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Put more trust in nobility of character than in an oath.Solon

@JubileeCentre1 tweet

Keynote from Prof. Marvin Berkowitz this morning @SRCDtweets on parenting and educating for #character - read about his professional journey in our Insight Series paper https://t.co/YwLLsJV0aB #characterdev18

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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Jubilee Centre Publishes Revised Paper on Character Education and Attainment

11/09/18

In light of new research, the Jubilee Centre has published a revised edition of Character and Attainment: Does Character Make the Grade? by Professor James Arthur, Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Dr. Stephen Earl. The paper draws some highlights from an expanding body of research into the effect of character education on attainment and behavioural outcomes. In addition to this, the Jubilee Centre has also published Character and Academic Attainment: Does Character Education Matter? by Professor James Arthur and Dr. Stephen Earl. This is a thorough examination of the empirical basis for character education. Both papers can be viewed here.

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Dr. Catherine Darnell Represents Centre in South Korea

10/09/18

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was invited to present the Centre's Aristotelian approach to Character Education at 'The 21st Century Human Values Forum 2018' held in Andong, South Korea. Organised by the Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics, this years forum was held under the theme 'Life; Embracing the Values of Living'. The conference brought together over 4000 participants and delegates from 26 different countries and included distinguished guests from South Korea, involving a recorded welcome address by the president of South Korea and a keynote speech by Chung Sye-Kyun, a congressman and former chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. 

 

In 2015, South Korea introduced the 'character education promotion act' which put character education at the centre of the school curriculum, requiring all schools to provide “an education with the purpose of cultivating one’s own internal self and raising humane temperament and faculties necessary to cope and live with others, in a community and in nature.” On 6th September 2018, Dr Catherine Darnell joined Professor Osamu Nakayamu the President of Reitaku University in Japan, Doug Carr the president of Character.org based in the USA and Lee Yong Tae, the chairman of the Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics to talk about the principles of character education. This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Yong-Lin Moon, former Minister of Education, with South Korean teachers, academics and charities to share implementation ideas by comparing domestic and foreign examples.

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Tom Harrison Awarded Prestigious Teaching Award for his Work on Character Education

30/08/18

 Dr Tom Harrison, Director of Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship.  The award recognises the work Dr Harrison has undertaken to establish the world first MA in character education as well as his work in the Jubilee Centre to promote character education in the UK and internationally. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is a highly prestigious Higher Education Academy (HEA) award that recognises, rewards and celebrates individuals who are judged to have made an outstanding impact on the student learning experience.

Being awarded this title is a great achievement and truly highlights Dr Harrison’s remarkable contribution to education.  Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor James Arthur, said ‘Dr. Harrison has achieved astonishing success on the world’s first 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’.

Dr Harrison will be presented with this prestigious award at the 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh on Wednesday 7 November 2018.

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Jubilee Centre Contributes to New Character Education White Paper

08/08/18

Director of Strategy and integration, Aidan Thompson, has contributed to the new Character Education White Paper: The Opportunities and Challenges offered by Character Education, published today by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. The White Paper reflects a series of roundtable discussions that were held in the autumn of 2017, one of which was hosted by the Jubilee Centre in the Senate Chamber of the University of Birmingham. The White Paper ‘represents a contemporary insight into the views and experiences of leaders from across education, government, business and the youth sector in the UK’ and is infused with the Jubilee Centre’s language of character. Endorsing the White Paper, Aidan Thompson said:

 

‘The development of children's characters is an obligation we all share. This is not just contained to formal character education lessons in school, but something that permeates every aspect of society, and something that anyone working with young people at any level should recognise. From mainstream schooling, to enrichment activities, through to alternative and informal education provision, character-led teaching is essential for young people to flourish and live lives of meaning and purpose. The points raised in this White Paper, and the wider work of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, should challenge all those with stakes in the education of young people to consider how they embed a character-led focus to what they do.’

 

Dame Kelly Holmes wrote the Foreword to Flourishing From the Margins, which was launched in the University of Birmingham Senate Chamber immediately after the Roundtable event.

