Teacher Education

Project Overview

Leading Character Education in Schools CPD Course

The Leading Character Education in Schools CPD programme has had over 1,450 educational leaders register from 50 countries. The design of the CPD programme included an extensive review of the literature, an online survey with over 450 teachers and visits to schools across England. The CPD was piloted over a six-week period by 100 learners (mostly teachers) from six countries, and the content and design was reviewed positively by participants (read their views here).

A report on the programme’s development is available (right).

If you would like to register for the programme more information can be found here.

The Teacher Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre- and In-Service Teachers project explored the very important issue of how teachers were prepared and supported to meet the moral and ethical demands of their roles. It built upon and expanded on the Jubilee Centre’s previous work concerning character education in schools (for example, The Good TeacherStatement on Teacher Education and Character EducationA Framework for Character Education in Schools). The research recommended giving pre-service teachers space for critical moral and ethical reflection on practice to develop their moral agency; training that included academic and practical input concerning the integral role of moral virtue in education; and training through CPD programmes that emphasised the need for moral character throughout a teacher’s career. This project explored these areas to draw together the strands of evidenced good practice into a coherent programme that can be disseminated to a larger audience.

The research was split into two strands, focussing on pre-service teachers in training (strand A) and teachers currently in-service (strand B). The overarching questions for both strands of research were:

  • 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?
Leading Character Education in Schools An Online CPD Programme

Summary of Key Findings

The research conducted in Strand A drew on data collected from 389 primary and secondary pre-service teachers. Following an initial survey and an extended lecture on character education, over 60 volunteers successfully completed a reflective journal. 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. Key findings included:

  • Pre-service teachers acknowledged the importance character plays in their own professional development.
  • Pre-service teachers believed that it is important to reflect on their character throughout their teaching careers.
  • Pre-service teachers described the character of a ‘good teacher’ as instrumental in nature with this view unchanged over the course of an ITE year.
  • Pre-service teachers’ perceptions of their own character strengths changed; at the end of ITE, a greater importance was placed upon instrumental character strengths at the expense of moral character strengths.

A Research Briefing of the findings and recommendations can be found here.

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Michael Fullard.

Summary of Key Recommendations

Recommendations for ITE Providers

  • To provide a definition of reflective practice for trainee teachers which actively encourages reflection on the moral and ethical dimensions of teaching.
  • To provide real-life examples of how character strengths may be used, seen and reflected on in school placements.
  • To provide trainee teachers with the time and space to reflect on their character development and character strengths where appropriate.
  • To include reflection on character and character strengths within current reflection or evaluation tools that are used by trainee teachers whilst on teaching placements.
  • Leading Character Education in Schools
  • Windows Into Schools: Celebrating Character provides insights into the ways in which the eight case study schools in the CPD programme provision for, embed and cultivate meaningful character education.
  • The Jubilee Centre has designed, trialled and evaluated teacher 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 Initial Insights publication Character Perspectives of Student Teacherspublished in October 2018, provides an in-depth analysis of the findings from Strand A.
  • For a condensed summary of the findings and recommendations from Strand A click on the Research Briefing below.
Media and Blog Posts

Teacher Education: Character, ethics and the professional development of pre- and in-service teachers

Reflections on Character Education from a Former Secondary School Teacher

Developing Character Skills in Schools – A Teacher’s Response

Teaching for Confidence, Independence and Resilience: A Review of The Character Conundrum: How to Develop Confidence, Independence and Resilience in the Classroom by Matt Lloyd-Rose

A teacher’s response to the new Character Education Framework Guidance by the Department for Education

United Academy 92: Delivering education that is more than a qualification

A Short Guide to Implementing a Whole-School Approach to Character Education

Leading Character Education in Schools

Character at Home