Menu Close
university of birmingham

@JubileeCentre1 tweet

. @HMC_Chair @Ashfordhead on why character education is the secret ingredient to improved outcomes for students @tes @AshfordSchool https://t.co/BWF1d8WEDP

Quote of the week

Help others without any reason and give without the expectation of receiving anything in return.Roy T. Bennett

Centre Holds 5th Annual Conference ‘Character, Wisdom and Virtue' at Oriel College

10/01/17

The Jubilee Centre held its 5th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, January 5-7, 2017. The theme of the conference was 'Character, Wisdom and Virtue'. With five keynote speeches, over fifty seminar and poster presentations and 120 delegates, the conference was highly successful and widely praised by the attendees for its content and organisation. The key note speeches by Professors Howard Curzer, Candace Vogler, Lenn Goodman, Monika Ardelt and Howard Nusbaum were particularly well received.  

The key note speakers explored Aristotelian, Thomistic, Arabic, Jewish and social scientific conceptions of wisdom and phronesis. With many of the most distinguished authorities in the field of wisdom research attending, seminar presenters asked searching questions about the domain-specificity of wisdom, its theoretical versus experiential underpinnings, its cultivation, and whether a wisdom-guided life is more like a symphony orchestra with a discrete conductor or a self-co-ordinating jazz band - to name but a few of the themes that emerged from the parallel sessions. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest interdisciplinary conference ever held devoted to the topic of wisdom and its surrounding virtues. 

The full text of the key note speeches and seminar presentations continues to be accessible online here.  

This year’s conference also saw a celebratory launch of five books published by Jubilee Centre academics. The book launch took place on the evening of 5th January and showcased the breadth of publications, influence and impact that the Jubilee Centre has achieved over the past four years.

The photographs above show the five books launched and the display showcasing the Jubilee Centre's work.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Oriel2017NewsPage.png

Centre Academics Publish Edited Volume ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’

10/01/17

Professors David Carr, James Arthur and Kristján Kristjánsson have published an edited volume titled ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’ with Palgrave Macmillan. The edited collection is drawn from papers presented at the 3rd annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues which was held at Oriel College, Oxford, 8th – 10th January 2015 and was entitled ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics in Philosophy, Social Science and Theology’. The book brings together the conference highlights, which aimed to identify and investigate the diversity of contemporary interpretations and approaches to understanding moral virtue and character.

A short description of the book can be found below:

This book explores recent developments in ethics of virtue. While acknowledging the Aristotelian roots of modern virtue ethics – with its emphasis on the moral importance of character – this collection recognizes that more recent accounts of virtue have been shaped by many other influences, such as Aquinas, Hume, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Confucius and Lao-tzu. The authors also examine the bearing of virtue ethics on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology and theology, as well as attending to some wider public, professional and educational implications of the ethics of virtue. This pioneering book will be invaluable to researchers and students concerned with the many contemporary varieties and applications of virtue ethics.

The book is available to purchase here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/VarietiesofVirtueEthics.png

Centre Publishes New Insight Series Paper

10/01/17

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has published a new Insight Series paper authored by Dr Marvin Berkowitz and Dr Melinda Bier. The paper, entitled Involving Parents for Good, provides evidence-based conclusions concerning parental influences on academic achievement, and offers guidance on how parents and schools can best work together to support student character development. The paper can be accessed by clicking here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Involving%20parents%20for%20good.png

Centre Director and University School Feature in The Times and TES

05/01/17

Jubilee Centre Director, Professor James Arthur, has recently featured in articles in both The Times and the Times Educational Supplement, discussing the vision and ethos of the University of Birmingham School, which focuses on character education.  The articles both highlight the immense popularity that the school has seen with parents in the local area since opening in September 2015 and the bespoke ethos, curriculum and enrichment programme the school offers its pupils. The articles come shortly after Prime Minister Theresa May called for more universities around the country to commit to sponsoring a school. The University of Birmingham also held a conference on 24th November 2016, at the University of Birmingham School, to share its experience of establishing a school with representatives of 52 universities and civil servants who attended. In the articles, Professor Arthur also speaks about the process by which the university went about setting up the school and the main factors driving the school’s unique vision and ethos which is built around values such as justice, courage and compassion. Working closely with the Jubilee Centre to develop a taught character curriculum, the school integrates character into every lesson as it seeks to demonstrate how character can be taught as well as ‘caught’.

You can access the article in The Times, ‘Fierce competition to be “guinea pigs” at the school that teachers character’ here.*

You can access the TES article, ‘How one university has created a school to “match the aspirations” of the best’ here.*

*Please note both articles are accessible through subscription.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/TimesTES.png

Deputy Director Takes Part in South Carolina Seminar

20/12/16

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, took part in a week-long seminar at the University of South Carolina on December 11th - 16th 2016. He presented two draft papers and participated in discussions. This seminar was part of the Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life Project, run out of the University of Chicago, of which the Jubilee Centre is a partner. Find out more here.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KristjanConversation.png

Professor David Carr Publishes Article in Polish Philosophy Journal

20/12/16

David Carr, Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has published an article entitled ‘Kultura i Edukacja’ ('Education and Culture') in the Polish philosophy journal Filozofuj. The essay explores the key role of education - through formal schooling and/or otherwise - in the transmission of culture and the cultural formation of young and old alike in the nineteenth century poet Matthew Arnold’s sense of ‘the best that has been thought and said in the world’. To access the article, please click here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/DC_Kultura_i_edukacja_2.png

Richard Lerner Receives Prestigious Award from the Society for Research in Child Development

15/12/16

Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy and Practice in Child Development Award. The award recognises continuous lifetime contributions to research that inform policy and practice for the benefit of children. A Professor in the Tufts University Department of Child Study and Human Development since 1999, Lerner has more than 700 scholarly publications, including more than 80 authored or edited books.The Jubilee Centre would like to extend its congratulations to Richard on receiving this prestigious award.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Lerner.png

MA in Character Education - 2017 Applications

15/12/16

The University of Birmingham's MA in Character Education is now taking applications for the 2017-18 student cohort. The course, which is the first of its kind in the world, offers students the latest theory and research in character education, as well as the knowledge and tools for character education practice in more or less formal educational settings. Find out more about how to apply at the course page here.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/MAStarts.png

Centre Academics Present at the Association for Moral Education’s 42nd Annual Conference

14/12/16

The Association for Moral Education held its 42nd Annual Conference, under the title ‘Civic engagement: A cultural revolution?’ at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge USA, between 8th and 11th December 2016.  The conference included presentations by Jubilee Centre Deputy Director Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Professor Steve Thoma and Research Fellow Dr David Walker.  Professor Kristjánsson’s presentation was titled ‘Epiphanic moral conversions: Going beyond Kohlberg and Aristotle’ and Professor Thoma and Dr Walker presented individually as part of a symposium on ‘The Adolescent Intermediate Concepts Measure: Evidence from multiple cultural settings’.  The symposium also included a presentation by Yen-Hsin Chen from the National Taichung University of Education who has completed a study to replicate the Jubilee Centre’s Character Education in UK Schools research with junior high school students in Taiwan.

 

Professor Kristjánsson's presentation slides are available to view here.

Professor Thoma's presentation slides are available to view here.

Dr David Walker's presentation slides are available to view here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/AMEDec2016.png

Senior Fellow Ben Perks Gives Lecture at Centre for Brain Health

14/12/16

On Thursday 24th November, Senior Fellow in the Jubilee Centre, Ben Perks, delivered a seminar at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health.  The Centre is an inter-disciplinary brain research facility established with the mission of understanding what makes a brain healthy and how to develop the next generation of interventions and tools for personalised brain healthcare. This discussion formed part of the Centre’s seminar series and follows a series of talks by Ben on neuromaturation and rights, including recent events at Harvard and Colombia University. You can access a series of blogs by Ben on similar issues here, and a Ted Talk here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/PerksB.png

Centre Senior Fellow Responds to The Casey Review

13/12/16

Jubilee Centre Senior Fellow, Lord James O’Shaughnessy, has written a response to The Casey Review for website ReactionSocial integration is crucial – here’s how to do it right. Authored by Dame Louise Casey, the Casey Review presents the findings of a review of opportunity and integration in the UK’s most isolated and deprived communities, as requested by the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary in July 2015. In the review Casey considers what causes such divides amongst communities and what might be done to combat the impact of this on people’s lives. In his response, Lord O’Shaughnessy explores the central role that education plays in creating a more cohesive society. Read the piece in full here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/JamesOS-SeniorFellow(1).png

Prof Arthur and Dr Harrison Present at Conference and Meet Minister of Education in Malaysia

08/12/16

Professor James Arthur and Dr Tom Harrison presented at the 2016 Leaps of Knowledge conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 30th November. The conference was attended by over 600 teachers from across Malaysia as well as the Minister of Education, civil servants from the Ministry of Education and the media. The conference was organised by FrogAsia and YTL Foundation. This year the conference focussed on character education and the qualities of creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. James gave the conference keynote address on the Jubilee Centre’s framework for character education and how it can be applied and adapted for use in Malaysian schools. Tom ran an interactive workshop on priority virtues in education. During the day James and Tom met with the Minister for Education and discussed approaches to character education. FrogAsia have asked the Centre to support them to develop character education learning resources that can be hosted on their online platform which is used in all schools in Malaysia.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Malaysia3.jpg

Centre Staff to Publish in Personality and Individual Differences

29/11/16

Jubilee Centre Research Fellows Dr Blaire Morgan and Dr Liz Gulliford, and Deputy Director Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, are to have their journal article published by Personality and Individual Differences. The paper, entitled ‘A new approach to measuring moral virtues: The Multi-Component Gratitude Measure’, introduces a new method of assessing moral virtue. The article is to be published early in the New Year but special free access to the article is available until the 18th January, 2017, and can be accessed by clicking here. The paper’s abstract can be read below:

Empirical explorations of moral virtues have increased dramatically recently. This paper introduces a new method of assessing moral virtue using gratitude as an example; a virtue that continues to be a topic of great interest in psychology, philosophy and education. We argue, and demonstrate empirically, that to comprehensively examine a moral virtue, it is necessary to explore its cognitive, affective, attitudinal (including motivational), and behavioural aspects. We have created the ‘Multi-Component Gratitude Measure’ (MCGM) comprised of four components, each designed to assess a distinct dimension of the virtue of gratitude: (a) conceptions (or understandings) of gratitude; (b) grateful emotions; (c) attitudes towards gratitude; and (d) gratitude-related behaviours. In contrast to existing measures, the MCGM aims to comprehensively examine the major components that constitute this complex moral construct. In two studies we illustrate the value of assessing these four components of gratitude and how individuals can differ in the number and ‘type’ of components they exemplify. Importantly, we demonstrate how well-being increases linearly with the number of components a person possesses, as measured by three distinct measures of well-being. We discuss individual differences in gratitude experience and what this means for personal flourishing as well as future measurement of moral constructs.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/book1.png

Centre Director Honours 2016 #iwill Ambassadors

25/11/16

On Monday 21st November 2016, Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur honoured 50 new #iwill Ambassadors with certificates at an awards ceremony held at Church House, London, with BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts. Prof. Arthur then spoke at a reception at the House of Commons, hosted by Rob Wilson MP.

Prof. Arthur highlighted the double benefit to young people of their service: "Young people who get involved in social action are having a positive impact on people around them, but at the same time are also benefiting themselves through the development of character virtues including humility, service and resilience."

The Ambassador event kicked off #iwillWeek, a national celebration of young people making a difference in their communities. The event also saw the launch of a multimillion fund for youth social action programmes following a £40 million investment from Government and the Big Lottery Fund.

This was the 3rd year running that the Jubilee Centre and the #iwill campaign has acknowledged young Ambassadors for their commitment to service. Ambassadors are appointed to celebrate and champion the role that young people can play in making a difference to their community through volunteering, campaigning or fundraising.  With a campaign goal of getting 6 in ten young people regularly taking part in ‘social action’ by 2020, the #iwill campaign is calling on organisations across society to recognise and celebrate the impact of young people and create more opportunities for them to take part.

Photograph top left: Prof. Arthur with #iwill Ambassadors after receiving their certificates

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/%23iwill2016.png

Why Character Matters in Education

25/11/16

On Thursday 24th November 2016, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues hosted 4 former Secretaries of State for Education, or Shadow Secretaries of State for Education at Character Matters. The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, the Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Estelle Morris, and the Hon. Tristram Hunt MP all spoke on Why Character Matters in Education. The sold out event for staff and students of the University of Birmingham was a great success, with the speakers forming a panel to answer questions from the audience on the importance of character in education.

Senior Fellow in the Jubilee Centre, Lord James O'Shaughnessy chaired the event, with Prof. Sir Anthony Seldon, University of Buckingham, giving the vote of thanks.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/CharacterMattersII.png

Deputy Director's Book Features in a Special Section of Journal of Moral Education

23/11/16

A whole section of the latest issue of Journal of Moral Education (vol. 45, issue 4, 2016) is devoted to a discussion of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book, Aristotelian Character Education, which recently won the Society for Educational Studies 2016 Book Prize.

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjme20/45/4?nav=tocList

In this section, Kristjánsson presents a précis of the book, followed by critiques by three commentators, Professors Randall Curren, Daniel Lapsley and Christian Miller. Finally, Kristjánsson offers a response to the commentaries. 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/k-k-news-thumb.png

Centre's Online Course Reaches 17,000 Learners

15/11/16

In October 2016, the Centre delivered its free online course What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education for the fourth time, attracting more than 17,000 learners from across the world since launching in January 2015.  The course, which is run in partnership with FutureLearn, has generated extensive discussion about character education, and in particular, the caught/taught debate - whether character should be taught in schools, and how it should be taught.  Collectively across the course runs, more than 23,000 comments have been posted by learners on the course discussion boards demonstrating widespread engagement with the topic. The course also continues to provide an excellent taster experience for anyone interested in further study in the area of character education, and in particular the University of Birmingham's new MA in Character Education. You can find out more here. Any future dates for the What is Character? course will be announced in the Centre's monthly e-newsletter.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/MOOC2.png

Centre Publishes Character Education Evaluation Handbook for Schools

15/11/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to launch its Character Education Evaluation Handbook for Schools. The Handbook, which has been developed in consultation with an expert group of academics, teachers and other educationalists, provides a practical introduction to the evaluation of character education in primary and secondary schools, equipping them with the tools needed to enhance and improve their character education provision.

Divided into an introduction, and four subsequent sections, the Handbook:

  • Provides advice, guidance and tools to enable schools to implement the principles and practice of self-evaluation to enhance and improve their character education provision; 
  • Is intended to be a source of inspiration that schools should adapt to their own context;
  • Is based on the premise that by using varied forms of self-evaluation teachers can develop a holistic and formative picture of their school’s character-education profile; and    
  • Is designed to support the recent movement in schools to self-evaluate their own practice. School-led approaches to self-evaluation are now commonplace in most schools, including the Ofsted framework whereby inspectors often use the outcomes from self-evaluation as the starting point for their inspections.  

You can access the handbook in full here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/HandbookNov2016.png

Policy Brief: National Citizen Service Bill

15/11/16

The Jubilee Centre has prepared an evidence-informed policy briefing to coincide with the passing of a Bill through Parliament to enshrine the National Citizen Service via Royal Charter. The briefing, which the Centre distributed to all Lords who have spoken to the Bill, was informed by the Centre's extensive research around character and youth social action, as well as early findings from the current Habits of Service project. The paper is available to view here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/PolicyBriefGeneric.png

Centre Director Publishes in the Journal of International and Comparative Education

14/11/16

Professor James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has had an article published in the Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE). The article, titled ‘Convergence on Policy Goals: Character Education in East Asia and England’, can be accessed here. The abstract can be read below:

The goal of character building in east Asian countries is often presented as a shared cultural construct and positioned within an east-west dichotomy. However, it is not at all clear that east Asian forms of character education are identifiable and distinct or that they always transcend national and cultural values. Jeynes (2008) has cautioned us to remember that cultural differences limit the extent to which we can learn lessons from another country, but how authoritative is this caution' The English Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, announced in December 2014 that she intended to secure England's place as a global leader by expanding the nation's provision and evidence base for character education. In this context, this article asks whether England shares any commonalities in the so-called east-west dichotomy on character education-are they mutually exclusive or are they compatible. Is there a west-individual view and an east - collective view' Is the character education movement in east Asia more of an ideological and political movement' As the British government looks for policy solutions to new and challenging problems, including character education, what answers can it find from abroad' What can it learn, borrow or pinch from these east Asian countries and is there a convergence on policy goals for character education within and across these countries' The paper is based on the work (translated) of prominent east Asian academics and builds on the author's personal interface with officials in the Ministry of Education in Japan and Singapore as well as meetings and conferences with numerous academics in universities across east Asian countries to address these questions.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/James_article_JICE.png

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Wins 2016 SES Books Prize

11/11/16

On Thursday 10th November 2016, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson was presented with the 2016 Society for Educational Studies Books Prize for his sole-authored book Aristotelian Character Education (2015, Routledge). Kristján was awarded 1st prize of £2,000. The Society for Educational Studies Books Prize has a long standing tradition of awarding the best books in the field of education studies published each year. SES judge books based on the quality of research and/or scholarship; originality of analysis and argument; theory/practice relation; and quality and accessibility of writing. The award was made at the 2016 SES Fellows' Dinner, and Chair of the Books Prize Sub-Committee, Prof. Andrew Peterson (Canterbury Christ Church University) made the presentation. Congratulations to Kristján on this prestigious award.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KK_Book_Award.png

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Guest Lectures at University of Birmingham School

08/11/16

On Thursday 3rd November, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, delivered a guest lecture at the University of Birmingham School.  Speaking to A-level students at the school’s 6th form, Prof. Kristjánsson taught two classes introducing Aristotelian virtue ethics. The guest lecture forms part of the ongoing partnership between the Jubilee Centre and the University of Birmingham School, which delivers a bespoke curriculum, developed in collaboration with the Jubilee Centre, focussing on character. The school is now in its second academic year having opened in September 2015 and was recently praised by the Prime Minister.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KKUoBSchool.jpg

Deputy Director Joins New JTF-Funded Project

04/11/16

DEPUTY DIRECTOR JOINS CORE TEAM OF NEW JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION FUNDED PROJECT

Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, has joined the core team of a new JTF-funded project, "The Pathways to Character", run out of Arizona State University and Wake Forest University. The overarching goal of the project is to stimulate research on whether and how adversity, challenge, or failure could potentially influence growth in character strengths and virtues. 

The main activity of the proposed work is to hold a Request for Proposal (RFP) that is open across disciplines, including Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies with the goal of seeding two million dollars’ worth of research on this topic by a wide range of scholars. 

The other core team members are:

William Fleeson, Wake Forest University

Patricia Frazier, University of Minnesota

Richard Lerner, Tufts University

Crystal Park, University of Connecticut

Jacqui Smith, University of Michigan

Howard Tennen, University of Connecticut

Valerie Tiberius, University of Minnesota

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/wakeforest.png

Centre Holds 5th Annual Conference ‘Character, Wisdom and Virtue' at Oriel College

10/01/17

The Jubilee Centre held its 5th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, January 5-7, 2017. The theme of the conference was 'Character, Wisdom and Virtue'. With five keynote speeches, over fifty seminar and poster presentations and 120 delegates, the conference was highly successful and widely praised by the attendees for its content and organisation. The key note speeches by Professors Howard Curzer, Candace Vogler, Lenn Goodman, Monika Ardelt and Howard Nusbaum were particularly well received.  

The key note speakers explored Aristotelian, Thomistic, Arabic, Jewish and social scientific conceptions of wisdom and phronesis. With many of the most distinguished authorities in the field of wisdom research attending, seminar presenters asked searching questions about the domain-specificity of wisdom, its theoretical versus experiential underpinnings, its cultivation, and whether a wisdom-guided life is more like a symphony orchestra with a discrete conductor or a self-co-ordinating jazz band - to name but a few of the themes that emerged from the parallel sessions. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest interdisciplinary conference ever held devoted to the topic of wisdom and its surrounding virtues. 

The full text of the key note speeches and seminar presentations continues to be accessible online here.  

This year’s conference also saw a celebratory launch of five books published by Jubilee Centre academics. The book launch took place on the evening of 5th January and showcased the breadth of publications, influence and impact that the Jubilee Centre has achieved over the past four years.

The photographs above show the five books launched and the display showcasing the Jubilee Centre's work.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Oriel2017NewsPage.png

Centre Academics Publish Edited Volume ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’

10/01/17

Professors David Carr, James Arthur and Kristján Kristjánsson have published an edited volume titled ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics’ with Palgrave Macmillan. The edited collection is drawn from papers presented at the 3rd annual conference of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues which was held at Oriel College, Oxford, 8th – 10th January 2015 and was entitled ‘Varieties of Virtue Ethics in Philosophy, Social Science and Theology’. The book brings together the conference highlights, which aimed to identify and investigate the diversity of contemporary interpretations and approaches to understanding moral virtue and character.

A short description of the book can be found below:

This book explores recent developments in ethics of virtue. While acknowledging the Aristotelian roots of modern virtue ethics – with its emphasis on the moral importance of character – this collection recognizes that more recent accounts of virtue have been shaped by many other influences, such as Aquinas, Hume, Nietzsche, Hegel and Marx, Confucius and Lao-tzu. The authors also examine the bearing of virtue ethics on other disciplines such as psychology, sociology and theology, as well as attending to some wider public, professional and educational implications of the ethics of virtue. This pioneering book will be invaluable to researchers and students concerned with the many contemporary varieties and applications of virtue ethics.

The book is available to purchase here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/VarietiesofVirtueEthics.png

Centre Publishes New Insight Series Paper

10/01/17

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has published a new Insight Series paper authored by Dr Marvin Berkowitz and Dr Melinda Bier. The paper, entitled Involving Parents for Good, provides evidence-based conclusions concerning parental influences on academic achievement, and offers guidance on how parents and schools can best work together to support student character development. The paper can be accessed by clicking here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Involving%20parents%20for%20good.png

Centre Director and University School Feature in The Times and TES

05/01/17

Jubilee Centre Director, Professor James Arthur, has recently featured in articles in both The Times and the Times Educational Supplement, discussing the vision and ethos of the University of Birmingham School, which focuses on character education.  The articles both highlight the immense popularity that the school has seen with parents in the local area since opening in September 2015 and the bespoke ethos, curriculum and enrichment programme the school offers its pupils. The articles come shortly after Prime Minister Theresa May called for more universities around the country to commit to sponsoring a school. The University of Birmingham also held a conference on 24th November 2016, at the University of Birmingham School, to share its experience of establishing a school with representatives of 52 universities and civil servants who attended. In the articles, Professor Arthur also speaks about the process by which the university went about setting up the school and the main factors driving the school’s unique vision and ethos which is built around values such as justice, courage and compassion. Working closely with the Jubilee Centre to develop a taught character curriculum, the school integrates character into every lesson as it seeks to demonstrate how character can be taught as well as ‘caught’.

You can access the article in The Times, ‘Fierce competition to be “guinea pigs” at the school that teachers character’ here.*

You can access the TES article, ‘How one university has created a school to “match the aspirations” of the best’ here.*

*Please note both articles are accessible through subscription.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/TimesTES.png

Deputy Director Takes Part in South Carolina Seminar

20/12/16

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, took part in a week-long seminar at the University of South Carolina on December 11th - 16th 2016. He presented two draft papers and participated in discussions. This seminar was part of the Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life Project, run out of the University of Chicago, of which the Jubilee Centre is a partner. Find out more here.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KristjanConversation.png

Professor David Carr Publishes Article in Polish Philosophy Journal

20/12/16

David Carr, Professor of Ethics and Education at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has published an article entitled ‘Kultura i Edukacja’ ('Education and Culture') in the Polish philosophy journal Filozofuj. The essay explores the key role of education - through formal schooling and/or otherwise - in the transmission of culture and the cultural formation of young and old alike in the nineteenth century poet Matthew Arnold’s sense of ‘the best that has been thought and said in the world’. To access the article, please click here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/DC_Kultura_i_edukacja_2.png

Richard Lerner Receives Prestigious Award from the Society for Research in Child Development

15/12/16

Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) Distinguished Contributions to Public Policy and Practice in Child Development Award. The award recognises continuous lifetime contributions to research that inform policy and practice for the benefit of children. A Professor in the Tufts University Department of Child Study and Human Development since 1999, Lerner has more than 700 scholarly publications, including more than 80 authored or edited books.The Jubilee Centre would like to extend its congratulations to Richard on receiving this prestigious award.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Lerner.png

MA in Character Education - 2017 Applications

15/12/16

The University of Birmingham's MA in Character Education is now taking applications for the 2017-18 student cohort. The course, which is the first of its kind in the world, offers students the latest theory and research in character education, as well as the knowledge and tools for character education practice in more or less formal educational settings. Find out more about how to apply at the course page here.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/MAStarts.png

Centre Academics Present at the Association for Moral Education’s 42nd Annual Conference

14/12/16

The Association for Moral Education held its 42nd Annual Conference, under the title ‘Civic engagement: A cultural revolution?’ at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge USA, between 8th and 11th December 2016.  The conference included presentations by Jubilee Centre Deputy Director Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Professor Steve Thoma and Research Fellow Dr David Walker.  Professor Kristjánsson’s presentation was titled ‘Epiphanic moral conversions: Going beyond Kohlberg and Aristotle’ and Professor Thoma and Dr Walker presented individually as part of a symposium on ‘The Adolescent Intermediate Concepts Measure: Evidence from multiple cultural settings’.  The symposium also included a presentation by Yen-Hsin Chen from the National Taichung University of Education who has completed a study to replicate the Jubilee Centre’s Character Education in UK Schools research with junior high school students in Taiwan.

 

Professor Kristjánsson's presentation slides are available to view here.

Professor Thoma's presentation slides are available to view here.

Dr David Walker's presentation slides are available to view here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/AMEDec2016.png

Senior Fellow Ben Perks Gives Lecture at Centre for Brain Health

14/12/16

On Thursday 24th November, Senior Fellow in the Jubilee Centre, Ben Perks, delivered a seminar at the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Human Brain Health.  The Centre is an inter-disciplinary brain research facility established with the mission of understanding what makes a brain healthy and how to develop the next generation of interventions and tools for personalised brain healthcare. This discussion formed part of the Centre’s seminar series and follows a series of talks by Ben on neuromaturation and rights, including recent events at Harvard and Colombia University. You can access a series of blogs by Ben on similar issues here, and a Ted Talk here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/PerksB.png

Centre Senior Fellow Responds to The Casey Review

13/12/16

Jubilee Centre Senior Fellow, Lord James O’Shaughnessy, has written a response to The Casey Review for website ReactionSocial integration is crucial – here’s how to do it right. Authored by Dame Louise Casey, the Casey Review presents the findings of a review of opportunity and integration in the UK’s most isolated and deprived communities, as requested by the then Prime Minister and Home Secretary in July 2015. In the review Casey considers what causes such divides amongst communities and what might be done to combat the impact of this on people’s lives. In his response, Lord O’Shaughnessy explores the central role that education plays in creating a more cohesive society. Read the piece in full here

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/JamesOS-SeniorFellow(1).png

Prof Arthur and Dr Harrison Present at Conference and Meet Minister of Education in Malaysia

08/12/16

Professor James Arthur and Dr Tom Harrison presented at the 2016 Leaps of Knowledge conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 30th November. The conference was attended by over 600 teachers from across Malaysia as well as the Minister of Education, civil servants from the Ministry of Education and the media. The conference was organised by FrogAsia and YTL Foundation. This year the conference focussed on character education and the qualities of creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking. James gave the conference keynote address on the Jubilee Centre’s framework for character education and how it can be applied and adapted for use in Malaysian schools. Tom ran an interactive workshop on priority virtues in education. During the day James and Tom met with the Minister for Education and discussed approaches to character education. FrogAsia have asked the Centre to support them to develop character education learning resources that can be hosted on their online platform which is used in all schools in Malaysia.

 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/Malaysia3.jpg

Centre Staff to Publish in Personality and Individual Differences

29/11/16

Jubilee Centre Research Fellows Dr Blaire Morgan and Dr Liz Gulliford, and Deputy Director Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, are to have their journal article published by Personality and Individual Differences. The paper, entitled ‘A new approach to measuring moral virtues: The Multi-Component Gratitude Measure’, introduces a new method of assessing moral virtue. The article is to be published early in the New Year but special free access to the article is available until the 18th January, 2017, and can be accessed by clicking here. The paper’s abstract can be read below:

Empirical explorations of moral virtues have increased dramatically recently. This paper introduces a new method of assessing moral virtue using gratitude as an example; a virtue that continues to be a topic of great interest in psychology, philosophy and education. We argue, and demonstrate empirically, that to comprehensively examine a moral virtue, it is necessary to explore its cognitive, affective, attitudinal (including motivational), and behavioural aspects. We have created the ‘Multi-Component Gratitude Measure’ (MCGM) comprised of four components, each designed to assess a distinct dimension of the virtue of gratitude: (a) conceptions (or understandings) of gratitude; (b) grateful emotions; (c) attitudes towards gratitude; and (d) gratitude-related behaviours. In contrast to existing measures, the MCGM aims to comprehensively examine the major components that constitute this complex moral construct. In two studies we illustrate the value of assessing these four components of gratitude and how individuals can differ in the number and ‘type’ of components they exemplify. Importantly, we demonstrate how well-being increases linearly with the number of components a person possesses, as measured by three distinct measures of well-being. We discuss individual differences in gratitude experience and what this means for personal flourishing as well as future measurement of moral constructs.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/book1.png