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2018 Templeton Prize Winner: HM King Abdullah II of Jordan

06/08/18

His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader, was announced as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate on June 27.

The King’s quest to promote peace-affirming Islam gained momentum in 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war when he launched the Amman Message that articulated a clear understanding of the central elements of Islam.

In 2005, 200 Islamic scholars representing all schools of jurisprudence in Islam, under his guidance, issued a declaration now known as the “Three Points of the Amman Message,” which recognized the validity of all eight legal schools of Islam, forbade declarations of apostasy between Muslims, and established conditions for issuing fatwas, Islamic legal rulings.

The following year, King Abdullah II supported and funded “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which led to a 2007 open letter from Islamic religious leaders to Christian religious leaders calling for peace and harmony based on the twin commandments shared by both faiths, “love of God” and “love of the neighbour.”

In 2010, he proposed “UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a General Assembly resolution adding “love of God or love of the good” to “love of one’s neighbour,” thus including all people of goodwill, with or without faith. The resolution, adopted unanimously, established the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.

In awarding the Templeton Prize to King Abdullah II, the John Templeton Foundation also emphasized his unwavering commitment to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and his leadership which has guaranteed safe haven for Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups.

You can read more about this award and hear His Majesty’s thoughts on various issues at the Templeton Prize website: www.templetonprize.org.

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Educating Character Through the Arts

31/07/18

On 19-21 July 2018, the Jubilee Centre hosted the 'Educating Character Through the Arts' conference on campus at the University of Birmingham. The conference, supported by grants from the Centre, the Mind Association and the British Society of Aesthetics, brought together delegates from across disciplines to debate the role of the arts broadly, and literature, poetry, music, video games and film specifically, in the education of good character. Key note presentations were given by Profs. Noel Carroll, Matthew Kieran and James O. Young and Dr. Karen Bohlin, and there were over 40 seminar presentations from delegates representing 15 different countries. The conference gave experienced academics and PGR students alike the opportunity to discuss new research with regards to character education from perspectives of philosophy, psychology, sociology, music and literary studies. As well as welcome new faces to the Jubilee Centre, the conference included presentations from Centre Research Fellow Dr. Liz Gulliford, Director of Strategy and Integration and PhD candidate Aidan Thompson, and former Research Administrator Richard Hughes. The full programme is available below and the conference abstracts are available on the conference page of the Jubilee Centre website.

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Should we still ‘marvel’ at comic book heroes?

27/07/18

Research Fellow Michael Fullard has published the blog titled Should we still 'marvel' at comic book heroes? on the University of Birmingham Social Science blog. Drawing on insights from the Jubilee Centre's Framework for Character Education, the blog discusses whether comic fans should 'marvel' at superheroes not only because of their extraordinarily feats of strength or speed, but because of their character and whether it is this which ultimately enables them to enact the heroic and virtuous acts that we are so enthralled by. 

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Key Findings and Recommendations Highlighted in New Materials

16/07/18

The Jubilee Centre has launched new materials which consolidate its extensive research into key findings and recommendations across four thematic areas; Character Education, Gratitude, Virtues in the Professions and Youth Social Action. These documents are designed to provide an accessible and engaging introduction to the Centre’s key research to date. The materials are free to download from the website.    

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New Poll Sheds Light on Workplace Attitudes Towards Ethics and Values

13/07/18

As part of the research project Practical Wisdom and Professional Practice, the Jubilee Centre has conducted a UK-wide poll with Populus looking at workplace attitudes towards ethics and values. The poll painted a positive picture of employment in the UK, with over two-thirds (65%) of those in employment suggesting that their job contributes to the common good of society, and 58% stating that they feel there is an ethical dimension to their work. A clear distinction between those who work in the public and private sectors was evident in these results, with 81% of public sector employees feeling their work makes a positive contribution, compared with 59% of those in the private sector. On a less positive note, only 24% of respondents suggested that the work they do is valued by politicians and government, considerably lower than service-users (77%), colleagues (74%) and the general public (51%). Further analysis of the survey results, which included a total sample of over 2,300 participants, is being conducted in-house with a view to publish a cross-profession briefing paper later in the year.

