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Quote of the week

The best kind of happiness is a habit you're passionate about.Shannon L. Alder

Lord Rabbi Sacks Receives Templeton Prize 2016

27/05/16

Yesterday, on Thursday 26th May 2016, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was presented with the Templeton Prize at a ceremony at Central Hall Westminster, London. 

In his acceptance speech, Lord Sacks said that being award the Prize had 'left me moved, humbled, thankful, and deeply motivated'. In an acceptance speech which focused on the importance of memory and what he referred to as 'outsourcing', Lord Sacks spoke of the importance of morality in the free world. 'A free society is a moral achievement. Without self-restraint, without the capacity to defer the gratification of instinct, and without the habits of heart and deed that we call virtues, we will eventually lose our freedom.'

The full speech is available to read here

 

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Floreat Education Launch Character Programme Website

26/05/16

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues partners Floreat Education have launched their Floreat Character Programme. The site, funded by the Department for Education, supports both the 'taught' and 'caught' approaches to developing pupils' character in school and is separated into three key areas:

  • Culture and training materials, aimed at breaking down how we habituate and model virtuous behaviour;
  • The Virtue Literacy Programme, which guides teachers in the use of children's stories to explore character;
  • Service Learning, which provide opportunities to practise the application of virtue both inside and outside the classroom.

Floreat Education was established in 2013 in order to create a family of world-class schools where every child can flourish. The Floreat Education Academies Trust is comprised of five primary schools, three of which will open in September 2016. The Jubilee Centre has acted as a strategic adviser to Floreat Education, and Floreat have used the Centre's resources, including the Framework for Character Education in Schools to inform their own work.

Access the Floreat Character Programme below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deputy Director Publishes on Flourishing in Education

24/05/16

Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, has published a paper titled 'Recent Work on Flourishing as the Aim of Education: A Critical Review' in the British Journal of Educational Studies.  The abstract is below and the paper is available to view online here.

Flourishing, understood along semi-Aristotelian lines, has re-emerged recently as an account of the ideal aim of education, for instance, in works by educational philosophers Brighouse, White and de Ruyter. This article aims at critically reviewing this new paradigm by subjecting it to philosophical and educational scrutiny. Throughout I compare and contrast this paradigm with Aristotelian flourishing and explore the specific role of teachers as facilitators of students’ flourishing and sense of meaning.

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Shadow Secretary of State for Education to Give Jubilee Centre Annual Lecture

16/05/16

The Centre's Director, Professor James Arthur, and Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, met separately with Shadow Secretary of State for Education Lucy Powell MP (Labour) and Spokesperson for Education John Pugh MP (Liberal Democrats) on Tuesday 10th May to brief them on character education.  The Centre is delighted that Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Lucy Powell MP, has agreed to give the Jubilee Centre annual lecture in autumn 2016.

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Centre Launches Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum Resources

16/05/16

Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum is a programme of study developed for Year 6 pupils (10-11 year olds) to aid in their transition to secondary school. Taking the approach of teaching character through eight different primary curriculum subjects, each subject focuses on one primary, and multiple secondary character virtues. The materials include Teacher's Notes, Narratives, Resources for Pupils and Power Point slides, as well as a Virtue Toolkit for each of the 8 virtues explored and are available to download here

The project has been created by Teaching Fellow Michael Fullard, the Centre's first Primary specialist Teaching Fellow. Michael has created the resources, and trialled them with local primary schools, developing the narratives and resources during the process.

An 'Introduction' to the resources is available here.

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Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony 2016

12/05/16

The Jubilee Centre was delighted to showcase thank you letters written by young people from across the UK, and internationally, with an awards ceremony on Wednesday 11th May 2016.  Over 40,000 young people have taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards and schools from up and down the country attended the celebratory event.   

The competition invited young people to write a letter to thank a person, a group or organisation that has really inspired them, made their life better or improved their local community, Britain or the world.  Many thanked their closest family members, friends, teachers, charities and inspirational figures.

Those at the ceremony were able to hear some of the letters being read out by the young people, and the finalists, runners-up and winners from both primary and secondary schools were announced and awarded their certificates and prizes.  Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, presented the awards and spoke about who in her life she is particularly grateful to and why.  

One of the letters heard at the ceremony was a special thank you to Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was recognised for her courage and determination in fighting for children and women’s right to education. The Jubilee Centre was delighted to welcome Malala's parents to the awards ceremony where they were able to hear how Malala's story had inspired young people.

The finalists, runners up and winners from both primary and secondary categories are listed below.

Finalists

Primary:
Florence Underwood, Harborne Primary School, Birmingham
Edie Davies, Hook Lane Primary School, Kent
Chloe Pike, Hook Lane Primary School, Kent
Inigo Duffield, Windlesham School, West Sussex
Rashida Sillah, Broadford Primary School, Essex

Secondary:
Alfie Stewart, Hall Mead School, Upminster
Tessa Yau, Albyn School, Aberdeen
Robert Shaw, Albyn School, Aberdeen
Lydia Matterson, The Academy at Shotton Hall, County Durham
Santi Campo Arbolés, Viaró Global School, Spain

Winners and Runners Up

Primary

Winner:

Adaeze Ordu, St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

Charmaine, St Mary's and St John's C of E Primary School, London
Lyla Perkins, Harborne Primary School, Birmingham

Secondary

Winner:

Peace Buraimo, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

Vlad Gabriel, Thistley Hough Academy, Stoke-on-Trent
Kajol Korotania, Nishkam High School, Birmingham

 

Photos from the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards can be viewed below.

