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We're recruiting for a research fellow to join our Schools of Virtue project. Details here https://t.co/GEtbDLLeVD

Quote of the week

My philosophy of leadership is to surround myself with good people who have ability, judgment and knowledge, but above all, a passion for service. Sonny Perdue

Centre co-hosts ‘The Character Education Conference’

26/06/15
On 25th June, the Jubilee Centre co-hosted a conference on Character Education in partnership with the Stourbridge Teaching Schools Alliance.  The conference was held at Redhill School and was attended by 80 primary and secondary teachers from across the region.  Centre Director Professor James Arthur gave the opening keynote address.  Director of Development Dr Tom Harrison and Teaching Fellow Ian Morris facilitated a workshop on the Framework for Character Education in Schools and the Principles for Schools of Character.  Other workshops were run by schools that had won recent DfE Character Awards including Kings Langley School and Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School.    
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Centre Staff Guest Lecture at UNICEF Montenegro Workshop

26/06/15
Director of Partnerships Dr. Sandra Cooke and Centre Manager Aidan Thompson visited Podgorica, Montenegro on 23rd-24th June to deliver presentations at the Quality Education ‘My Virtues and Values’ workshop at the Bureau of Education. The two-day seminar, run in partnership between the Bureau, UNICEF Montenegro and the Jubilee Centre, brought together primary teachers in Montenegro and the project team working to develop a primary curriculum for character education in the country. Sandra and Aidan gave presentations which introduced the Centre’s work, with a particular focus on how the Framework for Character Education in Schools was developed, as well as introducing the Programmes of Study that the Centre has created, and how a ‘whole school’ approach to character education can be developed. The workshops mixed the theoretical and practical approaches to developing character in the classroom, and the teachers involved in the project shared their insights into experiences, successes and challenges faced in adopting a moral focus to education.

In addition to the workshop, Sandra and Aidan were invited to give a guest seminar to a group of over 50 young people as part of a UNICEF Montenegro series of lectures in the UN building in Podgorica. Sandra and Aidan presented a background to the Jubilee Centre, and challenged the audience to discuss 2 of the moral dilemmas used in the Character Education in UK Schools project. Photos from both the workshop and the guest lecture are available in the Media Centre.
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The Jubilee Centre at the Festival of Education 2015

22/06/15

On 18th-19th June 2015 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues exhibited and presented at the Sunday Times Festival of Education, held at Wellington College.  The Centre gave a series of talks introducing its work on character education in schools, with a focus on the 'taught or caught' debate. Presentations were given by Dr. Tom Harrison and Ian Morris and Dr. Sandra Cooke. The Centre engaged with a wide and varied audience and shared its extensive range of teaching resources with teachers, educationalists and other stakeholders who were attending the Festival.  The Centre's team also ran an interactive activity, which encouraged people to write down what they believed their greatest character strength to be. 

In addition to the exhibit and presentations, the Centre sponsored the lecture given by Dr. Angela Duckworth, of the University of Pennsylvania, which focussed on the performance virtue grit. 

 

For more information about the Festival please see here

 

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Centre Launches Website in Chinese

16/06/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has developed a Chinese version of its website.  Now live, the website features all Centre reports and teaching resources and provides a comprehensive overview of the Centre's work in the Chinese language.  The new website is available here.
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Centre Holds Conference on Character at Roosevelt House

15/06/15
On 5th and 6th June, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues held a conference on character, non-cognitive skills and K-12 education, in partnership with CUNY Institute for Education Policy, a leading education think tank in New York. The conference took place at Roosevelt House, New York, and brought together leading authorities from a variety of backgrounds including research, school leadership, teaching, the voluntary-sector and policy. Following an opening address by Centre Director Professor James Arthur and Founding Director of the Institute for Education Policy Dr David Steiner, the conference examined the theoretical basis for character education, explored its application to policy and practice, and generated much debate about the terminological variance between fields in both the UK and USA. The launch of the report by Demos with the Jubilee Centre, Character Nation, also took place as part of the conference, highlighting some key recommendations for policy-makers in the UK.         
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Centre Joins Step Up to Serve in Recognising Innovative Leaders

15/06/15
On 8th June the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues hosted a conference in London, in partnership with Step Up to Serve, for 50 headteachers and their guests who have been recognised for developing their students' character through youth social action. The event was organised to celebrate the fantastic work of these schools – who are considered pioneers in the field. The event was also a chance to debate and discuss what works as well as what can be learnt to enable even more young people to develop their character through youth social action at school or college.

Primary and Secondary Schools and Colleges from across the UK attended the event. Through facilitated activities the delegates discussed what makes a school of character and how we can create a youth social action tsunami in education across the UK. Following the event a brochure containing case studies of the schools' work on character and youth social action, alongside a list of recommendations, will be published. 