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Jubilee Centre Supports the Launch of Catholic Character Education Report

28/06/18

On 28th June 2018 the Diocese of Leeds launched a report on Catholic Character Education, which was supported by the Jubilee Centre. In the forward, which was written by the Rt. Rev. Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds, the Jubilee centre was commended for the ‘generous sponsorship and support they have provided for this research project in partnership with the Diocese of Leeds’. At the launch, which took place in Wheeler Hall at Leeds Cathedral, the author, Dr. Chris Devanny presented the findings and recommendations of a research study that explored how character education is understood and taught in Catholic schools. The report was well received by head teachers and school leaders from the Diocese of Leeds seeking to progress beyond 'character caught' to the explicit teaching of the virtues through 'character taught'. This progression will be one of the matters discussed at the Diocese of Leeds Headteachers' Conference on 13th September 2018, which will be focussed on 'Practical Approaches to Character Education for Schools'. The Jubilee Centre's Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison will be presenting a keynote address at the same event.

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Director Meets Minister of Education in Buenos Aires

18/06/18

Director Professor James Arthur and Fiona Gatty from the Templeton World Charity Foundation met Gabriel Sanchez Zinny, Minister of Education in Buenos Aires, for dinner on Wednesday 12th June and discussed the potential for character education to be introduced into Argentinian schools. The following day, Professors Arthur and Deputy Director Kristján Kristjánsson, along with Research Fellows, Paul Watts and Michael Fullard met with the Minister’s officials from the Ministry of Education and explored in greater detail the opportunities for implementing character education. 

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Character Education in Argentina

13/06/18

Professors’ Arthur and Kristjánsson together with research fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts joined Fiona Gatty of the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) on a visit to Buenos Aires to share ideas about researching character education in the context of schools within Latin America. The TWCF is to fund a number of character education projects in Latin America and has encouraged applications for the grants from an initial fund of £15 million. Whilst in Buenos Aires, Michael and Paul presented some of the Jubilee Centre research findings and methods to a mixture of academics and practitioners. The Jubilee Centre group also had the opportunity to visit a local school, the Colegio Buen Consejo, which already explicitly promotes the intellectual, moral and civic virtues that the Jubilee Centre champions and which will become a focus for character research and development, as well as a shanty town which helped the group understand something of the extremely challenging circumstances which some of the students face. 

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Jubilee Centre Staff Give #inno4edu Workshop in Macedonia

04/06/18

Jubilee Centre staff members Aidan Thompson and Joseph Ward spoke as expert guests at the #inno4edu SmartUp social innovation lab in Skopje, Macedonia. Building on the successful partnership with UNICEF in the country, Aidan and Joe gave a workshop to participants working on social innovation projects in education, looking to demystify character education. The workshop was framed around three ‘big questions’, looking at how and where a focus on character fits in the overall purpose of education, debating whether character can be taught, and discussing how character can be measured. Joe and Aidan gave advice to two groups developing projects to build web platforms that will provide character-based resources for teachers in Macedonia. Aidan and Joe’s workshop was live streamed via the SmartUp Facebook page.

 

During the visit, Aidan and Joe were also able to meet with the UNICEF Macedonia team to discuss the wider aims for implementing a character focus to the Macedonian pre-school curriculum, including Bobby Soobrayan, regional adviser for Education for UNICEF Europe and Central Asia. Aidan also met with Prof. Violeta Petroska-Beshka from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University to discuss possible collaboration on a character-based research project, and with Elizabeth Fordham and colleagues from the OECD to discuss possible overlaps between Jubilee Centre and OECD approaches to attitudes and values in education.

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Ofsted Praise University of Birmingham School character education programme

25/05/18

In its first Ofsted inspection, the University of Birmingham School’s bespoke character education programme has been singled out for praise. In the report, Ofsted highlight the School’s focus on ‘character education’ and recognise that the programme ensures that leaders promote pupils’ personal development well. Ofsted go on to report that ‘the development of a ‘character education’ programme has rightly received national and international acclaim. Leaders promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British values very well through the curriculum. This includes through ‘personal learning and development lessons.’

