Throughout October, as part of the development of an online CPD programme, the project team have visited eight UK schools recognised for their character education provision. These schools have contributed to the development and content of the CPD programme through participation in the creation of a series of short videos demonstrating their approaches to character education. These schools have also provided teaching materials that will be incorporated into the CPD, alongside materials created by the Jubilee Centre. The CPD programme will be piloted in February 2020. Schools or individuals interested in the programme are advised to contact Michael Fullard.
The Teacher Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre- and In-Service Teachers project will enable deeper exploration of the very important issue of how teachers are prepared and supported to meet the moral and ethical demands of their roles. It will build and expand on the Jubilee Centre’s previous work concerning character education in schools (for example, The Good Teacher; Statement on Teacher Education and Character Education; A Framework for Character Education in Schools. Within this work, it is recommended that pre-service teachers are given space for critical moral and ethical reflection on practice in order to develop their moral agency; training should include academic and practical input concerning the integral role of moral virtue in education; and that staff should be trained through CPD programmes which emphasise the need for moral character throughout a teacher’s career. This project will explore these areas and aims to draw together the strands of evidenced good practice into a coherent programme that can be disseminated to a larger audience.
The research will be split into two strands, focusing on pre-service teachers in training (strand A) and teachers currently in-service (strand B). The overarching questions for both proposed strands of research are:
- How do pre-service and in-service programmes of teacher training prepare teachers to educate for character and virtue in the classroom?
- How do we best prepare new and experienced teachers to engage with the positive character formation of their students and of their peers?
- What are the most effective methods for educating and supporting teachers, at various stages of their career, to effectively fulfil their roles as character educators?
- What are the enablers and barriers to CPD programmes placing character education at the heart of their vision and practice?
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Michael Fullard or Thomas Taylor.
Teacher Education Resources
As part of Strand A of the Teacher Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre- and In-Service Teachers project, the Jubilee Centre, in consultation with teacher educators and trainee teachers, have designed, trialled and evaluated resources which can be used as part of an Initial Teacher Education programme. The resources include a character education lecture for both primary and secondary courses with accompanying teaching notes which provide an introduction to character education and its practical implications and a six-week reflective journal which provides trainees with a space for structured daily reflection on their personal character strengths. The resources can be found here.
Character Perspectives of Student Teachers was published in October 2018 and found that student teachers placed greater importance on performance virtues, at the expense of moral virtues, at the end of their teacher training year, compared to at the beginning. The report is available to download by clicking the image below.
This report draws on data collected data collected from a total of 671 pre-service teachers from three UK universities participated. Following an initial survey and an extended lecture on character education, over 60 volunteers successfully completed a reflective journal activity during their teaching placement. 37 interviews were conducted with these volunteers prior to a post-course survey which was completed by pre-service teachers at the end of their initial teacher education (ITE) year.
In July, Research Fellow, Michael Fullard and Paul Watts presented initial findings from the project at the Association for Character Education (ACE) Annual Conference which was held at the London Oratory School.
Teachers or schools interested in participating in Strand B of the project (see details above) should contact Michael or Paul for further information about how to become involved.
For a condensed summary of the findings and recommendations so far, click on the Research Briefing below: