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Quote of the week

The virtue of a man ought to be measured not by his extraordinary exertions, but by his every-day conductBlaise Pascal

Character Education Prioritised by Ofsted

16/01/19

Schools will not be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in Personal Development without evidence of building character

The new Ofsted Framework for Inspection of Schools was published today for consultation and contains what the Jubilee Centre has been advocating since its launch in 2012 – namely that schools have a duty to support the character development of their pupils. The new Framework, underneath the heading of ‘Personal Development’, states that inspectors’ judgements in this area will take into account how schools are ‘developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct, so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others’. This is a major turning point for character education in England; all of England’s 22,000 schools will be asked to explicitly demonstrate how they develop the character of their pupils.

The language of character in the new Framework (see below) echoes the work of the Jubilee Centre more broadly, as well as the Jubilee Centre’s consultations with OFSTED in the development stages of the Framework.

 

The Education Inspection Framework

Personal development

27. Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:

The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy

 

School inspection handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act

Personal development

This judgement focuses on the dimensions of the personal development of pupils that our education system has agreed, either by consensus or statute, are the most significant:

  • developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others. This gives pupils the qualities they need to flourish in our society

Grade descriptors for personal development

Outstanding (1)

  • The way the school goes about developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others.

Good (2)

  • The curriculum and the school’s wider work support pupils to develop character.

 

Early years inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting early years in England

Personal Development criteria –

  • The curriculum promotes and supports children’s emotional security and development of their character. Children are gaining a good understanding of what makes them unique. P37

 

Further education and skills inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting further education and skills providers

Personal Development –

  • Providers can take effective action to extend learners’ experiences, but the impact may not be seen for many years. Inspectors will not make judgements about the impact of the personal development of learners. Their judgements about learners’ personal development are concerned with the opportunities that learners get to help them develop their character, confidence and resilience. These include opportunities and support to keep themselves healthy, Further education and skills inspection handbook January 2019, No. 180042 49 both physically and mentally. Inspectors will consider the support learners get to develop their plans for their next steps, including to employment. P48
  • The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence and, where relevant, help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy. P50

 

Education inspection framework Overview of research

However, intentionally investing in character education using a whole-school approach, modelling desired behaviours at both school and teacher level, integrating character development with a strong curriculum rather than doing this as a standalone separate activity, developing pupils’ intrinsic motivation, shared core values and positive relationships have been posited as key ways in which schools can develop pupils’ character (Lickona et al, 2002; Berkowitz et al, 2016). P30

 

 

 

 

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‘Together We’ll Flourish’: The University of Birmingham School Features in The Guardian

15/01/19

The University of Birmingham School features in a recent article in The Guardian for its approach to promoting equality by accepting students from across four city boroughs. The article, ‘Together, We'll Flourish’ discusses how the school’s catchment system, which is rare in the UK, is a key part of the school’s vision for diversity and inclusion. Another part of this vision is the school’s focus on character education, as founded by Director of the Jubilee Centre Professor James Arthur. Head of School Rebecca Tigue was quoted in the article saying that ‘It’s [/character education is] our way of inspiring and teaching children to lead more flourishing lives by increasing their standards of what virtuous behaviour might look like. We encourage them to show courage, compassion, empathy, justice, honesty, on a day to day basis’. You can read the full report here. There is also a Podcast which can be found here.

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New Briefing Paper on Mental Health and Character

15/01/19

The new Insight Series paper ‘Virtues and Character Traits in Mental Health: A Systematic Review’, which was authored by Michael Wee and Dr Saïk de La Motte de Broöns de Vauvert, was published on 15th January 2019. This paper, which discusses how character education could be a remedy for biomedical reductionism around mental health, precedes a full research paper on the subject which is due to be published later this year. The themes highlighted in this briefing paper carry important practical implications for policy agendas in mental health. You can view the full paper here.

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Jubilee Centre Holds 7th Annual Conference at Oriel College

08/01/19

The Jubilee Centre held its 7th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, from 3rd-5th January 2019, under the title ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’. The conference, which brought together over 100 delegates from across the globe and from a range of disciplines, saw 47 seminar papers presented across parallel sessions. Key note speakers Professor Christian Miller, Professor Doret de Ruyter, Professor Jonathan Webber, Professor Jennifer Wright each offered different perspectives on the locality versus the universality of virtue, as did the after-dinner speaker Professor L. Gregory Jones. More information about the conference, including seminar papers, is available here. You can also read Professor Kristján Kristjánsson’s reflections on the conference here. The theme and dates for the Jubilee Centre’s 8th annual conference will be announced in due course.

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Jubilee Centre Publishes Report on Parent-Teacher Partnerships

17/12/18

Parent-Teacher Partnerships: barriers and enablers to collaborative character education, which was authored by Dr. Tom Harrison, Dr. Katy Dineen and Francisco Moller, was published on 17th December 2018. The report presents the initial findings from the first phase of the Parent-Teacher Partnerships and Character Education project, in which evidence was gathered through a questionnaire with 376 parents and 137 teachers. The questionnaires were designed to measure the extent to which parents and teachers had shared understandings about the importance of character and what they perceived to be the barriers and enablers to them working collaboratively on character education.

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Kern Family Foundation awards $1.6 million for the MA Character Education

10/12/18

The Kern Family Foundation have awarded the Jubilee Centre a grant of $1.6 million to expand the pool of character education experts in the United States who have both a  deep understanding of a virtue ethics approach to character and the ability to practically apply it in various educational and professional settings.  Specifically, the grant is to support the enrolment of 75 U.S. citizens on the M.A. Character Education. As part of the agreement all U.S. students will be invited to attend annual professional development residential in the U.S. For more information about the funding to support U.S. citizens to complete the M.A Character Education contact Dr Tom Harrison.

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Programme for Seventh Annual Conference ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’ Now Available Online

10/12/18

From 3rd – 5th January 2019, the Jubilee Centre will be hosting their seventh annual conference ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’, which will bring together over 100 delegates from around the world to explore questions about the locality versus the universality of virtues from a number of theoretical and practical perspectives. Once again there was an overwhelming response to the open call for papers and all of the available places were soon filled. The conference programme is now available to view online as well as all of the abstracts. The full papers will also be available to download for free from 21st December.  

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Deputy Director Gives Anniversary Lecture and is Made Honorary Professor

26/11/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson gave an anniversary lecture at the University of Akureyri, Iceland, on 26th November 2018, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Dept. of Education there that he was instructive in establishing. The lecture (given in Icelandic), attended by about 100 people, was about the work of the Jubilee Centre and its international relevance. Afterwards, Kristján was made Honorary Professor of the University of Akureyri.

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Jubilee Centre Supports 5th #iwill Character Ambassadors Event

14/11/18

On 13th November 2018, members of the Jubilee Centre team joined the #iwill Campaign at Kew Gardens to induct their latest cohort of 50 Ambassadors. As with previous years, the Jubilee Centre was delighted to sponsor the event. Professor James Arthur, Aidan Thompson, Jason Metcalfe and Charlotte Rennie were in attendance to see the new Ambassadors welcomed by their peers and many of the #iwill campaign partners in an event that was led by the Ambassadors. The new cohort of Ambassadors were recognised for their outstanding youth social action contributions, and celebrated for the positive impact they make in their communities. The attached brochure celebrates each of the 50 Ambassadors and reflects on the virtues and character strengths that each has developed in their social action work. 

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Jubilee Centre Presents Four Papers at AME Conference

13/11/18
At the recent Association for Moral Education’s 44th annual conference, held in Barcelona 8th – 10th November, the Jubilee Centre held a Symposium in which it presented early findings from three of its current research projects. The Symposium, held on Thursday 8th and titled ‘Research and Development in the Field of Character Education: Introducing the Work of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’, included presentations from Dr. Katy Dineen on the partnership between parents and teachers for effective character education, Dr. Stephen Earl on the role of moral purpose in the professions, and Dr. Catherine Darnell on an approach to measuring the development of phronesis. These presentations followed an introduction to the Jubilee Centre by Director Prof. James Arthur and Deputy Director Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson. On Friday 9th, Research Fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts gave a paper titled ‘A Teacher’s Character: Initial Teacher Education and the Perspectives of Student Teachers’ in which they explored the initial findings from a survey conducted with student teachers as part of the first phase of a wider project on teacher education and character. All of the presentations can be viewed below:
 
Symposium:
Paper Session:

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Director of Education Receives National Teaching Fellowship at 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards

09/11/18

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship at the 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh on Wednesday 7th November 2018.  The award recognises the work Dr. Harrison has undertaken to establish the world’s first distance MA in Character Education, as well as his work to promote character education in the UK and internationally. Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor James Arthur, said ‘Dr. Harrison has achieved astonishing success on the MA in Character Education and the award of a National Teaching Fellowship is outstanding recognition of this success. We at the Jubilee Centre congratulate him’. Lord O'Shaughnessy, Junior Minister for Health, said ‘Dr. Harrison has led a number of projects that are rooted in theory but expressed in practical terms and have positively changed the practice of hundreds of teaching professionals’. The former Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan, commented ‘Tom Harrison's clear writing and continued advocacy on the issue of character education is invaluable and very welcome’.​

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Professor Andrew Peterson Joins Jubilee Centre as Chair in Character and Citizenship Education

09/11/18

Professor Andrew Peterson joined the Jubilee Centre on 1st November 2018, as Chair in Character and Citizenship Education. Since joining the Centre, Professor Peterson chaired the Townley Inspire 2018 conference which took place on Friday 9th November. Aimed at bringing the principles of character education, positive psychology and wellbeing to the forefront of education, the conference was attended by over 250 delegates, including school teachers, school senior leaders, and school governors. Professor Peterson is the author of Civic republicanism and civic education and Compassion and education: Cultivating Compassionate children, schools and communities. Centre staff look forward to working with him on the current research projects

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Deputy Director Presents Keynote at NAAPE First Annual Conference

31/10/18

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson delivered a keynote presentation at the first annual conference of the North American Association for Philosophy and Education (NAAPE), at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL, on 27th October 2018. The presentation, available here, was titled ‘Educating Virtuous Emotions: Aristotle and the Alternatives’. 120 delegates attended this inaugural conference which from now on will be an annual event at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. For more information about the upcoming call for presentations for next year's conference please visit the website.

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Professor Kristjánsson and Dr. Harrison Present at Medical College of Wisconsin

24/10/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and Dr. Tom Harrison gave presentations and attended meetings at the Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education at Medical College of Wisconsin. They met with the Director of the Centre, Cheryl Maurana, the Kern Institute Leadership Team and the National Transformation Network. The focus of the presentations and meetings was how character education might be integrated into medical education with a particular focus on phronesis as an ideal in professional medical ethics. Professor Kristjánsson and Dr. Harrison drew on insights from the Virtuous Medical Practice report, the Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education report as well as the current Practical Wisdom and Professional Practice project. The slides are available to view here

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Jubilee Centre Presents at Arizona State University

23/10/18

The Jubilee Centre was well represented at the launch of the character leadership preparation consultation at Arizona State University on Friday 19th October 2018. Prof. James Arthur, Director of Strategy Aidan Thompson, and Research Fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts were introduced to over 300 faculty at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College - the largest provider of teacher training in the USA. Michael and Paul presented the Centre’s recent report on ‘Character Perspectives of Student Teachers’, while James was a member of the main panel which discussed character with the 300 staff. The main focus of the day was a conversation on the character initiative for leaders, for which the ASU has used the Jubilee Centre’s A Framework for Character Education in Schools as the basis. The initiative employs the intellectual, moral, civic and performance virtues of the Jubilee Centre’s approach.

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Jubilee Centre Holds Character Symposium at SRCD Conference in Philadelphia

22/10/18

The Jubilee Centre ran a character symposium at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference held in Philadelphia on the 18th - 20th October 2018. The conference, titled 'Promoting Character Development Among Diverse Children and Adolescents', brought together experts in the field from across the globe for a three day programme of key note lectures, seminars, and symposiums.  The Jubilee Centre's symposium topic was 'Measuring Aristotelian Character Education: Challenges and Opportunities', and three papers were presented: 'A Conceptual Approach to Measuring Virtue' by Prof. Blaine Flowers from the University of Miami; 'Can we Really Know ‘What Works’ in Aristotelian Character Education?' by Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison; and, 'Defining and Measuring Phronesis: Developing Understanding of Moral Decision Making' by Research Fellows Dr. Catherine Darnell and Dr. Stephen Earl.  The symposium, which was chaired by Prof. Steve Thoma, University of Alabama, was well attended and generated interesting discussion among the audience. At the same conference Dr. Tom Harrison also gave a paper on the 'Barriers to and Enablers of Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Character Education'.

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Jubilee Centre Attends John Templeton Foundation Grantee Event

20/10/18

On Wednesday 17th October 2018, Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur and Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison attended and gave a short presentation at the John Templeton Foundation Character Virtue Development (CVD) grantee event in Philadelphia.  The event was the first time the Foundation has brought together its CVD grantees to discuss the big questions and challenges of conducting research into character and character education. The event was organised by Sarah Clement, the Director of the CVD department, and attended by Heather Templeton Dill, President of the Foundation.  Participants included many of the leading lights in character education, including Prof. Richard Lerner, Prof. Angela Duckworth, Prof. Scott Seider and Prof. Marvin Berkowitz, alongside many others. A short bio of all the attendees can be viewed here.

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Research Associate, Jason Metcalfe Features on Voice of Islam Drive Time Show

19/10/18

Research Associate, Jason Metcalfe featured on the Drive Time Show of the International Radio Station, Voice of Islam. The theme of the show was 'Universal Values'. As part of the programme, Jason Metcalfe discussed how our current education system prepares pupils more for a life of tests than the test of life, but that recent comments made by the Chief Inspector for Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, and Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, show positive thought is being given towards the importance of character in schools and wider society. Jason also discussed how a language of virtues is woven throughout the British Values curriculum and discussed the merits of character in society at large. The full audio is available here.

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Jubilee Centre Publishes Initial Insight Report Character Perspectives of Student Teachers

16/10/18

On 12th October 2018, the Jubilee Centre published Character Perspectives of Student Teachers. This report presents the initial findings from the first phase of the Teacher Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre-and In-Service Teachers project. The aim of the research presented in this report was to understand student teachers’ views of character in teaching and to explore how their reported personal character strengths, and what they perceived as important character strengths of a ‘good’ teacher, were affected by Initial Teacher Education (ITE). The findings indicate that, at the end of ITE year compared to the beginning, students placed a greater importance upon performance character strengths at the expense of moral character strengths. The full report is available to read here.