University of Birmingham School Principal Mike Roden said: “Having opened just three years ago, it is a real achievement for the University of Birmingham School to receive a ‘Good’ outcome in all categories.   

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, governors, our wonderful pupils and students and our parents and carers, for all the contributions that have been made to secure this validation of our distinctive educational programme.”  

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: “When the University of Birmingham established the School, we wanted to ensure it was a place of opportunity, a place of inclusivity, and a place where pupils could frame and find their ambition.

“For these reasons, character education has been woven into everything the School does. Staff and pupils have worked tirelessly to create a vibrant learning community, inclusive for all, and I am pleased to see the value of this approach recognised and celebrated by the Ofsted inspection team.”

The Jubilee Centre worked with the School to create the Programme of Study when the School launched in 2015, and has recently conducted a lengthy case study of the School’s focus on character in its Schools of Virtue research report.

The Class of 2017 spoke about the impact that the School has had on their own character development in the LEAVERS film commissioned by the Centre last year (2017).

A press release is available here.

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Deputy Director Publishes New Book on Virtuous Emotions with Oxford University Press

22/05/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson’s Virtuous Emotions was published on 3rd May 2018. The aim of this book is to offer a revised ‘Aristotelian’ analysis and moral justification of a number of emotions that Aristotle either neglected (such as awe, grief, and jealousy), relegated, at best, to the level of the semi-virtuous (such as shame), made disparaging remarks about (such as gratitude) or rejected explicitly (such as pity, understood as pain at another person’s deserved bad fortune).

This latest addition to moral education literature presents a compelling vision of the role of the emotions in moral life. Using rich case-studies of six emotions: awe, grief, jealousy, shame, gratitude, and pity, the book explores how education can help us develop morally. The book is aimed at readers in philosophy, social sciences, and psychology. Virtuous Emotions can be purchased here

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Speakers at #CharacterEd2018 Conference Reference Jubilee Centre Framework

15/05/18

On Saturday 12th May 2018, the #CharacterEd2018 conference took place at Lichfield Cathedral School, Staffs. Dr. Catherine Darnell, Research Fellow, spoke at the conference and presented the attached presentation on ‘The Psychological Development of Character’, based on the ‘phronesis’ research project currently being undertaken at the Jubilee Centre.

Other speakers at the conference included Sean Harford, National Director, Education at Ofsted, who spoke about whether it is either possible or desirable to measure character development. In his speech, Mr Harford cited the Jubilee Centre ‘Building Blocks of Character’, calling it one of the most comprehensive definitions of character currently being used in education. Former Secretary of State for Education Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP gave the keynote lecture. 

The event was organised by Stephen Lane and Joanne Owens at Lichfield Cathedral School, and brought together those with an interest and passion for delivering character in schools.

Below are images of Mr Harford talking to the Centre’s definition of character, credit Rebecca Tigue (@UoBSCharacter), and of Dr. Darnell responding to Martin Robinson’s speech; credit Jo Owens/Lichfield Cathedral School (@joanneowens).

Above shows Dr. Darnell giving her presentation; credit Jo Owens/Lichfield Cathedral School.

 

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Dr. Tom Harrison Speaks at Conference Attended by the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP

06/05/18

On 25th April, Dr. Tom Harrison gave a keynote address at the Culture and Values in Schools conference in Hertfordshire. The conference was organised by the Partnership of Dacorum Schools and was attended by senior leaders running schools in Hertfordshire. Other speakers included the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan and Dr. Karen Edge. Dr. Harrison gave a presentation entitled Life of Tests or the Tests of Life, focussing primarily on practical approaches to teaching character with a specific focus on cultivating cyber-wisdom in children and young people. The slides are available 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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Jubilee Centre Publishes Revised Paper on Character Education and Attainment

11/09/18

In light of new research, the Jubilee Centre has published a revised edition of Character and Attainment: Does Character Make the Grade? by Professor James Arthur, Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Dr. Stephen Earl. The paper draws some highlights from an expanding body of research into the effect of character education on attainment and behavioural outcomes. In addition to this, the Jubilee Centre has also published Character and Academic Attainment: Does Character Education Matter? by Professor James Arthur and Dr. Stephen Earl. This is a thorough examination of the empirical basis for character education. Both papers can be viewed here.