Thank You Letter Awards 2016

 

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Professor Robert C. Roberts Presents at University of Notre Dame

10/05/16

Professor Robert C. Roberts, Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre and joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy, delivered a paper at the Self, Motivation, and Virtue conference at the University of Notre Dame on Friday 6th May 2016.  The paper Professor Roberts presented with Michael Spezio, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Scripps College, Claremont, was titled 'Humility as Opening to Others: Exemplar-Mediated Reconfigurations of the Self'. The conference programme is available here and the abstract for the paper can be found below:

 

The talk will engage distinctive contributions of the virtue of humility to the communal life of L’Arche communities, and of these communities’ practices to our understanding of humility. Long-term, dedicated Assistants in L’Arche feature a remarkable and special kind of openness to other members that facilitates loving encounter consistent with Jean Vanier’s writings on Christian love. The practices in L’Arche work against vices of pride such as arrogance, conceit, snobbishness, and self-righteousness, which all derive from egoistic, atomistic barriers to spiritual communion. These barriers are shields, partitions, divides between persons, counter to the relationships that characterize life in L’Arche. While more or less expected or typical in most human relationships and human systems, there is a striking absence of these dividers in L’Arche. We propose that this absence facilitates what humility is when combined with love: an openness to perceiving and valuing self and other together, in conformity with the mind of the exemplar. The ontology, or fundamental teleological nature of the self that justifies and makes humility possible, in combination with love, is that the self is essentially self-transcendent. In particular, it is made to transcend itself “into” the other, for the sake of the other, in benevolent service. It is also that the value that the vices of pride prescribe for the self is false. We will present several empirical lines of evidence expanding on this analysis. Bayesian cognitive modeling and model selection show that senior L’Arche Assistants unite their self-valuation with their valuing of others in decisions that are both courageous and conventionally costly. Linguistic analyses show that Assistants semantically join valuation of self and other, compared to a control group that is matched for self-reported gender, empathy, prosociality, and personality. Finally, we will present preliminary neuroimaging investigations using dense array EEG to determine whether these reconfigured models of the self associate with default-mode and perceptual networks in the brain. 

 

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Centre Director and Director of Education Attend Workshop at University of Navarra

09/05/16

On 27th-29th April 2016, Professor James Arthur and Dr. Tom Harrison attended a planning workshop on 'Researching and Promoting Character Education in Central and South American Secondary Schools', at the University of Navarra. The workshop brought together experts from around the world to offer advice on the research project by the same name, funded by the World Templeton Charity. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison were invited to discuss potential closer collaboration with the University of Navarra project, which aims to gain greater understanding of how the formation of positive character traits, particularly social and moral virtues, may be enacted and promoted in the context of Central and South American secondary schools. The project, will conduct case studies in secondary schools in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. The project will have three major outcomes: 1) Better understanding of character education in Latin America; 2) Greater awareness of character education in Latin America; and, 3) Better prospects for future research into character education in Latin America.


During the course of the workshop, Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison led a roundtable discussion with Prof. Marvin Berkowitz on 'Good Practices and Strategies Promoting Awareness on Character Education'.

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents to Taunton Teaching Alliance

06/05/16

Dr. Tom Harrison, Director of Education, gave a presentation on Character Education: Taught and Caught to the Taunton Teaching Alliance on the 3rd May 2016. The event was held in the Tacci Morris Arts Centre at Heathfield School in Taunton. Tom’s presentation focused on the Jubilee Centre’s Framework for Character Education and explained both the theory and practice of character education. The presentation formed part of a series of events put on by the Alliance under the banner of Inspiring Leadership Events that have run throughout the year for Senior and Middle Leaders from Primary and Secondary schools in the area.

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Deputy Director's Aristotelian Character Education Book Reviewed by Professor Nancy Snow

04/05/16

A review of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's Aristotelian Character Education book has been published in the British Journal of Educational Studies. Written by Professor Nancy Snow, Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma, the review deems the book a 'valuable addition to the literature on character education' and is available to view here.

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Dr. Sandra Cooke Presents at Dacorum Schools Conference

03/05/16
Dr. Sandra Cooke, Director of Partnerships, gave a keynote lecture at the Dacorum Schools Conference in Hertfordshire on 28th April 2016. With over 50 primary and secondary headteachers and teachers attending, the day focused on Preparing for Change: developing resilience in schools. In her presentation, Sandra explained the Centre’s philosophy and work, with examples from research and practice. Other speakers included Chair of the Partnership of Dacorum Schools, Gary Lewis who spoke on the importance of character in his school and Emma Judge, Co-Founder of How to Thrive, who spoke about the Penn Resilience Programme. 
 