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Government Consults Jubilee Centre on Character Education

12/10/18

On 5th October Professor James Arthur presented on Character Education and Resilience at a Roundtable discussion in London with Senior Civil Servants from the Department for Education (DfE). The event, attended by leading researchers from a number of disciplinary backgrounds, displayed the ongoing commitment of the DfE to integrating character education into their policy framework. To this end, Education Secretary Damian Hinds spoke about how character should be taught and caught at the Conservative Party Conference on 3rd October; ‘I don’t think you can just walk into a class of 28 kids one day and say today, we are going to learn about character […] Of course you can’t, but these are things you pick up a lot from what happens at school, and in particular, I think, extracurricular activities play an important part’. In addition to the Jubilee Centre’s ongoing work with the DfE, on the 12th October Professor Arthur and Dr Tom Harrison met with senior Ofsted officials to advise on the place of character in the new Ofsted framework. They discussed the implicit and explicit links between character and character education in the four sections likely to be in the new framework; quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; and, leadership and management.  The draft framework will be published in January for consultation and implemented from September 2019.    

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Jubilee Centre Launches 'Soldiers of Character' Report at RUSI, London

03/10/18

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launched the Soldiers of Character research report on the evening of 3rd October at the Royal United Services Institute, London. Beginning at 6pm, the launch event included speeches by Jubilee Centre Director Professor James Arthur and former Research Fellow and report author Dr. David Walker, who is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Alabama. Following a presentation of the aims, methodology and key findings of the report, RUSI Associate Fellow Peter Quentin chaired a panel discussion in which the implications of the findings for the training and development of Army personnel were considered. Delegates at the launch also heard a response to the report from Professor David Whetham, Reader in Military Ethics in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London.

Complementing work by the Jubilee Centre about virtues in professional practice and public service, the Soldiers of Character research report presents the results of a rare empirical study of over 240 junior British Army officers from twelve branches of service. The research explored the extent to which junior Army officers display and aspire to attitudes and personal characteristics in line with the values that are set out in the Army Values and Standards Guide: integrity, discipline, courage, selfless commitment, loyalty and respect for others. In addition, a measure of ethical reasoning in response to moral dilemmas in a British Army context was developed as part of the research.

You can read the full report here.

 

Photo (from left): Prof. James Arthur, Peter Quentin, Dr. David Walker, Prof. David Whetham

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Professor James Arthur Features on Radio 4: A Question of Character

24/09/18

Professor James Arthur was interviewed by Toby Young, for the Radio 4 feature show A Question of Character, which recognised character as an increasingly prominent feature in the UK policy landscape. The extensive work of the Jubilee Centre was discussed throughout the programme. In addition to this, Professor Arthur and Toby Young visited the University of Birmingham School to speak with Rebecca Tigue, who is the Head of School and is responsible for how character education can be taught and caught. Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison also featured in the programme to discuss what character traits are valued by parents. Other topics included character from a historic perspective, whether character is responsible for recent social ills and how much of character is down to genes. The full audio is available here

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Jubilee Centre Staff Meet HRH The Duke of Cambridge at PWA Graduation

19/09/18

On Tuesday 18th September 2018, HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the University of Birmingham for the inaugural graduation of the Prince William Award. The Award, run by SkillForce, focuses on developing character in young people. 

Jubilee Centre staff, Prof. James Arthur, Aidan Thompson, and Danielle Wartnaby met The Duke as he arrived to the Great Hall and were thanked for their work in character education. During the event, hosted by David Walliams, over 200 pupils, teachers and SkillForce instructors were congratulated for completing the Award. The Jubilee Centre, as the academic partner of SkillForce, undertook an initial piece of research to help shape the Award, and is delighted to have hosted this inaugural award ceremony at the University.

In his speech, The Duke emphasised the importance of developing character in young people to enable them to lead flourishing lives:

‘It (the programme) gives young people the time and space to explore the fundamental aspects of good character and the opportunity to begin to discover who they really are. The award champions the things young people need to lead a happy and successful life – confidence, self-belief and the ability to work with others.

Good academic results are, of course important, but strength of character - the confidence to stand up and be counted and the ability to keep going in the face of adversity are essential if young people are to flourish.’

 

 

 

 

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Character Education Prioritised by Ofsted

16/01/19

Schools will not be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ in Personal Development without evidence of building character

The new Ofsted Framework for Inspection of Schools was published today for consultation and contains what the Jubilee Centre has been advocating since its launch in 2012 – namely that schools have a duty to support the character development of their pupils. The new Framework, underneath the heading of ‘Personal Development’, states that inspectors’ judgements in this area will take into account how schools are ‘developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct, so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others’. This is a major turning point for character education in England; all of England’s 22,000 schools will be asked to explicitly demonstrate how they develop the character of their pupils.