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Dr. Catherine Darnell Represents Centre in South Korea

10/09/18

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was invited to present the Centre's Aristotelian approach to Character Education at 'The 21st Century Human Values Forum 2018' held in Andong, South Korea. Organised by the Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics, this years forum was held under the theme 'Life; Embracing the Values of Living'. The conference brought together over 4000 participants and delegates from 26 different countries and included distinguished guests from South Korea, involving a recorded welcome address by the president of South Korea and a keynote speech by Chung Sye-Kyun, a congressman and former chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea. 

 

In 2015, South Korea introduced the 'character education promotion act' which put character education at the centre of the school curriculum, requiring all schools to provide “an education with the purpose of cultivating one’s own internal self and raising humane temperament and faculties necessary to cope and live with others, in a community and in nature.” On 6th September 2018, Dr Catherine Darnell joined Professor Osamu Nakayamu the President of Reitaku University in Japan, Doug Carr the president of Character.org based in the USA and Lee Yong Tae, the chairman of the Korea Foundation for Cultures and Ethics to talk about the principles of character education. This was followed by a panel discussion chaired by Yong-Lin Moon, former Minister of Education, with South Korean teachers, academics and charities to share implementation ideas by comparing domestic and foreign examples.

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Tom Harrison Awarded Prestigious Teaching Award for his Work on Character Education

30/08/18

 Dr Tom Harrison, Director of Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has been awarded a National Teaching Fellowship.  The award recognises the work Dr Harrison has undertaken to establish the world first MA in character education as well as his work in the Jubilee Centre to promote character education in the UK and internationally. The National Teaching Fellowship Scheme (NTFS) is a highly prestigious Higher Education Academy (HEA) award that recognises, rewards and celebrates individuals who are judged to have made an outstanding impact on the student learning experience.

Being awarded this title is a great achievement and truly highlights Dr Harrison’s remarkable contribution to education.  Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor James Arthur, said ‘Dr. Harrison has achieved astonishing success on the world’s first 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’.

Dr Harrison will be presented with this prestigious award at the 2018 Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony in Edinburgh on Wednesday 7 November 2018.

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Jubilee Centre Contributes to New Character Education White Paper

08/08/18

Director of Strategy and integration, Aidan Thompson, has contributed to the new Character Education White Paper: The Opportunities and Challenges offered by Character Education, published today by the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. The White Paper reflects a series of roundtable discussions that were held in the autumn of 2017, one of which was hosted by the Jubilee Centre in the Senate Chamber of the University of Birmingham. The White Paper ‘represents a contemporary insight into the views and experiences of leaders from across education, government, business and the youth sector in the UK’ and is infused with the Jubilee Centre’s language of character. Endorsing the White Paper, Aidan Thompson said:

 

‘The development of children's characters is an obligation we all share. This is not just contained to formal character education lessons in school, but something that permeates every aspect of society, and something that anyone working with young people at any level should recognise. From mainstream schooling, to enrichment activities, through to alternative and informal education provision, character-led teaching is essential for young people to flourish and live lives of meaning and purpose. The points raised in this White Paper, and the wider work of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, should challenge all those with stakes in the education of young people to consider how they embed a character-led focus to what they do.’

 

Dame Kelly Holmes wrote the Foreword to Flourishing From the Margins, which was launched in the University of Birmingham Senate Chamber immediately after the Roundtable event.

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2018 Templeton Prize Winner: HM King Abdullah II of Jordan

06/08/18

His Majesty King Abdullah II of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, who has done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader, was announced as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate on June 27.