Speaking about the event, Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, said:

“Character education is part of our core mission to deliver real social justice by giving all children, regardless of background, the chance to fulfil their potential and achieve their high aspirations.

“This is an important event if we are to build on the great work going on in our schools and colleges to champion the development of character education. There is already inspirational activity taking place in schools I visit across the country, and I encourage more schools, colleges and charities to get involved in social action projects.”

 

This article covered the event. 

 

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Thank You Film Awards Ceremony 2015

15/06/15

The 2015 Thank You Films Awards2015 ceremony took place in Birmingham on Thursday 11th June celebrating shortlisted films from this year’s competition. There were over 200 attendees at the awards ceremony with young people coming from across the UK to see their films on the big screen. The Thank You Film Awards aims to reward and recognise those who show gratitude to a person, organisation or someone who really inspires them and encourages young people aged 5-16 to make a short film to say thank you. During the ceremony, shortlisted entrants were able to watch each other’s films and winners and runners up in both primary and secondary categories were presented with their prizes. The winners and runners up in each category are listed below:

Primary

Winner: Thank You Ms Penn, Park Hill Junior School

Runner Up: Thank You Shakespeare, The Rosary Catholic Primary School
Runner Up: Thank You 1941 Wilkinson's Lemonade Factory Disaster, Benton Park Primary School


Secondary

Winner : The Suffragettes, King Edward VI High School for Girls

Runner Up: Thank 'Fred' Lollipop Lady, Castle Rock High School
Runner Up: Thank You Primary School Friends, King Edward VI High School for Girls
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Dr Tom Harrison Writes for the TES

15/06/15

Dr Tom Harrison has published an article in the TES, titled Make a Virtue out of Online Necessity.  The article explores the role that the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotelian virtue ethics can play in helping to address some of the problems encountered by young people on the Internet today.  Despite attempts in many schools to address the these problems, teachers are continuing to face issues such as cyberbullying and online plagiarism.  The article draws on recent research by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and offers the advantages of using the principles of Aristotelian virtue ethics to help develop digitally wise citizens.

 

You can read the full article here

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Professor Bill Damon and Professor Anne Colby Visit Centre

10/06/15
The Centre was delighted to welcome Professor Bill Damon and Professor Anne Colby during a short visit to the Centre 25th-28th May 2015.  As part of their visit, Professor Damon and Professor Colby delivered a Jubilee Centre seminar and met with research staff to share approaches and best practice.  Professor Damon and Professor Colby, Director and Consulting Professor at the Centre's partner organisation the Stanford Center on Adolescence at Stanford University, were also able to visit voluntary sector organisations in London.
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Character Nation: A Demos Report with the Jubilee Centre

09/06/15
Demos, Britain’s leading cross-party think tank, has published a new report, with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, titled ‘Character Nation’. The report provides a series of policy recommendations for the new government to ensure that character development is embedded across the education system. It draws on the Centre’s research findings and recommendations, as well as a review of best practice and workshops and interviews with education practitioners. The report recommendations include the creation a statement of intent and character framework for education providers and ensuring that teachers are supported in delivering character education in the classroom.

The report has been covered by various media channels including the TES online, the BBC and the Telegraph.  Report author Ralph Scott discusses the report in this article in the TES.

You can download the report here

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Centre's 4th Annual Conference 2016 'Cultivating Virtues': Open Call for Papers

05/06/15

 

 Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Oriel College, Oxford, January 7–9, 2016

The annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham 

Open Call for Papers

Please submit an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015.

After a successful annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in January 2015 on ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’, we return to Oriel College, Oxford, for the Centre’s fourth annual conference in January 2016 on the theme:

Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches
In virtue ethics, in particular of the Aristotelian kind, virtue cultivation is not an extraneous addition to an understanding of morality or the study of moral philosophy; it is, rather, what such understanding and study are all about. We progress towards moral excellence only if we are educated from an early age – indeed from birth – to do so. A study of morality would thus, by Aristotle’s lights, be an entirely fruitless enterprise if it did not gauge the educational implications of its findings.
Contemporary moral philosophy is commonly lambasted – by moral psychologists for example – for its lack of attention to developmental issues and its almost complete neglect of childhood. Aristotle’s stance is so radically different here that he could almost be accused of the opposite error: of reducing moral philosophy to character education. For him, it is more precious to know how virtue arises than to know what it is. More specifically, regarding moral inquiry as such, its purpose ‘is not to know what virtue is, but to become good, since otherwise the inquiry would be of no benefit to us’ (NE, 1103b27–29]). It is difficult to think of a more suitable platform from which to launch programmes of virtue-and-character education.
Yet various thorny problems remain about the nature and execution of education in virtue. As Aristotle offers no detailed account of the nuts and bolts of such education, virtue ethicists and character educationists need to engage in some serious reconstructive work – if not simply leaving Aristotle behind and making a fresh start.
The aim of the 2016 Jubilee Centre conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the nuances of virtue cultivation, both within and across disciplinary boundaries. Can theorists from philosophy, education and developmental psychology here learn from each other’s work?
We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of ‘cultivating virtues’. Although the remit of this conference is more distinctly educational than in our two last conferences, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore virtue concepts or individual virtues from a philosophical/theoretical perspective, as long as those proposals also pay some attention to developmental issues.
We ask interested parties to send us an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015. We will send out notifications of acceptance before the end of July. 
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#iwill Share Your Pledge Day