The language of character in the new Framework (see below) echoes the work of the Jubilee Centre more broadly, as well as the Jubilee Centre’s consultations with OFSTED in the development stages of the Framework.

 

The Education Inspection Framework

Personal development

27. Inspectors will make a judgement on the personal development of learners by evaluating the extent to which:

The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence – and help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy

 

School inspection handbook for inspecting schools in England under section 5 of the Education Act

Personal development

This judgement focuses on the dimensions of the personal development of pupils that our education system has agreed, either by consensus or statute, are the most significant:

  • developing pupils’ character, the set of positive personal traits, dispositions and virtues that informs their motivation and guides their conduct so that they reflect wisely, learn eagerly, behave with integrity and cooperate consistently well with others. This gives pupils the qualities they need to flourish in our society

Grade descriptors for personal development

Outstanding (1)

  • The way the school goes about developing pupils’ character is exemplary and is worthy of being shared with others.

Good (2)

  • The curriculum and the school’s wider work support pupils to develop character.

 

Early years inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting early years in England

Personal Development criteria –

  • The curriculum promotes and supports children’s emotional security and development of their character. Children are gaining a good understanding of what makes them unique. P37

 

Further education and skills inspection handbook Handbook for inspecting further education and skills providers

Personal Development –

  • Providers can take effective action to extend learners’ experiences, but the impact may not be seen for many years. Inspectors will not make judgements about the impact of the personal development of learners. Their judgements about learners’ personal development are concerned with the opportunities that learners get to help them develop their character, confidence and resilience. These include opportunities and support to keep themselves healthy, Further education and skills inspection handbook January 2019, No. 180042 49 both physically and mentally. Inspectors will consider the support learners get to develop their plans for their next steps, including to employment. P48
  • The curriculum and the provider’s wider work support learners to develop their character – including their resilience, confidence and independence and, where relevant, help them know how to keep physically and mentally healthy. P50

 

Education inspection framework Overview of research

However, intentionally investing in character education using a whole-school approach, modelling desired behaviours at both school and teacher level, integrating character development with a strong curriculum rather than doing this as a standalone separate activity, developing pupils’ intrinsic motivation, shared core values and positive relationships have been posited as key ways in which schools can develop pupils’ character (Lickona et al, 2002; Berkowitz et al, 2016). P30

 

 

 

 

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‘Together We’ll Flourish’: The University of Birmingham School Features in The Guardian

15/01/19

The University of Birmingham School features in a recent article in The Guardian for its approach to promoting equality by accepting students from across four city boroughs. The article, ‘Together, We'll Flourish’ discusses how the school’s catchment system, which is rare in the UK, is a key part of the school’s vision for diversity and inclusion. Another part of this vision is the school’s focus on character education, as founded by Director of the Jubilee Centre Professor James Arthur. Head of School Rebecca Tigue was quoted in the article saying that ‘It’s [/character education is] our way of inspiring and teaching children to lead more flourishing lives by increasing their standards of what virtuous behaviour might look like. We encourage them to show courage, compassion, empathy, justice, honesty, on a day to day basis’. You can read the full report here. There is also a Podcast which can be found here.

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New Briefing Paper on Mental Health and Character

15/01/19

The new Insight Series paper ‘Virtues and Character Traits in Mental Health: A Systematic Review’, which was authored by Michael Wee and Dr Saïk de La Motte de Broöns de Vauvert, was published on 15th January 2019. This paper, which discusses how character education could be a remedy for biomedical reductionism around mental health, precedes a full research paper on the subject which is due to be published later this year. The themes highlighted in this briefing paper carry important practical implications for policy agendas in mental health. You can view the full paper here.

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Jubilee Centre Holds 7th Annual Conference at Oriel College

08/01/19

The Jubilee Centre held its 7th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, from 3rd-5th January 2019, under the title ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’. The conference, which brought together over 100 delegates from across the globe and from a range of disciplines, saw 47 seminar papers presented across parallel sessions. Key note speakers Professor Christian Miller, Professor Doret de Ruyter, Professor Jonathan Webber, Professor Jennifer Wright each offered different perspectives on the locality versus the universality of virtue, as did the after-dinner speaker Professor L. Gregory Jones. More information about the conference, including seminar papers, is available here. You can also read Professor Kristján Kristjánsson’s reflections on the conference here. The theme and dates for the Jubilee Centre’s 8th annual conference will be announced in due course.

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Jubilee Centre Publishes Report on Parent-Teacher Partnerships

17/12/18

Parent-Teacher Partnerships: barriers and enablers to collaborative character education, which was authored by Dr. Tom Harrison, Dr. Katy Dineen and Francisco Moller, was published on 17th December 2018. The report presents the initial findings from the first phase of the Parent-Teacher Partnerships and Character Education project, in which evidence was gathered through a questionnaire with 376 parents and 137 teachers. The questionnaires were designed to measure the extent to which parents and teachers had shared understandings about the importance of character and what they perceived to be the barriers and enablers to them working collaboratively on character education.

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Kern Family Foundation awards $1.6 million for the MA Character Education

10/12/18

The Kern Family Foundation have awarded the Jubilee Centre a grant of $1.6 million to expand the pool of character education experts in the United States who have both a  deep understanding of a virtue ethics approach to character and the ability to practically apply it in various educational and professional settings.  Specifically, the grant is to support the enrolment of 75 U.S. citizens on the M.A. Character Education. As part of the agreement all U.S. students will be invited to attend annual professional development residential in the U.S. For more information about the funding to support U.S. citizens to complete the M.A Character Education contact Dr Tom Harrison.

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Programme for Seventh Annual Conference ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’ Now Available Online

10/12/18

From 3rd – 5th January 2019, the Jubilee Centre will be hosting their seventh annual conference ‘Virtues: Local or Universal?’, which will bring together over 100 delegates from around the world to explore questions about the locality versus the universality of virtues from a number of theoretical and practical perspectives. Once again there was an overwhelming response to the open call for papers and all of the available places were soon filled. The conference programme is now available to view online as well as all of the abstracts. The full papers will also be available to download for free from 21st December.  

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Deputy Director Gives Anniversary Lecture and is Made Honorary Professor

26/11/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson gave an anniversary lecture at the University of Akureyri, Iceland, on 26th November 2018, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Dept. of Education there that he was instructive in establishing. The lecture (given in Icelandic), attended by about 100 people, was about the work of the Jubilee Centre and its international relevance. Afterwards, Kristján was made Honorary Professor of the University of Akureyri.

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Jubilee Centre Supports 5th #iwill Character Ambassadors Event

14/11/18

On 13th November 2018, members of the Jubilee Centre team joined the #iwill Campaign at Kew Gardens to induct their latest cohort of 50 Ambassadors. As with previous years, the Jubilee Centre was delighted to sponsor the event. Professor James Arthur, Aidan Thompson, Jason Metcalfe and Charlotte Rennie were in attendance to see the new Ambassadors welcomed by their peers and many of the #iwill campaign partners in an event that was led by the Ambassadors. The new cohort of Ambassadors were recognised for their outstanding youth social action contributions, and celebrated for the positive impact they make in their communities. The attached brochure celebrates each of the 50 Ambassadors and reflects on the virtues and character strengths that each has developed in their social action work. 

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Jubilee Centre Presents Four Papers at AME Conference

13/11/18
At the recent Association for Moral Education’s 44th annual conference, held in Barcelona 8th – 10th November, the Jubilee Centre held a Symposium in which it presented early findings from three of its current research projects. The Symposium, held on Thursday 8th and titled ‘Research and Development in the Field of Character Education: Introducing the Work of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’, included presentations from Dr. Katy Dineen on the partnership between parents and teachers for effective character education, Dr. Stephen Earl on the role of moral purpose in the professions, and Dr. Catherine Darnell on an approach to measuring the development of phronesis. These presentations followed an introduction to the Jubilee Centre by Director Prof. James Arthur and Deputy Director Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson. On Friday 9th, Research Fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts gave a paper titled ‘A Teacher’s Character: Initial Teacher Education and the Perspectives of Student Teachers’ in which they explored the initial findings from a survey conducted with student teachers as part of the first phase of a wider project on teacher education and character. All of the presentations can be viewed below:
 
Symposium:
Paper Session:

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Director of Education Receives National Teaching Fellowship at 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards

09/11/18

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship at the 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh on Wednesday 7th November 2018.  The award recognises the work Dr. Harrison has undertaken to establish the world’s first distance MA in Character Education, as well as his work to promote character education in the UK and internationally. Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor James Arthur, said ‘Dr. Harrison has achieved astonishing success on the MA in Character Education and the award of a National Teaching Fellowship is outstanding recognition of this success. We at the Jubilee Centre congratulate him’. Lord O'Shaughnessy, Junior Minister for Health, said ‘Dr. Harrison has led a number of projects that are rooted in theory but expressed in practical terms and have positively changed the practice of hundreds of teaching professionals’. The former Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon. Nicky Morgan, commented ‘Tom Harrison's clear writing and continued advocacy on the issue of character education is invaluable and very welcome’.​

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Professor Andrew Peterson Joins Jubilee Centre as Chair in Character and Citizenship Education

