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Director: Professor James Arthur OBE

James Arthur is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. James is also Chair of the Society for Educational Studies, and was Head of the School of Education 2010-2015 and Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor 2015-2019. He was previously Editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies for ten years and holds numerous honorary titles in the academe, including Honorary Professor of the University of Glasgow and Honorary Research Fellow in the University of Oxford. James was made an Officer of the British Empire by the Queen in 2018. He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between character, virtues, citizenship, religion and education. James established the Jubilee Centre in 2012, and the Centre has grown in size, scope, and impact since its launch at the House of Lords in May 2012.

Contact details

Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 5596


Room 1249
12th Floor (West) Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

  • D.Phil (Oxon)
  • MSc

His major research activities involve the aspirations and character formation of young people in deprived areas. Recent projects include My Character and Knightly Virtues, in addition to the projects being undertaken in the Jubilee Centre. He is Director of CitizED – an organisation (funded by the TDA) in higher education promoting citizenship and is Director of a major research project on young people’s values and character dispositions (see Learning for Life and Citized). He was a member of the National Forum for Values in Education and the Community. He has participated in various consultations with QCA about values education, and was a member of the History Task Group of the National Curriculum Council to revise the National Curriculum, and has since been a member of a sub-group of the Citizenship Working Party as well as a member of groups on citizenship and personal and social education in the DCSF and in the Teacher Development Agency.

Selected publications

Academic Journal Articles

Arthur, J. (2016) Convergence on Policy Goals: Character Education in East Asia and EnglandJournal of International Comparative Education, vol. 5, no. 2, [Online].

Arthur, J. (2016) ‘The First Modern University: The University of Birmingham’, British Journal of Educational Studies, [Online].

Arthur, J. (2016) The Idea of the ‘Civic University’, British Journal of Educational Studies.

Arthur, J., Harrison, T. and Davison, I. (2015) Levels of virtue literacy in Catholic, Church of England and non-faith schools in England: a research report, International Studies in Catholic Education, Vol. 7, No. 2, p. 178-200.

Arthur, J. (2015) Extremism and neo-liberal education policy: a contextual critique of the Trojan Horse affair in Birmingham schools, British Journal of Educational Studies, Vol. 63, No. 3, p. 311-328.

Arthur, J. (2013) The de-Catholicising of the curriculum in English Catholic schools. International Studies in Catholic Education, 5, 83-98.

Arthur, J., Powell, S. & Lin, H. (2012) ‘Foundations of Character: methodological aspects of a study of character development in three- to six-year-old children with a focus on sharing behaviours’, European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 105-122.

Arthur, J. (2011) Personal Character and Tomorrow's Citizens: Student Expectations of their Teachers, International Journal of Educational Research Vol. 50 No. 3, 184-189 DOI:10.1016/j.ijer.2011.07.001

Arthur, J. (2011) Inter-Cultural versus Inter-Religious Dialogue in a Pluralist Europe, Policy Futures in Education. Vol 9, No1, 74-80 DOI: 10.2304/pfie.2011.9.1.74

Authored Books

Arthur, J. (2019) The Formation of Character in Education: From Aristotle to the 21st Century, Abingdon: Routledge.

Arthur, J. (2017) Policy Entrepreneurship in Education: engagement, influence and impact, Abingdon: Routledge.

Carr, D., Arthur, J. and Kristjánsson, K. (Eds.) (2017) Varieties of Virtue Ethics, London: Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Arthur, J., Kristjánsson, K., Harrison, T., Sanderse, W. and Wright, D. (2016) Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools, Routledge, Abingdon.

Arthur, J., Peterson, A., Hattam, R., & Zembylas, M. (2016) The Palgrave International Handbook of Education for Citizenship and Social Justice, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Arthur, J. & Cremin, T. (Eds.) (2014) Learning to Teach in the Primary School: 3rd Edition, London: Routledge.

Arthur, J., Davison, J. & Pring, R. (Eds.) (2012) Education Matters, London: Routledge.

Arthur, J., & Lovat, T., (eds.) (2012) International Handbook of Religion and Values, Routledge, London.

Arthur, J., Waring, M., and Coe, R., (eds.) (2012) (eds.) Research Methods in Educational Research, Sage, London

Arthur, J. and Peterson, A., (2011) (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Education, Routledge, London.

Arthur J., and Cremin, H., (2011) (eds.) Debates in Citizenship Education, Routledge,London.

Chapters in Books

Arthur, J. (2017) ‘Secular Education and Religion’, in Zuckerman, P. & Shook, J. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Secularism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Arthur, J. (2012) ‘Intercultural versus Interreligious Dialogue in a Pluralist Europe’, in Besley, T. & Peters, M. A. (Eds.) 

Arthur, J. (2011) Is it appropriate to teach students about morality and values? (pp 100-107) in Lexmond, J and Grist, M (2011) The Character Inquiry, London, DEMOS.