The King’s quest to promote peace-affirming Islam gained momentum in 2004 in the wake of the Iraq war when he launched the Amman Message that articulated a clear understanding of the central elements of Islam.

In 2005, 200 Islamic scholars representing all schools of jurisprudence in Islam, under his guidance, issued a declaration now known as the “Three Points of the Amman Message,” which recognized the validity of all eight legal schools of Islam, forbade declarations of apostasy between Muslims, and established conditions for issuing fatwas, Islamic legal rulings.

The following year, King Abdullah II supported and funded “A Common Word Between Us and You,” which led to a 2007 open letter from Islamic religious leaders to Christian religious leaders calling for peace and harmony based on the twin commandments shared by both faiths, “love of God” and “love of the neighbour.”

In 2010, he proposed “UN World Interfaith Harmony Week with a General Assembly resolution adding “love of God or love of the good” to “love of one’s neighbour,” thus including all people of goodwill, with or without faith. The resolution, adopted unanimously, established the first week of February as UN World Interfaith Harmony Week.

In awarding the Templeton Prize to King Abdullah II, the John Templeton Foundation also emphasized his unwavering commitment to protect Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, and his leadership which has guaranteed safe haven for Jordan’s ethnic and religious groups.

You can read more about this award and hear His Majesty’s thoughts on various issues at the Templeton Prize website: www.templetonprize.org.

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Educating Character Through the Arts

31/07/18

On 19-21 July 2018, the Jubilee Centre hosted the 'Educating Character Through the Arts' conference on campus at the University of Birmingham. The conference, supported by grants from the Centre, the Mind Association and the British Society of Aesthetics, brought together delegates from across disciplines to debate the role of the arts broadly, and literature, poetry, music, video games and film specifically, in the education of good character. Key note presentations were given by Profs. Noel Carroll, Matthew Kieran and James O. Young and Dr. Karen Bohlin, and there were over 40 seminar presentations from delegates representing 15 different countries. The conference gave experienced academics and PGR students alike the opportunity to discuss new research with regards to character education from perspectives of philosophy, psychology, sociology, music and literary studies. As well as welcome new faces to the Jubilee Centre, the conference included presentations from Centre Research Fellow Dr. Liz Gulliford, Director of Strategy and Integration and PhD candidate Aidan Thompson, and former Research Administrator Richard Hughes. The full programme is available below and the conference abstracts are available on the conference page of the Jubilee Centre website.

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Should we still ‘marvel’ at comic book heroes?

27/07/18

Research Fellow Michael Fullard has published the blog titled Should we still 'marvel' at comic book heroes? on the University of Birmingham Social Science blog. Drawing on insights from the Jubilee Centre's Framework for Character Education, the blog discusses whether comic fans should 'marvel' at superheroes not only because of their extraordinarily feats of strength or speed, but because of their character and whether it is this which ultimately enables them to enact the heroic and virtuous acts that we are so enthralled by. 

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Key Findings and Recommendations Highlighted in New Materials

16/07/18

The Jubilee Centre has launched new materials which consolidate its extensive research into key findings and recommendations across four thematic areas; Character Education, Gratitude, Virtues in the Professions and Youth Social Action. These documents are designed to provide an accessible and engaging introduction to the Centre’s key research to date. The materials are free to download from the website.    

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New Poll Sheds Light on Workplace Attitudes Towards Ethics and Values

13/07/18

As part of the research project Practical Wisdom and Professional Practice, the Jubilee Centre has conducted a UK-wide poll with Populus looking at workplace attitudes towards ethics and values. The poll painted a positive picture of employment in the UK, with over two-thirds (65%) of those in employment suggesting that their job contributes to the common good of society, and 58% stating that they feel there is an ethical dimension to their work. A clear distinction between those who work in the public and private sectors was evident in these results, with 81% of public sector employees feeling their work makes a positive contribution, compared with 59% of those in the private sector. On a less positive note, only 24% of respondents suggested that the work they do is valued by politicians and government, considerably lower than service-users (77%), colleagues (74%) and the general public (51%). Further analysis of the survey results, which included a total sample of over 2,300 participants, is being conducted in-house with a view to publish a cross-profession briefing paper later in the year.