Sandra's presentation is available here.
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Dr. Tom Harrison Interviewed in Schools Week

25/04/16

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, featured in the Schools Week 'Experts Q&A' on 24th April 2016, answering questions about the Teaching Character Through Subjects programme, and the suites of teaching resources that the project has delivered. The resources are already proving incredibly popular, and the page is the most visited on the Jubilee Centre website since the online launch on Friday 15th April.

Interviewed by Catherine Murray, Deputy Editor of Schools Week, Tom answers questions about the specifics of the programme, the unique way that the resources demonstrate how to infuse character development within 14 different secondary curriculum subjects, and the intended impact of the project.

Schools Week is a weekly print and online publication providing news, investigations, expert columns and more to school leaders, governors and other education stakeholders.

The Q&A with Tom is available here.

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Emma Taylor Selected to Attend Speech by US President

25/04/16

On 23rd April 2016, Jubilee Centre Research Associate Emma Taylor was chosen by the US Embassy to attend a London Town Hall event with US President Barack Obama, during his visit to the UK. President Obama gave a short speech before taking questions from the audience of young people on topics ranging from activism to global conflict. He spoke about the importance of having a “moral compass” and retaining integrity and being true to your values. He spoke to the audience about the importance of holding a set of personal values, and that his own values included believing in the dignity and worth of all human beings, and how compromise is not about surrendering what you believe in, but recognising that those with whom you disagree may have valuable ideas too. President Obama also spoke about the importance of resilience, and that progress in areas that one cares deeply about can often be long term projects, not something to give up with. Emma was selected as part of the US Embassy’s Young Leaders UK programme, which aims to connect Britain’s rising leaders with Americans, with the United States as a whole, and with one another.

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Matt Bawden Concludes SecEd Series

21/04/16

During his term as Teacher-in-Residence at the Jubilee Centre, Matt Bawden worked on the Department for Education funded Teaching Character Through Subjects project. The resources were launched online on Friday 15th April 2016, and since the launch, Matt has written for SecEd to explain what the resources are and how the project came about.

Teaching Character Through Subjects worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented below as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through secondary curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the secondary school curriculum.

This article concludes a mini-series from SecEd on character education. Read the other articles in the series here

The Teaching Character Through Subjects resources are available here

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Centre Staff Visit Tufts University to Discuss Synergies with Project CADET

15/04/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited Tufts University, Boston the week of 11th April to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with Prof. Richard Lerner and Dr Kristina Schmid Callina. Prof. Lerner, who holds the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and is the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, is Principal Investigator on Project CADET (Character Assessment with Development and Ethics Training), working with US Military cadets at West Point. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Walker were able to spend time with Prof. Lerner and Dr. Schmid Callina discussing synergies between the two projects.

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VLOG: 'Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life' by Professor Candace Vogler

15/04/16

Prof. Candace Vogler, University of Chicago, recently spent time as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Jubilee Centre. In this vlog, Prof. Vogler speaks about the ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’ project that she directs, and of synergies with Jubilee Centre projects. View the vlog here

Prof. Vogler also presented a paper titled ‘A Few Remarks About Self-Transcendence’ whilst at the Jubilee Centre, which is available here.

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Teaching Character Through Subjects Resources Launched

15/04/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues are delighted to launch the Teaching Character Through Subjects report and teaching resources. This year-long project, funded by the Department for Education, worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the secondary school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the school curriculum.

The key aims of the project are:

  • to contribute to the development and expansion of effective approaches for building character, which have a positive impact on educational attainment, engagement, employability and well-being;
  • to increase understanding of effective approaches that support other schools and colleges to develop and build character;
  • to encourage colleges and organisations to prioritise and implement their own initiatives.  

The project research report and all resources are available here. The content is free to access, and we encourage you to provide us with feedback and comments on how and where the materials are being used. Please contact us at jubileecentre@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

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Virtue Essay Contest and Youth Awards: Open for 2016

15/04/16

The 2016 Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest and the Jubilee Centre Youth Awards for Service are now open for entries. 

The Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest encourages young people to consider the meaning and importance of the virtues of honesty, courage and service.  The contest asks those aged between 9 and 18 to write a short essay exploring one of these particular virtues, focussing on how it has benefitted their life, and how it will be of benefit in the future.  The contest ran for the first time in 2015 and received essays from 400 young people across both primary and secondary schools.  Winning essays from 2015, and details of how to enter the 2016 competition, can be found here.

The Jubilee Youth Awards for Service recognise young people for their outstanding commitment to social action; this could be through volunteering or fundraising, caring for people or providing mentoring support in school, running campaigns or being part of a social enterprise.  There are two awards available: one for young people aged 10-15, and one for young people aged 16-20.  Find out more about the Jubilee Youth Awards, and how to nominate someone you know, here.

