-marginalised educational backgrounds; including state secondary schools, academies, Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), Youth Offender Institutions, youth training organisations, and football academies. The study provides large-scale empirical data and in-depth qualitative data on young people’s perspectives of their own sense of purpose, factors influencing their impressions of living a ‘good life’, and their sense of character development. This report aims to give a ‘voice’ to young people on the margins of education.

    

The press release accompanying the report can be found here.

The research report was featured in the Times Educational Supplement and Aidan Thompson, report author, wrote the Birmingham Brief on 26th October.

In addition to the research report, a film was produced to capture the 'voices' of some project participants, both young learners and tutors, and a suite of teaching resources for use in alternative and non-mainstream education provision.

    

 [photos] Aidan Thompson (left) and Ian Webber (right), Managing Director of Rathbone Training UK, launching the report

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'Gratitude and Related Character Virtues' Report Published

20/10/17

On Friday 20th October, the Jubilee Centre published a new research report titled, Gratitude and Related Character Virtues. The project examined both theoretically and empirically, how gratitude relates to other virtues.

The research took the form of a school-based intervention study focussed on promoting either gratitude or compassion over a five-week period which was aimed at 11-13 year olds. Two teacher handbooks were created with the aim of promoting the virtues of gratitude and compassion.

The research project broke new ground in its ambitions and scope. The theoretical significance of the project lies in the valuable work carried out in thinking through the design and form of an intervention study to examine the mutual interrelationship of virtues. This model could be adapted for studying other potentially reinforcing strengths of character.

You can download the full report here.

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'Schools of Virtue' Research Report Launched

19/10/17

On Thursday 19th October, the Jubilee Centre launched a new research report, titled Schools of Virtue. The report was launched at the University of Birmingham School by Gary Lewis, Chair of the Association for Character Education and Executive Head of Kings Langley School. The project focussed on three schools in Birmingham that place the development of their pupils’ character at the heart of their educational vision. The Schools involved in the study were the University of Birmingham School, Nishkam High School, and St Brigid's Roman Catholic Primary School. This report demonstrates how a neo-Aristotelian conception of character education can be brought to life in any type of school, and where teachers see themselves as character educators, they can act as 'role models' in the development of shared 'virtue literacy' among students. The Press Release published for the report is available to view here

The study also found that pupils at the two secondary schools displayed higher levels of moral reasoning, when compared with a national survey of more than 10,000 pupils in the Centre's 2015 Character Education in Uk Schools study. Pupils reported moral virtues such as honesty and gratitude as being more important to them than performance virtues such as self-discipline and resilience.

You can download the full report here.

 

 

 

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Jubilee Centre Presence at Capstone Conference in Chicago

18/10/17

Four members of the Jubilee Centre, Professors James Arthur, Kristján Kristjánsson and Robert C. Roberts, and Research Fellow Dr. Panos Paris, participated in a capstone conference on 13th and 14th October, marking the final stage of the John Templeton Foundation funded project Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life at the University of Chicago. At the conference, Professor Kristjánsson presented a paper on 'Epiphanic Moral Conversations' and Professor Roberts talked about his work in the Jubilee Centre in a panel discussion. Former Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Centre, Candace Vogler, also presented a paper on 'The Place of Virtue in a Meaningful Life'. On the final night of the conference, the Cardinal Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago gave a keynote presentation on solidarity and virtue.

 (Photo: from left to right) Dr. Panos Paris, Professor James Arthur, Cardinal Cupich, Professor Candace Vogler and Professor Kristján Kristjánsson

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Jubilee Centre Discusses Transforming US Medical Education with Medical College Wisconsin

05/10/17

From 25-27th September 2017, Prof. James Arthur and Aidan Thompson spent time visiting Medical College Wisconsin (MCW), and the newly formed Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education, discussing the Jubilee Centre theories and methodologies underpinning the Centre’s research into professional ethics and medical education, which is becoming the basis of the Kern Institute’s approach.

During the visit, Prof. Arthur gave the inaugural Grand Rounds keynote lecture to faculty, staff and students, speaking on 'The Role of Character in Medical Education', and referencing the Jubilee Centre's work in medical education and the Virtuous Medical Practice research project.

MCW is developing a '3 C's' approach to medical education; character, caring, competence. MCW is working in partnership with other US Medical Schools as part of the National Transformation Network, and the development of a character-led approach to medical education could br rolled out across the Network in due course.

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Demos Publishes 4th Report on Character

02/10/17

The Moral Web: Youth Character, Ethics and Behaviour is the 4th report by think-tank Demos on character published since 2015. The report was launched at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester on Monday 2nd October. Jubilee Centre Director Professor James Arthur joined speakers Vicky Ford MP, Jamie Bartlett (Centre for the Analysis of Social Media), Jonathan Baggaley (PSHE Association), Alex Holmes (Diana Award) to speak in a panel debate chaired by Nicholas Hellen (The Sunday Times). The Moral Web examines the behaviour and decision-making of young people online. The research involved 668 16-to-18 year olds, recruited via Facebook, and explored their online behaviour and responses to different social media scenarios. The research found that 26 per cent of participants admitted to bullying or insulting someone online, while 15 per cent of participants admitted to ‘trolling’ a public figure. The research also found that 88 per cent of participants reported that they have given emotional support to someone via social media.

The report is the fourth report on character published by Demos since 2015, and follows the Demos Character Inquiry in 2011. Previous reports include Learning by Doing, Character Nation and Mind Over Matter, and The Moral Web extends the focus of character development into the online world. Demos suggests that a young person’s character may be significant in determining the extent to which they engage in positive or negative online behaviours. Young people who admitted to engaging in risky or unethical behaviour online demonstrated lower levels of moral sensitivity, and had lower self-reported character strengths. The research also found that young people with higher levels of empathy and self-control were less likely to engage in bullying via social media.

Report author Peter Harrison-Evans has written a blog piece for HuffPost UK. The report was also covered in the Daily Telegraph.

You can read the full report here.

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'Virtuous Practice in Nursing' Research Report Published

28/09/17

The Jubilee Centre has today published a new research report titled Virtuous Practice in Nursing. The report draws on insights from nursing departments, students, and practitioners, and is designed to deepen understanding of the place of virtues and values in the initial education, training and subsequent professional practice in nursing. 

The key findings of the report reveal that NHS pressures are hindering ethical practice and caring among nurses, with 8 out of 10 nurses reporting that they face barriers to working in a caring and compassionate manner.  In his foreword to the report, Sir Robert Francis QC, who chaired the Mid Staffordshire NHS inquiry, calls for nurses to be supported without having 'values and compassion crushed out of them'.

The report offers some key recommendations for enhancing the ethical dimensions of nursing education and nursing practice.

The full report can be downloaded here.

A press release accompanying the report can be found here. The report was also featured in a number of media outlets including:

The Times

The Telegraph

The Nursing Times

The Nursing Standard

Politics Home

 

 

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CIPD's Head of Strategy Development Launches Centre Report

27/09/17

On Wednesday 27th September, Ruth Stuart, Head of Strategy Development at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) launched the Jubilee Centre's new research report Character Virtues in Business and Finance at the CIPD headquarters in Wimbledon, London. The report presents findings from research which draws on insights from business schools, students, and practitioners to examine character and virtues in the business and finance professions, exploring in particular the extent to which such students and alumni draw on virtue-based reasoning when confronted with ethical dilemmas.

The launch event also included a presentation by lead author of the report Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Centre, and an address by Peter Cheese, the CEO of the CIPD. Martin Martinoff, Programme Manager at the The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, also spoke about the report.

A summary of the key findings and recommendations can be found at the report page. Read the full report here.

 

 

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Jubilee Centre Contributes to New CofE Report on Leadership

20/09/17

The Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership has today released a new report, Leadership of  Character Education: Developing Virtues and Celebrating Human Flourishing in Schools. The report, which has been produced in partnership with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and is underpinned by the Centre’s research, examines the importance of character education and the leadership required to develop it effectively.

Through its collaboration with the Jubilee Centre, the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership recognises the importance of leadership as the central driver of any school’s approach to character education, and the report explores the practical steps that school leaders can take to create, sustain and embed approaches to character education, through consideration of leadership virtues.

Focusing on the development and celebration of human flourishing in schools, the report outlines the Christian inspiration for the leadership of character education, examines the importance of developing leadership virtues in school teams and provides some practical tools for leaders to use in unpacking the Church of England’s values in their own leadership contexts.

The report was launched at the Church of England’s Foundation for Educational Leadership national conference in Birmingham, where the Jubilee Centre’s Professor James Arthur gave a keynote address.

 

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Jubilee Centre App Now Available for Android Devices

14/09/17

The new Jubilee Centre app is now available for Android devices. The mobile app allows users to download teaching resources produced by the Centre, directly onto their mobile or tablet devices. Aimed primarily at teachers, the Jubilee Centre App has been designed to make accessing and viewing key character resources from our online library much easier. Users can ‘favourite’ the resources they use most and download content to access offline.  The app is now available to download from the Google Play store and the Apple Store.

 

     

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