03/06/15
In order to celebrate its achievements so far, the #iwill campaign invited organisations who had pledged to support the campaign, to share their pledge on 3rd June.  In 2013 the Jubilee Centre pledged to support the #iwill campaignwhich aims to make involvement in social action part of life for more 10-20 year-olds around the UK, and is now celebrating Share Your Pledge Day.

The Centre pledged to:
Research the development of character virtues in young people who take part in youth social action programmes. The research will enable a greater understanding of the impact of youth social action on character and its potential double benefit.
• Supply a researcher to lead the research.
• Develop appropriate tools and methodology for measuring character in youth social action settings.
• Work with the Step Up To Serve partners to carry out the research.
• Gather data and analyse findings.
• Report on research and publishing findings.


Since pledging to the #iwill campaign, the Centre has carried out a study exploring character and youth social action, with findings published in a report available here, and is now embarking on a new project, lasting until November 2017, on young people building habits of social action. The Centre has also supported the #iwill campaign by creating a Youth Award in the Jubilee Awards for Service, sponsoring the #iwill Ambassadors in 2014 and 2015, and backing an #iwill campaign initiative with Headteachers in June 2015.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of the charity running the #iwill campaign says: ‘We are delighted that the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has pledged to support our work, and is sharing their progress to inspire others to take part also. If we are to make involvement in social action the norm for 10-20 year-olds we need partners to commit to tangible actions just as they are doing. The involvement of the Jubilee Centre will undoubtedly help us progress towards our goal.’

The #iwill campaign was launched in November 2013 by HRH The Prince of Wales and the leaders of the three main political parties in Westminster at the time. HRH is Patron of Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign, with organisations across UK society represented on an Advisory Board, including the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’ Director Professor James Arthur. 
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Centre Announces New Department for Education Grant

01/06/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is pleased to announce a new project, ‘Teaching Character’, funded by the Department for Education (DfE). The grant forms part of the Department’s character grants scheme which has seen 14 organisations awarded funding for initiatives that help instil character in young people. The project will run until 31st March 2016 and work across England with 28 teachers from 28 different state funded schools in order to create an innovative resource for building character within the school curriculum. The 14 subjects that will be covered are Mathematics, English, Science, Geography, History, Computing, Languages, PSHE, Citizenship, Art and Design, Music, Design and Technology, Religious Education and Physical Education. The materials will then be disseminated to all state schools nationally.

More information about other grants awarded under this scheme are available on the DfE's website

 

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Presents at Wake Forest University

01/06/15
On 29th-30th May, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson delivered invited commentary at the Interdisciplinary Work on Character Conference.  The Conference explored the 'Developing Character Project' and was held at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.  You can find out more about the 'Developing Character Project' here.
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John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D, February 19, 1940 - May 16, 2015

19/05/15
The Jubilee Centre regrets to announce the death of Dr. Jack Templeton – may he rest in peace. President and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, Jack was actively involved in the Foundation since it was established in 1987 by his late father, Sir John Templeton.

A great man, great vision and a great heart.

 

The full obituary can be found here.
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Professor David Carr Delivers Inaugural Lecture

15/05/15
Professor David Carr delivered his Inaugural Lecture at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, on 6th May. The lecture, titled ‘The Importance of Philosophy for Education’ began with an overview of David’s background before taking his post as Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and went on to emphasise the critical role that techniques of analytical philosophy play in education. The abstract for the lecture can be found below:

One significant post-WWII development in educational theorising was the attempt on the part of distinguished modern philosophers – such as R. S. Peters and Israel Scheffler – to refashion philosophy of education as a serious branch of analytical philosophy. Despite this, the reputation of educational philosophy has continued to be somewhat chequered. While there are no doubt many and varied reasons for this – including the extremely variable quality of much recent educational philosophy itself, certain confused post-modern and related misconceptions of the aims and methods of analytical philosophy and an evergreen popular tendency to regard philosophy as dealing only in abstract and ivory tower speculations of little relevance to effective practice – this lecture will argue that the techniques of analytical philosophy are absolutely indispensable to clear professional thinking and theorising in education and other practical fields.   
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Professor James Arthur is Interviewed in the Guardian

14/05/15

Professor James Arthur was recently interviewed for an article by Will Storr titled 'Character classes: can you teach a six-year-old how to be good?' published in the Guardian.  The article explores the increased interest in character education that has come about in recent years and its place in education today.  Speaking about the importance of educating young people for life outside school, and not just for taking tests, Professor Arthur says "But when you go for a job interview, what's being examined is not your qualifications - you're being interviewed for your character".  Schools taking a particular approach to character education explain how it fits into their everyday teaching and the changes they have seen in pupils as a result.  The article goes on to highlight the lack of creativity apparent in students starting at University and the importance of moral, civic, intellectual and performance virtues when entering the world beyond school.