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Centre Manager Meets With Character.org CEO

14/04/16

On Monday 11th April 2016, Jubilee Centre Manager Aidan Thompson met with Becky Sipos, CEO of Character.org to discuss the partnership between the two organisations and opportunities for future collaboration. As well as discussing the Jubilee Centre projects, Aidan learned more about the Character.org Schools of Character programme and the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education which form the cornerstone of all work that Character.org do.

Character.org (formerly Character Education Partnership) have been a partner of the Jubilee Centre since its launch in 2012, and this was a great opportunity to discuss synergies and initiatives.

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Dr. David Walker and Professor Steve Thoma Present at AERA in Washington, DC

12/04/16

On Sunday 10th April 2016, Dr. David Walker and Prof. Steve Thoma presented a paper titled Cross-cultural responses to the Adolescent Intermediate Concept Measure:  An empirical summary of studies in USA, Taiwan, Macedonia and UK at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Washington, DC. 

The AERA Annual Meeting theme for 2016 was ‘public scholarship to educate diverse democracies’, and David and Steve gave the paper as part of the ‘Advances in the Assessment of Moral Growth and Issues in the Moral Dimensions of Teaching’ discussion, chaired by Dr. Richard D. Osguthorpe of Boise State University. The session also featured papers from Prof. Elizabeth Campbell and Dr. Bruce Maxwell.

A link to the presentation can be found here.

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Centre Members Contribute to New Volume

07/04/16

Deputy Director, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson and Research Fellow, Dr Liz Gulliford have recently had chapters published in a new edited volume Dual-Process Theories in Moral Psychology (edited by Cordula Brand, Springer VS, 2016). The volume emerged as a result of a Symposium initiated and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and took place between 8th and 15th March, 2014 at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Kristján’s chapter focused on ‘The "New Synthesis in Moral Psychology" versus Aristotelianism: Content and Consequences’. Liz submitted the chapter ‘Psychology’s Contribution to Ethics: Two Case Studies’, and provided the Epilogue to volume ‘The Word Thief’, an allegory about ordinary language philosophy, initially read at the symposium’s public engagement event on March 15th 2014.

The book is available via Springer here

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Director of Education Co-Authors Primary Character Education Book

05/04/16

Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison has published Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom with co-authors Dr. John Ryan and Ian Morris. The text is published by SAGE and aims to provide clear, accessible advice to primary school teachers and other education stakeholders on how to enhance character education provision within the classroom. The book covers core themes including what character education is, what it is not; why character matters; and what the role of the classroom teacher is in terms of building pupils' character.

The book provides practical advice and resources for delivering vital character education provision, be that in a discrete lesson, or as part of a whole school ethos.

Director of the Jubilee Centre, Prof. James Arthur commented:

"Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom provides an excellent and very accessible overview of the emerging field of character education.   It covers, in detail, the theory of character education as well as advice and guidance about how this should be applied in practice in primary schools." 

Keith Ellis, Deputy Headteacher at Oakthorpe Primary School – Regional finalist for DfE Character Awards 2015 commented:

"In my role as Deputy Headteacher, Character Education in the Primary Classroom is a book I will be revisiting again and again in my own role and with schools that I am supporting. It unequivocally supports my own opinion, and the growing opinion across UK education that Character Education is a necessity for all schools and not a risk – a focus on the virtues children need to be taught to explicitly use should help to support a focus on standards rather than exclusive to it.  It explores the definition and use of virtues in the primary classroom, and always presents deep thinking in manageable ways that can be taken straight from the page into the pedagogical decisions teachers and school leaders make every day.

The book is organised in a way that allows schools to re-evaluate their role in preparing children for life, rather than to solely prepare them for exam success. It practically supports schools to pick out key strategies that will help them to re-emphasise their whole school values and how schools can make their hidden character education curriculum more explicit.

Through the careful choice of chapters, this book is suitable for anyone interested in character education from system leaders who are looking to re-emphasise a focus on virtues across a number of schools, to teachers just entering the profession. It is also a perfect academic background to present to those members of staff who need further convincing that character education is of utmost importance in our current educational climate.

The publication of this book is so well timed with the current emphasis on preparing children for a fast-paced world of change. Alongside the work of the Jubilee Centre of Character and Virtues, this book will help lead the way in the UK, and global, education systems to put character education at the heart of learning."

 

 

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Ministry of Defence Grant Ethical Clearance for Soldiers of Character

05/04/16

The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) has granted ethical approval for the Jubilee Centre Soldiers of Character research project to undertake research into the character strengths of Junior British Army Officers. The research project is the first of its kind in the UK, and, in part, will evaluate the utility and validity of measures designed to assess the Values and Standards of British Army officers. 

More information about the project can be found on the project page

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Lord Rabbi Sacks Receives Templeton Prize 2016

27/05/16

Yesterday, on Thursday 26th May 2016, Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks was presented with the Templeton Prize at a ceremony at Central Hall Westminster, London. 