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Jubilee Centre Supports the Launch of Catholic Character Education Report

28/06/18

On 28th June 2018 the Diocese of Leeds launched a report on Catholic Character Education, which was supported by the Jubilee Centre. In the forward, which was written by the Rt. Rev. Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds, the Jubilee centre was commended for the ‘generous sponsorship and support they have provided for this research project in partnership with the Diocese of Leeds’. At the launch, which took place in Wheeler Hall at Leeds Cathedral, the author, Dr. Chris Devanny presented the findings and recommendations of a research study that explored how character education is understood and taught in Catholic schools. The report was well received by head teachers and school leaders from the Diocese of Leeds seeking to progress beyond 'character caught' to the explicit teaching of the virtues through 'character taught'. This progression will be one of the matters discussed at the Diocese of Leeds Headteachers' Conference on 13th September 2018, which will be focussed on 'Practical Approaches to Character Education for Schools'. The Jubilee Centre's Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison will be presenting a keynote address at the same event.

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Director Meets Minister of Education in Buenos Aires

18/06/18

Director Professor James Arthur and Fiona Gatty from the Templeton World Charity Foundation met Gabriel Sanchez Zinny, Minister of Education in Buenos Aires, for dinner on Wednesday 12th June and discussed the potential for character education to be introduced into Argentinian schools. The following day, Professors Arthur and Deputy Director Kristján Kristjánsson, along with Research Fellows, Paul Watts and Michael Fullard met with the Minister’s officials from the Ministry of Education and explored in greater detail the opportunities for implementing character education. 

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Character Education in Argentina

13/06/18

Professors’ Arthur and Kristjánsson together with research fellows Michael Fullard and Paul Watts joined Fiona Gatty of the Templeton World Charity Foundation (TWCF) on a visit to Buenos Aires to share ideas about researching character education in the context of schools within Latin America. The TWCF is to fund a number of character education projects in Latin America and has encouraged applications for the grants from an initial fund of £15 million. Whilst in Buenos Aires, Michael and Paul presented some of the Jubilee Centre research findings and methods to a mixture of academics and practitioners. The Jubilee Centre group also had the opportunity to visit a local school, the Colegio Buen Consejo, which already explicitly promotes the intellectual, moral and civic virtues that the Jubilee Centre champions and which will become a focus for character research and development, as well as a shanty town which helped the group understand something of the extremely challenging circumstances which some of the students face. 

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Jubilee Centre Staff Give #inno4edu Workshop in Macedonia

04/06/18

Jubilee Centre staff members Aidan Thompson and Joseph Ward spoke as expert guests at the #inno4edu SmartUp social innovation lab in Skopje, Macedonia. Building on the successful partnership with UNICEF in the country, Aidan and Joe gave a workshop to participants working on social innovation projects in education, looking to demystify character education. The workshop was framed around three ‘big questions’, looking at how and where a focus on character fits in the overall purpose of education, debating whether character can be taught, and discussing how character can be measured. Joe and Aidan gave advice to two groups developing projects to build web platforms that will provide character-based resources for teachers in Macedonia. Aidan and Joe’s workshop was live streamed via the SmartUp Facebook page.

 

During the visit, Aidan and Joe were also able to meet with the UNICEF Macedonia team to discuss the wider aims for implementing a character focus to the Macedonian pre-school curriculum, including Bobby Soobrayan, regional adviser for Education for UNICEF Europe and Central Asia. Aidan also met with Prof. Violeta Petroska-Beshka from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University to discuss possible collaboration on a character-based research project, and with Elizabeth Fordham and colleagues from the OECD to discuss possible overlaps between Jubilee Centre and OECD approaches to attitudes and values in education.