09/11/18

Professor Andrew Peterson joined the Jubilee Centre on 1st November 2018, as Chair in Character and Citizenship Education. Since joining the Centre, Professor Peterson chaired the Townley Inspire 2018 conference which took place on Friday 9th November. Aimed at bringing the principles of character education, positive psychology and wellbeing to the forefront of education, the conference was attended by over 250 delegates, including school teachers, school senior leaders, and school governors. Professor Peterson is the author of Civic republicanism and civic education and Compassion and education: Cultivating Compassionate children, schools and communities. Centre staff look forward to working with him on the current research projects

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Deputy Director Presents Keynote at NAAPE First Annual Conference

31/10/18

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson delivered a keynote presentation at the first annual conference of the North American Association for Philosophy and Education (NAAPE), at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein, IL, on 27th October 2018. The presentation, available here, was titled ‘Educating Virtuous Emotions: Aristotle and the Alternatives’. 120 delegates attended this inaugural conference which from now on will be an annual event at the University of St. Mary of the Lake. For more information about the upcoming call for presentations for next year's conference please visit the website.

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Professor Kristjánsson and Dr. Harrison Present at Medical College of Wisconsin

24/10/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson and Dr. Tom Harrison gave presentations and attended meetings at the Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education at Medical College of Wisconsin. They met with the Director of the Centre, Cheryl Maurana, the Kern Institute Leadership Team and the National Transformation Network. The focus of the presentations and meetings was how character education might be integrated into medical education with a particular focus on phronesis as an ideal in professional medical ethics. Professor Kristjánsson and Dr. Harrison drew on insights from the Virtuous Medical Practice report, the Virtue, Practical Wisdom and Professional Education report as well as the current Practical Wisdom and Professional Practice project. The slides are available to view here

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Jubilee Centre Presents at Arizona State University

23/10/18

The Jubilee Centre was well represented at the launch of the character leadership preparation consultation at Arizona State University on Friday 19th October 2018. Prof. James Arthur, Director of Strategy Aidan Thompson, and Research Fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts were introduced to over 300 faculty at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College - the largest provider of teacher training in the USA. Michael and Paul presented the Centre’s recent report on ‘Character Perspectives of Student Teachers’, while James was a member of the main panel which discussed character with the 300 staff. The main focus of the day was a conversation on the character initiative for leaders, for which the ASU has used the Jubilee Centre’s A Framework for Character Education in Schools as the basis. The initiative employs the intellectual, moral, civic and performance virtues of the Jubilee Centre’s approach.

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Jubilee Centre Holds Character Symposium at SRCD Conference in Philadelphia

22/10/18

The Jubilee Centre ran a character symposium at the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) conference held in Philadelphia on the 18th - 20th October 2018. The conference, titled 'Promoting Character Development Among Diverse Children and Adolescents', brought together experts in the field from across the globe for a three day programme of key note lectures, seminars, and symposiums.  The Jubilee Centre's symposium topic was 'Measuring Aristotelian Character Education: Challenges and Opportunities', and three papers were presented: 'A Conceptual Approach to Measuring Virtue' by Prof. Blaine Flowers from the University of Miami; 'Can we Really Know ‘What Works’ in Aristotelian Character Education?' by Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison; and, 'Defining and Measuring Phronesis: Developing Understanding of Moral Decision Making' by Research Fellows Dr. Catherine Darnell and Dr. Stephen Earl.  The symposium, which was chaired by Prof. Steve Thoma, University of Alabama, was well attended and generated interesting discussion among the audience. At the same conference Dr. Tom Harrison also gave a paper on the 'Barriers to and Enablers of Parent-Teacher Partnerships in Character Education'.

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Jubilee Centre Attends John Templeton Foundation Grantee Event

20/10/18

On Wednesday 17th October 2018, Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur and Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison attended and gave a short presentation at the John Templeton Foundation Character Virtue Development (CVD) grantee event in Philadelphia.  The event was the first time the Foundation has brought together its CVD grantees to discuss the big questions and challenges of conducting research into character and character education. The event was organised by Sarah Clement, the Director of the CVD department, and attended by Heather Templeton Dill, President of the Foundation.  Participants included many of the leading lights in character education, including Prof. Richard Lerner, Prof. Angela Duckworth, Prof. Scott Seider and Prof. Marvin Berkowitz, alongside many others. A short bio of all the attendees can be viewed here.

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Research Associate, Jason Metcalfe Features on Voice of Islam Drive Time Show

19/10/18

Research Associate, Jason Metcalfe featured on the Drive Time Show of the International Radio Station, Voice of Islam. The theme of the show was 'Universal Values'. As part of the programme, Jason Metcalfe discussed how our current education system prepares pupils more for a life of tests than the test of life, but that recent comments made by the Chief Inspector for Ofsted, Amanda Spielman, and Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds, show positive thought is being given towards the importance of character in schools and wider society. Jason also discussed how a language of virtues is woven throughout the British Values curriculum and discussed the merits of character in society at large. The full audio is available here.