In his acceptance speech, Lord Sacks said that being award the Prize had 'left me moved, humbled, thankful, and deeply motivated'. In an acceptance speech which focused on the importance of memory and what he referred to as 'outsourcing', Lord Sacks spoke of the importance of morality in the free world. 'A free society is a moral achievement. Without self-restraint, without the capacity to defer the gratification of instinct, and without the habits of heart and deed that we call virtues, we will eventually lose our freedom.'

The full speech is available to read here

 

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Floreat Education Launch Character Programme Website

26/05/16

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues partners Floreat Education have launched their Floreat Character Programme. The site, funded by the Department for Education, supports both the 'taught' and 'caught' approaches to developing pupils' character in school and is separated into three key areas:

  • Culture and training materials, aimed at breaking down how we habituate and model virtuous behaviour;
  • The Virtue Literacy Programme, which guides teachers in the use of children's stories to explore character;
  • Service Learning, which provide opportunities to practise the application of virtue both inside and outside the classroom.

Floreat Education was established in 2013 in order to create a family of world-class schools where every child can flourish. The Floreat Education Academies Trust is comprised of five primary schools, three of which will open in September 2016. The Jubilee Centre has acted as a strategic adviser to Floreat Education, and Floreat have used the Centre's resources, including the Framework for Character Education in Schools to inform their own work.

Access the Floreat Character Programme below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deputy Director Publishes on Flourishing in Education

24/05/16

Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, has published a paper titled 'Recent Work on Flourishing as the Aim of Education: A Critical Review' in the British Journal of Educational Studies.  The abstract is below and the paper is available to view online here.

Flourishing, understood along semi-Aristotelian lines, has re-emerged recently as an account of the ideal aim of education, for instance, in works by educational philosophers Brighouse, White and de Ruyter. This article aims at critically reviewing this new paradigm by subjecting it to philosophical and educational scrutiny. Throughout I compare and contrast this paradigm with Aristotelian flourishing and explore the specific role of teachers as facilitators of students’ flourishing and sense of meaning.

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Shadow Secretary of State for Education to Give Jubilee Centre Annual Lecture

16/05/16

The Centre's Director, Professor James Arthur, and Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, met separately with Shadow Secretary of State for Education Lucy Powell MP (Labour) and Spokesperson for Education John Pugh MP (Liberal Democrats) on Tuesday 10th May to brief them on character education.  The Centre is delighted that Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Lucy Powell MP, has agreed to give the Jubilee Centre annual lecture in autumn 2016.

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Centre Launches Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum Resources

16/05/16

Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum is a programme of study developed for Year 6 pupils (10-11 year olds) to aid in their transition to secondary school. Taking the approach of teaching character through eight different primary curriculum subjects, each subject focuses on one primary, and multiple secondary character virtues. The materials include Teacher's Notes, Narratives, Resources for Pupils and Power Point slides, as well as a Virtue Toolkit for each of the 8 virtues explored and are available to download here

The project has been created by Teaching Fellow Michael Fullard, the Centre's first Primary specialist Teaching Fellow. Michael has created the resources, and trialled them with local primary schools, developing the narratives and resources during the process.

An 'Introduction' to the resources is available here.

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Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony 2016

12/05/16

The Jubilee Centre was delighted to showcase thank you letters written by young people from across the UK, and internationally, with an awards ceremony on Wednesday 11th May 2016.  Over 40,000 young people have taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards and schools from up and down the country attended the celebratory event.   

The competition invited young people to write a letter to thank a person, a group or organisation that has really inspired them, made their life better or improved their local community, Britain or the world.  Many thanked their closest family members, friends, teachers, charities and inspirational figures.

Those at the ceremony were able to hear some of the letters being read out by the young people, and the finalists, runners-up and winners from both primary and secondary schools were announced and awarded their certificates and prizes.  Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up To Serve, presented the awards and spoke about who in her life she is particularly grateful to and why.  

One of the letters heard at the ceremony was a special thank you to Malala Yousafzai, who became the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 when she was recognised for her courage and determination in fighting for children and women’s right to education. The Jubilee Centre was delighted to welcome Malala's parents to the awards ceremony where they were able to hear how Malala's story had inspired young people.

The finalists, runners up and winners from both primary and secondary categories are listed below.

Finalists

Primary:
Florence Underwood, Harborne Primary School, Birmingham
Edie Davies, Hook Lane Primary School, Kent
Chloe Pike, Hook Lane Primary School, Kent
Inigo Duffield, Windlesham School, West Sussex
Rashida Sillah, Broadford Primary School, Essex

Secondary:
Alfie Stewart, Hall Mead School, Upminster
Tessa Yau, Albyn School, Aberdeen
Robert Shaw, Albyn School, Aberdeen
Lydia Matterson, The Academy at Shotton Hall, County Durham
Santi Campo Arbolés, Viaró Global School, Spain

Winners and Runners Up

Primary

Winner:

Adaeze Ordu, St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

Charmaine, St Mary's and St John's C of E Primary School, London
Lyla Perkins, Harborne Primary School, Birmingham

Secondary

Winner:

Peace Buraimo, King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

Vlad Gabriel, Thistley Hough Academy, Stoke-on-Trent
Kajol Korotania, Nishkam High School, Birmingham

 

Photos from the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards can be viewed below.