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Ofsted Praise University of Birmingham School character education programme

25/05/18

In its first Ofsted inspection, the University of Birmingham School’s bespoke character education programme has been singled out for praise. In the report, Ofsted highlight the School’s focus on ‘character education’ and recognise that the programme ensures that leaders promote pupils’ personal development well. Ofsted go on to report that ‘the development of a ‘character education’ programme has rightly received national and international acclaim. Leaders promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and British values very well through the curriculum. This includes through ‘personal learning and development lessons.’

University of Birmingham School Principal Mike Roden said: “Having opened just three years ago, it is a real achievement for the University of Birmingham School to receive a ‘Good’ outcome in all categories.   

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff, governors, our wonderful pupils and students and our parents and carers, for all the contributions that have been made to secure this validation of our distinctive educational programme.”  

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, Professor Sir David Eastwood, said: “When the University of Birmingham established the School, we wanted to ensure it was a place of opportunity, a place of inclusivity, and a place where pupils could frame and find their ambition.

“For these reasons, character education has been woven into everything the School does. Staff and pupils have worked tirelessly to create a vibrant learning community, inclusive for all, and I am pleased to see the value of this approach recognised and celebrated by the Ofsted inspection team.”

The Jubilee Centre worked with the School to create the Programme of Study when the School launched in 2015, and has recently conducted a lengthy case study of the School’s focus on character in its Schools of Virtue research report.

The Class of 2017 spoke about the impact that the School has had on their own character development in the LEAVERS film commissioned by the Centre last year (2017).

A press release is available here.

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Deputy Director Publishes New Book on Virtuous Emotions with Oxford University Press

22/05/18

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson’s Virtuous Emotions was published on 3rd May 2018. The aim of this book is to offer a revised ‘Aristotelian’ analysis and moral justification of a number of emotions that Aristotle either neglected (such as awe, grief, and jealousy), relegated, at best, to the level of the semi-virtuous (such as shame), made disparaging remarks about (such as gratitude) or rejected explicitly (such as pity, understood as pain at another person’s deserved bad fortune).

This latest addition to moral education literature presents a compelling vision of the role of the emotions in moral life. Using rich case-studies of six emotions: awe, grief, jealousy, shame, gratitude, and pity, the book explores how education can help us develop morally. The book is aimed at readers in philosophy, social sciences, and psychology. Virtuous Emotions can be purchased here

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Speakers at #CharacterEd2018 Conference Reference Jubilee Centre Framework

15/05/18

On Saturday 12th May 2018, the #CharacterEd2018 conference took place at Lichfield Cathedral School, Staffs. Dr. Catherine Darnell, Research Fellow, spoke at the conference and presented the attached presentation on ‘The Psychological Development of Character’, based on the ‘phronesis’ research project currently being undertaken at the Jubilee Centre.

Other speakers at the conference included Sean Harford, National Director, Education at Ofsted, who spoke about whether it is either possible or desirable to measure character development. In his speech, Mr Harford cited the Jubilee Centre ‘Building Blocks of Character’, calling it one of the most comprehensive definitions of character currently being used in education. Former Secretary of State for Education Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP gave the keynote lecture. 

The event was organised by Stephen Lane and Joanne Owens at Lichfield Cathedral School, and brought together those with an interest and passion for delivering character in schools.

Below are images of Mr Harford talking to the Centre’s definition of character, credit Rebecca Tigue (@UoBSCharacter), and of Dr. Darnell responding to Martin Robinson’s speech; credit Jo Owens/Lichfield Cathedral School (@joanneowens).

Above shows Dr. Darnell giving her presentation; credit Jo Owens/Lichfield Cathedral School.

 

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Dr. Tom Harrison Speaks at Conference Attended by the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP

06/05/18

On 25th April, Dr. Tom Harrison gave a keynote address at the Culture and Values in Schools conference in Hertfordshire. The conference was organised by the Partnership of Dacorum Schools and was attended by senior leaders running schools in Hertfordshire. Other speakers included the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan and Dr. Karen Edge. Dr. Harrison gave a presentation entitled Life of Tests or the Tests of Life, focussing primarily on practical approaches to teaching character with a specific focus on cultivating cyber-wisdom in children and young people. The slides are available here.

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