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Jubilee Centre Publishes Initial Insight Report Character Perspectives of Student Teachers

16/10/18

On 12th October 2018, the Jubilee Centre published Character Perspectives of Student Teachers. This report presents the initial findings from the first phase of the Teacher Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre-and In-Service Teachers project. The aim of the research presented in this report was to understand student teachers’ views of character in teaching and to explore how their reported personal character strengths, and what they perceived as important character strengths of a ‘good’ teacher, were affected by Initial Teacher Education (ITE). The findings indicate that, at the end of ITE year compared to the beginning, students placed a greater importance upon performance character strengths at the expense of moral character strengths. The full report is available to read here.

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Government Consults Jubilee Centre on Character Education

12/10/18

On 5th October Professor James Arthur presented on Character Education and Resilience at a Roundtable discussion in London with Senior Civil Servants from the Department for Education (DfE). The event, attended by leading researchers from a number of disciplinary backgrounds, displayed the ongoing commitment of the DfE to integrating character education into their policy framework. To this end, Education Secretary Damian Hinds spoke about how character should be taught and caught at the Conservative Party Conference on 3rd October; ‘I don’t think you can just walk into a class of 28 kids one day and say today, we are going to learn about character […] Of course you can’t, but these are things you pick up a lot from what happens at school, and in particular, I think, extracurricular activities play an important part’. In addition to the Jubilee Centre’s ongoing work with the DfE, on the 12th October Professor Arthur and Dr Tom Harrison met with senior Ofsted officials to advise on the place of character in the new Ofsted framework. They discussed the implicit and explicit links between character and character education in the four sections likely to be in the new framework; quality of education; behaviour and attitudes; personal development; and, leadership and management.  The draft framework will be published in January for consultation and implemented from September 2019.    

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Jubilee Centre Launches 'Soldiers of Character' Report at RUSI, London

03/10/18

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launched the Soldiers of Character research report on the evening of 3rd October at the Royal United Services Institute, London. Beginning at 6pm, the launch event included speeches by Jubilee Centre Director Professor James Arthur and former Research Fellow and report author Dr. David Walker, who is Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at the University of Alabama. Following a presentation of the aims, methodology and key findings of the report, RUSI Associate Fellow Peter Quentin chaired a panel discussion in which the implications of the findings for the training and development of Army personnel were considered. Delegates at the launch also heard a response to the report from Professor David Whetham, Reader in Military Ethics in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London.

Complementing work by the Jubilee Centre about virtues in professional practice and public service, the Soldiers of Character research report presents the results of a rare empirical study of over 240 junior British Army officers from twelve branches of service. The research explored the extent to which junior Army officers display and aspire to attitudes and personal characteristics in line with the values that are set out in the Army Values and Standards Guide: integrity, discipline, courage, selfless commitment, loyalty and respect for others. In addition, a measure of ethical reasoning in response to moral dilemmas in a British Army context was developed as part of the research.

You can read the full report here.

 

Photo (from left): Prof. James Arthur, Peter Quentin, Dr. David Walker, Prof. David Whetham

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Professor James Arthur Features on Radio 4: A Question of Character

24/09/18

Professor James Arthur was interviewed by Toby Young, for the Radio 4 feature show A Question of Character, which recognised character as an increasingly prominent feature in the UK policy landscape. The extensive work of the Jubilee Centre was discussed throughout the programme. In addition to this, Professor Arthur and Toby Young visited the University of Birmingham School to speak with Rebecca Tigue, who is the Head of School and is responsible for how character education can be taught and caught. Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison also featured in the programme to discuss what character traits are valued by parents. Other topics included character from a historic perspective, whether character is responsible for recent social ills and how much of character is down to genes. The full audio is available here

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Jubilee Centre Staff Meet HRH The Duke of Cambridge at PWA Graduation

19/09/18

On Tuesday 18th September 2018, HRH The Duke of Cambridge visited the University of Birmingham for the inaugural graduation of the Prince William Award. The Award, run by SkillForce, focuses on developing character in young people. 

Jubilee Centre staff, Prof. James Arthur, Aidan Thompson, and Danielle Wartnaby met The Duke as he arrived to the Great Hall and were thanked for their work in character education. During the event, hosted by David Walliams, over 200 pupils, teachers and SkillForce instructors were congratulated for completing the Award. The Jubilee Centre, as the academic partner of SkillForce, undertook an initial piece of research to help shape the Award, and is delighted to have hosted this inaugural award ceremony at the University.

In his speech, The Duke emphasised the importance of developing character in young people to enable them to lead flourishing lives:

‘It (the programme) gives young people the time and space to explore the fundamental aspects of good character and the opportunity to begin to discover who they really are. The award champions the things young people need to lead a happy and successful life – confidence, self-belief and the ability to work with others.

Good academic results are, of course important, but strength of character - the confidence to stand up and be counted and the ability to keep going in the face of adversity are essential if young people are to flourish.’

 

 

 

 

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