You can read the full article here

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Visits Saudi Arabia

11/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, visited Saudi Arabia on April 25-28, at the invitation of the Al Ghad Foundation. Professor Kristjánsson attended a two-day event celebrating the opening of an Al Ghad Centre for Values Development, which has been established to support various youth development programmes in Saudi Arabia and to introduce character education into schools. The Jubilee Centre will be collaborating with the Foundation and a formal ceremony took place, attended by five ministers from the Saudi government and broadcast on Saudi TV, to celebrate this collaboration. The Centre will consult with the Al Ghad Foundation to design character-cultivating interventions for Saudi schools and engage in a further exchange of people and ideas. Discussions are now underway on the first steps to take this project forward.

 

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in Journal of Schooling Studies

08/05/15
Professor David Carr has published a paper entitled ‘Justice, Virtue and Education’ in the Journal of Schooling Studies. An abstract is provided below:

Given that justice is a fundamental principle or dimension of human moral association, it would also seem to be of some educational concern: in short, we should want to educate children and young people to be just or fair. However, this is not something that not something we may be hope to achieve by teaching theories of justice – since, as this paper indicates – such theories are often concerned with securing some measure of justice in circumstances where people cannot always be expected to be just or fair as individual citizens. Thus, educating for justice would seem to be more a matter of cultivating the virtue of justice. In this light, the paper proceeds to consider how this might be at least partly assisted by the moral exploration of imaginative literature.

 

You can view the paper here.

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Publishes New Book: 'Aristotelian Character Education'

01/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has published a new book titled 'Aristotelian Character Education'.  The book, published by Routledge, provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education in the context of current schooling.  Find a brief description below and a link to the publisher's page here.

 

This book provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education, shedding new light on what moral character really is, and how it can be highlighted, measured, nurtured and taught in current schooling. Arguing that many recent approaches to character education understand character in exclusively amoral, instrumentalist terms, Kristjánsson proposes a coherent, plausible and up-to-date concept, retaining the overall structure of Aristotelian character education.

After discussing and debunking popular myths about Aristotelian character education, subsequent chapters focus on the practical ramifications and methodologies of character education. These include measuring virtue and morality, asking whether Aristotelian character education can salvage the effects of bad upbringing, and considering implications for teacher training and classroom practice. The book rejuvenates time-honoured principles of the development of virtues in young people, at a time when ‘character’ features prominently in educational agendas and parental concerns over school education systems.

Offering an interdisciplinary perspective which draws from the disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy and sociology, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and students wanting a greater insight into character education. 

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Dr David Walker Attends Round-table on Quality of Life

29/04/15
Dr David Walker attended a round-table ‘Dialogue’ for Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life in Brussels on 22 April. The topic of focus was Quality of Life and the progress of individuals in environments where there is little personal autonomy, with insight from Defence, the Justice sector and the blue-collar Corporate sector. Dr Walker was invited because of his knowledge and experience of the British Army. 
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From Gratitude to Service: Engagement, Influence and Impact

17/04/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launches a new report detailing its impact, influence and reach. This report features figures and infographics for the different areas of the Centre’s work to date. Since launching in May 2012, the Jubilee Centre has conducted rigorous research into how character and virtues impact on individuals and society. During this time, the Centre has engaged with the British public in a range of different ways and has sought to make a significant difference to how character and virtues are perceived. This new report, From Gratitude to Service, demonstrates the influence the Centre has achieved on the ground in a short period of time and the wide variety of channels through which the Centre has promoted and applied its research evidence. The report explores all aspects of the Centre’s work including research, influence and engagement with policy, partnerships and international collaborations, its work with schools and the community.

You can view the report below, or download a copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre Appoints Joint Chair with Royal Institute of Philosophy

17/04/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Robert C. Roberts as Chair in Ethics and Emotion Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Roberts has worked closely with the Centre on its research into the virtue of gratitude, and wrote the foreword to the Attitude for Gratitude research report.  
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Centre co-hosts ‘The Character Education Conference’

26/06/15
On 25th June, the Jubilee Centre co-hosted a conference on Character Education in partnership with the Stourbridge Teaching Schools Alliance.  The conference was held at Redhill School and was attended by 80 primary and secondary teachers from across the region.  Centre Director Professor James Arthur gave the opening keynote address.  Director of Development Dr Tom Harrison and Teaching Fellow Ian Morris facilitated a workshop on the Framework for Character Education in Schools and the Principles for Schools of Character.  Other workshops were run by schools that had won recent DfE Character Awards including Kings Langley School and Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School.    
/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/Character_Education_Conference.JPG

Centre Staff Guest Lecture at UNICEF Montenegro Workshop

26/06/15
Director of Partnerships Dr. Sandra Cooke and Centre Manager Aidan Thompson visited Podgorica, Montenegro on 23rd-24th June to deliver presentations at the Quality Education ‘My Virtues and Values’ workshop at the Bureau of Education. The two-day seminar, run in partnership between the Bureau, UNICEF Montenegro and the Jubilee Centre, brought together primary teachers in Montenegro and the project team working to develop a primary curriculum for character education in the country. Sandra and Aidan gave presentations which introduced the Centre’s work, with a particular focus on how the Framework for Character Education in Schools was developed, as well as introducing the Programmes of Study that the Centre has created, and how a ‘whole school’ approach to character education can be developed. The workshops mixed the theoretical and practical approaches to developing character in the classroom, and the teachers involved in the project shared their insights into experiences, successes and challenges faced in adopting a moral focus to education.

In addition to the workshop, Sandra and Aidan were invited to give a guest seminar to a group of over 50 young people as part of a UNICEF Montenegro series of lectures in the UN building in Podgorica. Sandra and Aidan presented a background to the Jubilee Centre, and challenged the audience to discuss 2 of the moral dilemmas used in the Character Education in UK Schools project. Photos from both the workshop and the guest lecture are available in the Media Centre.
/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/UNICEF_Montenegro.JPG

The Jubilee Centre at the Festival of Education 2015

22/06/15

On 18th-19th June 2015 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues exhibited and presented at the Sunday Times Festival of Education, held at Wellington College.  The Centre gave a series of talks introducing its work on character education in schools, with a focus on the 'taught or caught' debate. Presentations were given by Dr. Tom Harrison and Ian Morris and Dr. Sandra Cooke. The Centre engaged with a wide and varied audience and shared its extensive range of teaching resources with teachers, educationalists and other stakeholders who were attending the Festival.  The Centre's team also ran an interactive activity, which encouraged people to write down what they believed their greatest character strength to be. 

In addition to the exhibit and presentations, the Centre sponsored the lecture given by Dr. Angela Duckworth, of the University of Pennsylvania, which focussed on the performance virtue grit. 

 

For more information about the Festival please see here

 

/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/wellingtonnews.png

Centre Launches Website in Chinese

16/06/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has developed a Chinese version of its website.  Now live, the website features all Centre reports and teaching resources and provides a comprehensive overview of the Centre's work in the Chinese language.  The new website is available here.
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Centre Holds Conference on Character at Roosevelt House

15/06/15
On 5th and 6th June, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues held a conference on character, non-cognitive skills and K-12 education, in partnership with CUNY Institute for Education Policy, a leading education think tank in New York. The conference took place at Roosevelt House, New York, and brought together leading authorities from a variety of backgrounds including research, school leadership, teaching, the voluntary-sector and policy. Following an opening address by Centre Director Professor James Arthur and Founding Director of the Institute for Education Policy Dr David Steiner, the conference examined the theoretical basis for character education, explored its application to policy and practice, and generated much debate about the terminological variance between fields in both the UK and USA. The launch of the report by Demos with the Jubilee Centre, Character Nation, also took place as part of the conference, highlighting some key recommendations for policy-makers in the UK.         
/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/roosevelthouse.png

Centre Joins Step Up to Serve in Recognising Innovative Leaders

15/06/15
On 8th June the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues hosted a conference in London, in partnership with Step Up to Serve, for 50 headteachers and their guests who have been recognised for developing their students' character through youth social action. The event was organised to celebrate the fantastic work of these schools – who are considered pioneers in the field. The event was also a chance to debate and discuss what works as well as what can be learnt to enable even more young people to develop their character through youth social action at school or college.

Primary and Secondary Schools and Colleges from across the UK attended the event. Through facilitated activities the delegates discussed what makes a school of character and how we can create a youth social action tsunami in education across the UK. Following the event a brochure containing case studies of the schools' work on character and youth social action, alongside a list of recommendations, will be published. 

Speaking about the event, Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, said:

“Character education is part of our core mission to deliver real social justice by giving all children, regardless of background, the chance to fulfil their potential and achieve their high aspirations.

“This is an important event if we are to build on the great work going on in our schools and colleges to champion the development of character education. There is already inspirational activity taking place in schools I visit across the country, and I encourage more schools, colleges and charities to get involved in social action projects.”

 

This article covered the event. 

 

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Thank You Film Awards Ceremony 2015

15/06/15

The 2015 Thank You Films Awards2015 ceremony took place in Birmingham on Thursday 11th June celebrating shortlisted films from this year’s competition. There were over 200 attendees at the awards ceremony with young people coming from across the UK to see their films on the big screen. The Thank You Film Awards aims to reward and recognise those who show gratitude to a person, organisation or someone who really inspires them and encourages young people aged 5-16 to make a short film to say thank you. During the ceremony, shortlisted entrants were able to watch each other’s films and winners and runners up in both primary and secondary categories were presented with their prizes. The winners and runners up in each category are listed below:

Primary

Winner: Thank You Ms Penn, Park Hill Junior School

Runner Up: Thank You Shakespeare, The Rosary Catholic Primary School
Runner Up: Thank You 1941 Wilkinson's Lemonade Factory Disaster, Benton Park Primary School


Secondary

Winner : The Suffragettes, King Edward VI High School for Girls

Runner Up: Thank 'Fred' Lollipop Lady, Castle Rock High School
Runner Up: Thank You Primary School Friends, King Edward VI High School for Girls
/userfiles/jubileecentre/images/news-thumbs/TYFA2015.png

Dr Tom Harrison Writes for the TES

15/06/15

Dr Tom Harrison has published an article in the TES, titled Make a Virtue out of Online Necessity.  The article explores the role that the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotelian virtue ethics can play in helping to address some of the problems encountered by young people on the Internet today.  Despite attempts in many schools to address the these problems, teachers are continuing to face issues such as cyberbullying and online plagiarism.  The article draws on recent research by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and offers the advantages of using the principles of Aristotelian virtue ethics to help develop digitally wise citizens.

 

You can read the full article here

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Professor Bill Damon and Professor Anne Colby Visit Centre

10/06/15
The Centre was delighted to welcome Professor Bill Damon and Professor Anne Colby during a short visit to the Centre 25th-28th May 2015.  As part of their visit, Professor Damon and Professor Colby delivered a Jubilee Centre seminar and met with research staff to share approaches and best practice.  Professor Damon and Professor Colby, Director and Consulting Professor at the Centre's partner organisation the Stanford Center on Adolescence at Stanford University, were also able to visit voluntary sector organisations in London.
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Character Nation: A Demos Report with the Jubilee Centre

09/06/15
Demos, Britain’s leading cross-party think tank, has published a new report, with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, titled ‘Character Nation’. The report provides a series of policy recommendations for the new government to ensure that character development is embedded across the education system. It draws on the Centre’s research findings and recommendations, as well as a review of best practice and workshops and interviews with education practitioners. The report recommendations include the creation a statement of intent and character framework for education providers and ensuring that teachers are supported in delivering character education in the classroom.

The report has been covered by various media channels including the TES online, the BBC and the Telegraph.  Report author Ralph Scott discusses the report in this article in the TES.

You can download the report here

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Centre's 4th Annual Conference 2016 'Cultivating Virtues': Open Call for Papers

05/06/15

 

 Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches

Oriel College, Oxford, January 7–9, 2016

The annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham 

Open Call for Papers

Please submit an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015.

After a successful annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues in January 2015 on ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’, we return to Oriel College, Oxford, for the Centre’s fourth annual conference in January 2016 on the theme:

Cultivating Virtues: Interdisciplinary Approaches
In virtue ethics, in particular of the Aristotelian kind, virtue cultivation is not an extraneous addition to an understanding of morality or the study of moral philosophy; it is, rather, what such understanding and study are all about. We progress towards moral excellence only if we are educated from an early age – indeed from birth – to do so. A study of morality would thus, by Aristotle’s lights, be an entirely fruitless enterprise if it did not gauge the educational implications of its findings.
Contemporary moral philosophy is commonly lambasted – by moral psychologists for example – for its lack of attention to developmental issues and its almost complete neglect of childhood. Aristotle’s stance is so radically different here that he could almost be accused of the opposite error: of reducing moral philosophy to character education. For him, it is more precious to know how virtue arises than to know what it is. More specifically, regarding moral inquiry as such, its purpose ‘is not to know what virtue is, but to become good, since otherwise the inquiry would be of no benefit to us’ (NE, 1103b27–29]). It is difficult to think of a more suitable platform from which to launch programmes of virtue-and-character education.
Yet various thorny problems remain about the nature and execution of education in virtue. As Aristotle offers no detailed account of the nuts and bolts of such education, virtue ethicists and character educationists need to engage in some serious reconstructive work – if not simply leaving Aristotle behind and making a fresh start.
The aim of the 2016 Jubilee Centre conference is to bring together experts from a range of disciplines to explore the nuances of virtue cultivation, both within and across disciplinary boundaries. Can theorists from philosophy, education and developmental psychology here learn from each other’s work?
We hereby send out an open call for presentations falling under the broad theme of ‘cultivating virtues’. Although the remit of this conference is more distinctly educational than in our two last conferences, we will also look favourably upon proposals that explore virtue concepts or individual virtues from a philosophical/theoretical perspective, as long as those proposals also pay some attention to developmental issues.
We ask interested parties to send us an abstract of around 500 words to jubileecentrepapers@contacts.bham.ac.uk (marked ORIEL PROPOSAL in the subject line) before July 1, 2015. We will send out notifications of acceptance before the end of July. 
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#iwill Share Your Pledge Day