Thank You Letter Awards 2016

 

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Professor Robert C. Roberts Presents at University of Notre Dame

10/05/16

Professor Robert C. Roberts, Professor of Ethics and Emotion Theory at the Jubilee Centre and joint Chair with the Royal Institute of Philosophy, delivered a paper at the Self, Motivation, and Virtue conference at the University of Notre Dame on Friday 6th May 2016.  The paper Professor Roberts presented with Michael Spezio, Associate Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Scripps College, Claremont, was titled 'Humility as Opening to Others: Exemplar-Mediated Reconfigurations of the Self'. The conference programme is available here and the abstract for the paper can be found below:

 

The talk will engage distinctive contributions of the virtue of humility to the communal life of L’Arche communities, and of these communities’ practices to our understanding of humility. Long-term, dedicated Assistants in L’Arche feature a remarkable and special kind of openness to other members that facilitates loving encounter consistent with Jean Vanier’s writings on Christian love. The practices in L’Arche work against vices of pride such as arrogance, conceit, snobbishness, and self-righteousness, which all derive from egoistic, atomistic barriers to spiritual communion. These barriers are shields, partitions, divides between persons, counter to the relationships that characterize life in L’Arche. While more or less expected or typical in most human relationships and human systems, there is a striking absence of these dividers in L’Arche. We propose that this absence facilitates what humility is when combined with love: an openness to perceiving and valuing self and other together, in conformity with the mind of the exemplar. The ontology, or fundamental teleological nature of the self that justifies and makes humility possible, in combination with love, is that the self is essentially self-transcendent. In particular, it is made to transcend itself “into” the other, for the sake of the other, in benevolent service. It is also that the value that the vices of pride prescribe for the self is false. We will present several empirical lines of evidence expanding on this analysis. Bayesian cognitive modeling and model selection show that senior L’Arche Assistants unite their self-valuation with their valuing of others in decisions that are both courageous and conventionally costly. Linguistic analyses show that Assistants semantically join valuation of self and other, compared to a control group that is matched for self-reported gender, empathy, prosociality, and personality. Finally, we will present preliminary neuroimaging investigations using dense array EEG to determine whether these reconfigured models of the self associate with default-mode and perceptual networks in the brain. 

 

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Centre Director and Director of Education Attend Workshop at University of Navarra

09/05/16

On 27th-29th April 2016, Professor James Arthur and Dr. Tom Harrison attended a planning workshop on 'Researching and Promoting Character Education in Central and South American Secondary Schools', at the University of Navarra. The workshop brought together experts from around the world to offer advice on the research project by the same name, funded by the World Templeton Charity. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison were invited to discuss potential closer collaboration with the University of Navarra project, which aims to gain greater understanding of how the formation of positive character traits, particularly social and moral virtues, may be enacted and promoted in the context of Central and South American secondary schools. The project, will conduct case studies in secondary schools in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico. The project will have three major outcomes: 1) Better understanding of character education in Latin America; 2) Greater awareness of character education in Latin America; and, 3) Better prospects for future research into character education in Latin America.


During the course of the workshop, Prof. Arthur and Dr. Harrison led a roundtable discussion with Prof. Marvin Berkowitz on 'Good Practices and Strategies Promoting Awareness on Character Education'.

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents to Taunton Teaching Alliance

06/05/16

Dr. Tom Harrison, Director of Education, gave a presentation on Character Education: Taught and Caught to the Taunton Teaching Alliance on the 3rd May 2016. The event was held in the Tacci Morris Arts Centre at Heathfield School in Taunton. Tom’s presentation focused on the Jubilee Centre’s Framework for Character Education and explained both the theory and practice of character education. The presentation formed part of a series of events put on by the Alliance under the banner of Inspiring Leadership Events that have run throughout the year for Senior and Middle Leaders from Primary and Secondary schools in the area.

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Deputy Director's Aristotelian Character Education Book Reviewed by Professor Nancy Snow

04/05/16

A review of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's Aristotelian Character Education book has been published in the British Journal of Educational Studies. Written by Professor Nancy Snow, Professor and Director of the Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing at the University of Oklahoma, the review deems the book a 'valuable addition to the literature on character education' and is available to view here.

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Dr. Sandra Cooke Presents at Dacorum Schools Conference

03/05/16
Dr. Sandra Cooke, Director of Partnerships, gave a keynote lecture at the Dacorum Schools Conference in Hertfordshire on 28th April 2016. With over 50 primary and secondary headteachers and teachers attending, the day focused on Preparing for Change: developing resilience in schools. In her presentation, Sandra explained the Centre’s philosophy and work, with examples from research and practice. Other speakers included Chair of the Partnership of Dacorum Schools, Gary Lewis who spoke on the importance of character in his school and Emma Judge, Co-Founder of How to Thrive, who spoke about the Penn Resilience Programme. 
 
