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To celebrate the release of #TheGrinch , the @JubileeCentre1 have produced a number of resources to help #teachers develop #gratitude and #kindness between pupils. https://t.co/cHizJR75rD

Quote of the week

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habitAristotle

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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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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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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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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