03/06/15
In order to celebrate its achievements so far, the #iwill campaign invited organisations who had pledged to support the campaign, to share their pledge on 3rd June.  In 2013 the Jubilee Centre pledged to support the #iwill campaignwhich aims to make involvement in social action part of life for more 10-20 year-olds around the UK, and is now celebrating Share Your Pledge Day.

The Centre pledged to:
Research the development of character virtues in young people who take part in youth social action programmes. The research will enable a greater understanding of the impact of youth social action on character and its potential double benefit.
• Supply a researcher to lead the research.
• Develop appropriate tools and methodology for measuring character in youth social action settings.
• Work with the Step Up To Serve partners to carry out the research.
• Gather data and analyse findings.
• Report on research and publishing findings.


Since pledging to the #iwill campaign, the Centre has carried out a study exploring character and youth social action, with findings published in a report available here, and is now embarking on a new project, lasting until November 2017, on young people building habits of social action. The Centre has also supported the #iwill campaign by creating a Youth Award in the Jubilee Awards for Service, sponsoring the #iwill Ambassadors in 2014 and 2015, and backing an #iwill campaign initiative with Headteachers in June 2015.

Charlotte Hill, CEO of the charity running the #iwill campaign says: ‘We are delighted that the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has pledged to support our work, and is sharing their progress to inspire others to take part also. If we are to make involvement in social action the norm for 10-20 year-olds we need partners to commit to tangible actions just as they are doing. The involvement of the Jubilee Centre will undoubtedly help us progress towards our goal.’

The #iwill campaign was launched in November 2013 by HRH The Prince of Wales and the leaders of the three main political parties in Westminster at the time. HRH is Patron of Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign, with organisations across UK society represented on an Advisory Board, including the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues’ Director Professor James Arthur. 
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Centre Announces New Department for Education Grant

01/06/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is pleased to announce a new project, ‘Teaching Character’, funded by the Department for Education (DfE). The grant forms part of the Department’s character grants scheme which has seen 14 organisations awarded funding for initiatives that help instil character in young people. The project will run until 31st March 2016 and work across England with 28 teachers from 28 different state funded schools in order to create an innovative resource for building character within the school curriculum. The 14 subjects that will be covered are Mathematics, English, Science, Geography, History, Computing, Languages, PSHE, Citizenship, Art and Design, Music, Design and Technology, Religious Education and Physical Education. The materials will then be disseminated to all state schools nationally.

More information about other grants awarded under this scheme are available on the DfE's website

 

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Presents at Wake Forest University

01/06/15
On 29th-30th May, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson delivered invited commentary at the Interdisciplinary Work on Character Conference.  The Conference explored the 'Developing Character Project' and was held at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.  You can find out more about the 'Developing Character Project' here.
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John M. Templeton, Jr., M.D, February 19, 1940 - May 16, 2015

19/05/15
The Jubilee Centre regrets to announce the death of Dr. Jack Templeton – may he rest in peace. President and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, Jack was actively involved in the Foundation since it was established in 1987 by his late father, Sir John Templeton.

A great man, great vision and a great heart.

 

The full obituary can be found here.
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Professor David Carr Delivers Inaugural Lecture

15/05/15
Professor David Carr delivered his Inaugural Lecture at the School of Education, University of Birmingham, on 6th May. The lecture, titled ‘The Importance of Philosophy for Education’ began with an overview of David’s background before taking his post as Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, and went on to emphasise the critical role that techniques of analytical philosophy play in education. The abstract for the lecture can be found below:

One significant post-WWII development in educational theorising was the attempt on the part of distinguished modern philosophers – such as R. S. Peters and Israel Scheffler – to refashion philosophy of education as a serious branch of analytical philosophy. Despite this, the reputation of educational philosophy has continued to be somewhat chequered. While there are no doubt many and varied reasons for this – including the extremely variable quality of much recent educational philosophy itself, certain confused post-modern and related misconceptions of the aims and methods of analytical philosophy and an evergreen popular tendency to regard philosophy as dealing only in abstract and ivory tower speculations of little relevance to effective practice – this lecture will argue that the techniques of analytical philosophy are absolutely indispensable to clear professional thinking and theorising in education and other practical fields.   
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Professor James Arthur is Interviewed in the Guardian

14/05/15

Professor James Arthur was recently interviewed for an article by Will Storr titled 'Character classes: can you teach a six-year-old how to be good?' published in the Guardian.  The article explores the increased interest in character education that has come about in recent years and its place in education today.  Speaking about the importance of educating young people for life outside school, and not just for taking tests, Professor Arthur says "But when you go for a job interview, what's being examined is not your qualifications - you're being interviewed for your character".  Schools taking a particular approach to character education explain how it fits into their everyday teaching and the changes they have seen in pupils as a result.  The article goes on to highlight the lack of creativity apparent in students starting at University and the importance of moral, civic, intellectual and performance virtues when entering the world beyond school.


You can read the full article here

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Visits Saudi Arabia

11/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, visited Saudi Arabia on April 25-28, at the invitation of the Al Ghad Foundation. Professor Kristjánsson attended a two-day event celebrating the opening of an Al Ghad Centre for Values Development, which has been established to support various youth development programmes in Saudi Arabia and to introduce character education into schools. The Jubilee Centre will be collaborating with the Foundation and a formal ceremony took place, attended by five ministers from the Saudi government and broadcast on Saudi TV, to celebrate this collaboration. The Centre will consult with the Al Ghad Foundation to design character-cultivating interventions for Saudi schools and engage in a further exchange of people and ideas. Discussions are now underway on the first steps to take this project forward.

 

 

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Professor David Carr Publishes in Journal of Schooling Studies

08/05/15
Professor David Carr has published a paper entitled ‘Justice, Virtue and Education’ in the Journal of Schooling Studies. An abstract is provided below:

Given that justice is a fundamental principle or dimension of human moral association, it would also seem to be of some educational concern: in short, we should want to educate children and young people to be just or fair. However, this is not something that not something we may be hope to achieve by teaching theories of justice – since, as this paper indicates – such theories are often concerned with securing some measure of justice in circumstances where people cannot always be expected to be just or fair as individual citizens. Thus, educating for justice would seem to be more a matter of cultivating the virtue of justice. In this light, the paper proceeds to consider how this might be at least partly assisted by the moral exploration of imaginative literature.

 

You can view the paper here.

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Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Publishes New Book: 'Aristotelian Character Education'

01/05/15

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson has published a new book titled 'Aristotelian Character Education'.  The book, published by Routledge, provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education in the context of current schooling.  Find a brief description below and a link to the publisher's page here.

 

This book provides a reconstruction of Aristotelian character education, shedding new light on what moral character really is, and how it can be highlighted, measured, nurtured and taught in current schooling. Arguing that many recent approaches to character education understand character in exclusively amoral, instrumentalist terms, Kristjánsson proposes a coherent, plausible and up-to-date concept, retaining the overall structure of Aristotelian character education.

After discussing and debunking popular myths about Aristotelian character education, subsequent chapters focus on the practical ramifications and methodologies of character education. These include measuring virtue and morality, asking whether Aristotelian character education can salvage the effects of bad upbringing, and considering implications for teacher training and classroom practice. The book rejuvenates time-honoured principles of the development of virtues in young people, at a time when ‘character’ features prominently in educational agendas and parental concerns over school education systems.

Offering an interdisciplinary perspective which draws from the disciplines of education, psychology, philosophy and sociology, this book will appeal to researchers, academics and students wanting a greater insight into character education. 

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Dr David Walker Attends Round-table on Quality of Life

29/04/15
Dr David Walker attended a round-table ‘Dialogue’ for Sodexo Institute for Quality of Life in Brussels on 22 April. The topic of focus was Quality of Life and the progress of individuals in environments where there is little personal autonomy, with insight from Defence, the Justice sector and the blue-collar Corporate sector. Dr Walker was invited because of his knowledge and experience of the British Army. 
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From Gratitude to Service: Engagement, Influence and Impact

17/04/15

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues launches a new report detailing its impact, influence and reach. This report features figures and infographics for the different areas of the Centre’s work to date. Since launching in May 2012, the Jubilee Centre has conducted rigorous research into how character and virtues impact on individuals and society. During this time, the Centre has engaged with the British public in a range of different ways and has sought to make a significant difference to how character and virtues are perceived. This new report, From Gratitude to Service, demonstrates the influence the Centre has achieved on the ground in a short period of time and the wide variety of channels through which the Centre has promoted and applied its research evidence. The report explores all aspects of the Centre’s work including research, influence and engagement with policy, partnerships and international collaborations, its work with schools and the community.

You can view the report below, or download a copy here.

 

 

 

 

 

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Centre Appoints Joint Chair with Royal Institute of Philosophy

17/04/15
The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Robert C. Roberts as Chair in Ethics and Emotion Theory.  The role is a joint appointment with the Royal Institute of Philosophy.  Professor Roberts has worked closely with the Centre on its research into the virtue of gratitude, and wrote the foreword to the Attitude for Gratitude research report.  
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