Sandra's presentation is available here.
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Dr. Tom Harrison Interviewed in Schools Week

25/04/16

Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, featured in the Schools Week 'Experts Q&A' on 24th April 2016, answering questions about the Teaching Character Through Subjects programme, and the suites of teaching resources that the project has delivered. The resources are already proving incredibly popular, and the page is the most visited on the Jubilee Centre website since the online launch on Friday 15th April.

Interviewed by Catherine Murray, Deputy Editor of Schools Week, Tom answers questions about the specifics of the programme, the unique way that the resources demonstrate how to infuse character development within 14 different secondary curriculum subjects, and the intended impact of the project.

Schools Week is a weekly print and online publication providing news, investigations, expert columns and more to school leaders, governors and other education stakeholders.

The Q&A with Tom is available here.

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Emma Taylor Selected to Attend Speech by US President

25/04/16

On 23rd April 2016, Jubilee Centre Research Associate Emma Taylor was chosen by the US Embassy to attend a London Town Hall event with US President Barack Obama, during his visit to the UK. President Obama gave a short speech before taking questions from the audience of young people on topics ranging from activism to global conflict. He spoke about the importance of having a “moral compass” and retaining integrity and being true to your values. He spoke to the audience about the importance of holding a set of personal values, and that his own values included believing in the dignity and worth of all human beings, and how compromise is not about surrendering what you believe in, but recognising that those with whom you disagree may have valuable ideas too. President Obama also spoke about the importance of resilience, and that progress in areas that one cares deeply about can often be long term projects, not something to give up with. Emma was selected as part of the US Embassy’s Young Leaders UK programme, which aims to connect Britain’s rising leaders with Americans, with the United States as a whole, and with one another.

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Matt Bawden Concludes SecEd Series

21/04/16

During his term as Teacher-in-Residence at the Jubilee Centre, Matt Bawden worked on the Department for Education funded Teaching Character Through Subjects project. The resources were launched online on Friday 15th April 2016, and since the launch, Matt has written for SecEd to explain what the resources are and how the project came about.

Teaching Character Through Subjects worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented below as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through secondary curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the secondary school curriculum.

This article concludes a mini-series from SecEd on character education. Read the other articles in the series here

The Teaching Character Through Subjects resources are available here

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Centre Staff Visit Tufts University to Discuss Synergies with Project CADET

15/04/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited Tufts University, Boston the week of 11th April to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with Prof. Richard Lerner and Dr Kristina Schmid Callina. Prof. Lerner, who holds the Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and is the Director of the Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts University, is Principal Investigator on Project CADET (Character Assessment with Development and Ethics Training), working with US Military cadets at West Point. Prof. Arthur and Dr. Walker were able to spend time with Prof. Lerner and Dr. Schmid Callina discussing synergies between the two projects.

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VLOG: 'Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life' by Professor Candace Vogler

15/04/16

Prof. Candace Vogler, University of Chicago, recently spent time as a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Jubilee Centre. In this vlog, Prof. Vogler speaks about the ‘Virtue, Happiness, and the Meaning of Life’ project that she directs, and of synergies with Jubilee Centre projects. View the vlog here

Prof. Vogler also presented a paper titled ‘A Few Remarks About Self-Transcendence’ whilst at the Jubilee Centre, which is available here.

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Teaching Character Through Subjects Resources Launched

15/04/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues are delighted to launch the Teaching Character Through Subjects report and teaching resources. This year-long project, funded by the Department for Education, worked across England with 29 teachers from 28 state funded schools to create an innovative resource for building character within 14 subjects across the secondary school curriculum. The materials were developed by teachers, for teachers, and trialled in schools, and are presented as suites of resources for each subject. Each suite provides editable examples of ways character can be taught through curriculum subjects. Each suite can be adapted to fit different contexts and serve as inspiration for the development of additional materials that further explore teaching character through subjects and the school curriculum.

The key aims of the project are:

  • to contribute to the development and expansion of effective approaches for building character, which have a positive impact on educational attainment, engagement, employability and well-being;
  • to increase understanding of effective approaches that support other schools and colleges to develop and build character;
  • to encourage colleges and organisations to prioritise and implement their own initiatives.  

The project research report and all resources are available here. The content is free to access, and we encourage you to provide us with feedback and comments on how and where the materials are being used. Please contact us at jubileecentre@contacts.bham.ac.uk  

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Virtue Essay Contest and Youth Awards: Open for 2016

15/04/16

The 2016 Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest and the Jubilee Centre Youth Awards for Service are now open for entries. 

The Why Virtue Matters Essay Contest encourages young people to consider the meaning and importance of the virtues of honesty, courage and service.  The contest asks those aged between 9 and 18 to write a short essay exploring one of these particular virtues, focussing on how it has benefitted their life, and how it will be of benefit in the future.  The contest ran for the first time in 2015 and received essays from 400 young people across both primary and secondary schools.  Winning essays from 2015, and details of how to enter the 2016 competition, can be found here.

The Jubilee Youth Awards for Service recognise young people for their outstanding commitment to social action; this could be through volunteering or fundraising, caring for people or providing mentoring support in school, running campaigns or being part of a social enterprise.  There are two awards available: one for young people aged 10-15, and one for young people aged 16-20.  Find out more about the Jubilee Youth Awards, and how to nominate someone you know, here.

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Centre Manager Meets With Character.org CEO

14/04/16

On Monday 11th April 2016, Jubilee Centre Manager Aidan Thompson met with Becky Sipos, CEO of Character.org to discuss the partnership between the two organisations and opportunities for future collaboration. As well as discussing the Jubilee Centre projects, Aidan learned more about the Character.org Schools of Character programme and the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education which form the cornerstone of all work that Character.org do.

Character.org (formerly Character Education Partnership) have been a partner of the Jubilee Centre since its launch in 2012, and this was a great opportunity to discuss synergies and initiatives.

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Dr. David Walker and Professor Steve Thoma Present at AERA in Washington, DC

12/04/16

On Sunday 10th April 2016, Dr. David Walker and Prof. Steve Thoma presented a paper titled Cross-cultural responses to the Adolescent Intermediate Concept Measure:  An empirical summary of studies in USA, Taiwan, Macedonia and UK at the American Education Research Association (AERA) conference in Washington, DC. 

The AERA Annual Meeting theme for 2016 was ‘public scholarship to educate diverse democracies’, and David and Steve gave the paper as part of the ‘Advances in the Assessment of Moral Growth and Issues in the Moral Dimensions of Teaching’ discussion, chaired by Dr. Richard D. Osguthorpe of Boise State University. The session also featured papers from Prof. Elizabeth Campbell and Dr. Bruce Maxwell.

A link to the presentation can be found here.

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Centre Members Contribute to New Volume

07/04/16

Deputy Director, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson and Research Fellow, Dr Liz Gulliford have recently had chapters published in a new edited volume Dual-Process Theories in Moral Psychology (edited by Cordula Brand, Springer VS, 2016). The volume emerged as a result of a Symposium initiated and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), and took place between 8th and 15th March, 2014 at the University of Tuebingen, Germany.

Kristján’s chapter focused on ‘The "New Synthesis in Moral Psychology" versus Aristotelianism: Content and Consequences’. Liz submitted the chapter ‘Psychology’s Contribution to Ethics: Two Case Studies’, and provided the Epilogue to volume ‘The Word Thief’, an allegory about ordinary language philosophy, initially read at the symposium’s public engagement event on March 15th 2014.

The book is available via Springer here

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Director of Education Co-Authors Primary Character Education Book

05/04/16

Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison has published Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom with co-authors Dr. John Ryan and Ian Morris. The text is published by SAGE and aims to provide clear, accessible advice to primary school teachers and other education stakeholders on how to enhance character education provision within the classroom. The book covers core themes including what character education is, what it is not; why character matters; and what the role of the classroom teacher is in terms of building pupils' character.

The book provides practical advice and resources for delivering vital character education provision, be that in a discrete lesson, or as part of a whole school ethos.

Director of the Jubilee Centre, Prof. James Arthur commented:

"Teaching Character in the Primary Classroom provides an excellent and very accessible overview of the emerging field of character education.   It covers, in detail, the theory of character education as well as advice and guidance about how this should be applied in practice in primary schools." 

Keith Ellis, Deputy Headteacher at Oakthorpe Primary School – Regional finalist for DfE Character Awards 2015 commented:

"In my role as Deputy Headteacher, Character Education in the Primary Classroom is a book I will be revisiting again and again in my own role and with schools that I am supporting. It unequivocally supports my own opinion, and the growing opinion across UK education that Character Education is a necessity for all schools and not a risk – a focus on the virtues children need to be taught to explicitly use should help to support a focus on standards rather than exclusive to it.  It explores the definition and use of virtues in the primary classroom, and always presents deep thinking in manageable ways that can be taken straight from the page into the pedagogical decisions teachers and school leaders make every day.

The book is organised in a way that allows schools to re-evaluate their role in preparing children for life, rather than to solely prepare them for exam success. It practically supports schools to pick out key strategies that will help them to re-emphasise their whole school values and how schools can make their hidden character education curriculum more explicit.

Through the careful choice of chapters, this book is suitable for anyone interested in character education from system leaders who are looking to re-emphasise a focus on virtues across a number of schools, to teachers just entering the profession. It is also a perfect academic background to present to those members of staff who need further convincing that character education is of utmost importance in our current educational climate.

The publication of this book is so well timed with the current emphasis on preparing children for a fast-paced world of change. Alongside the work of the Jubilee Centre of Character and Virtues, this book will help lead the way in the UK, and global, education systems to put character education at the heart of learning."

 

 

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Ministry of Defence Grant Ethical Clearance for Soldiers of Character

05/04/16

The Ministry of Defence Research Ethics Committee (MODREC) has granted ethical approval for the Jubilee Centre Soldiers of Character research project to undertake research into the character strengths of Junior British Army Officers. The research project is the first of its kind in the UK, and, in part, will evaluate the utility and validity of measures designed to assess the Values and Standards of British Army officers. 

More information about the project can be found on the project page

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