Centre Director Honours 2016 #iwill Ambassadors

25/11/16

On Monday 21st November 2016, Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur honoured 50 new #iwill Ambassadors with certificates at an awards ceremony held at Church House, London, with BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts. Prof. Arthur then spoke at a reception at the House of Commons, hosted by Rob Wilson MP.

Prof. Arthur highlighted the double benefit to young people of their service: "Young people who get involved in social action are having a positive impact on people around them, but at the same time are also benefiting themselves through the development of character virtues including humility, service and resilience."

The Ambassador event kicked off #iwillWeek, a national celebration of young people making a difference in their communities. The event also saw the launch of a multimillion fund for youth social action programmes following a £40 million investment from Government and the Big Lottery Fund.

This was the 3rd year running that the Jubilee Centre and the #iwill campaign has acknowledged young Ambassadors for their commitment to service. Ambassadors are appointed to celebrate and champion the role that young people can play in making a difference to their community through volunteering, campaigning or fundraising.  With a campaign goal of getting 6 in ten young people regularly taking part in ‘social action’ by 2020, the #iwill campaign is calling on organisations across society to recognise and celebrate the impact of young people and create more opportunities for them to take part.

Photograph top left: Prof. Arthur with #iwill Ambassadors after receiving their certificates

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/%23iwill2016.png

Why Character Matters in Education

25/11/16

On Thursday 24th November 2016, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues hosted 4 former Secretaries of State for Education, or Shadow Secretaries of State for Education at Character Matters. The Rt. Hon. Michael Gove MP, the Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, the Rt. Hon. Baroness Estelle Morris, and the Hon. Tristram Hunt MP all spoke on Why Character Matters in Education. The sold out event for staff and students of the University of Birmingham was a great success, with the speakers forming a panel to answer questions from the audience on the importance of character in education.

Senior Fellow in the Jubilee Centre, Lord James O'Shaughnessy chaired the event, with Prof. Sir Anthony Seldon, University of Buckingham, giving the vote of thanks.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/CharacterMattersII.png

Deputy Director's Book Features in a Special Section of Journal of Moral Education

23/11/16

A whole section of the latest issue of Journal of Moral Education (vol. 45, issue 4, 2016) is devoted to a discussion of Professor Kristján Kristjánsson's book, Aristotelian Character Education, which recently won the Society for Educational Studies 2016 Book Prize.

http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cjme20/45/4?nav=tocList

In this section, Kristjánsson presents a précis of the book, followed by critiques by three commentators, Professors Randall Curren, Daniel Lapsley and Christian Miller. Finally, Kristjánsson offers a response to the commentaries. 

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/k-k-news-thumb.png

Centre's Online Course Reaches 17,000 Learners

15/11/16

In October 2016, the Centre delivered its free online course What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education for the fourth time, attracting more than 17,000 learners from across the world since launching in January 2015.  The course, which is run in partnership with FutureLearn, has generated extensive discussion about character education, and in particular, the caught/taught debate - whether character should be taught in schools, and how it should be taught.  Collectively across the course runs, more than 23,000 comments have been posted by learners on the course discussion boards demonstrating widespread engagement with the topic. The course also continues to provide an excellent taster experience for anyone interested in further study in the area of character education, and in particular the University of Birmingham's new MA in Character Education. You can find out more here. Any future dates for the What is Character? course will be announced in the Centre's monthly e-newsletter.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/MOOC2.png

Centre Publishes Character Education Evaluation Handbook for Schools

15/11/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is delighted to launch its Character Education Evaluation Handbook for Schools. The Handbook, which has been developed in consultation with an expert group of academics, teachers and other educationalists, provides a practical introduction to the evaluation of character education in primary and secondary schools, equipping them with the tools needed to enhance and improve their character education provision.

Divided into an introduction, and four subsequent sections, the Handbook:

  • Provides advice, guidance and tools to enable schools to implement the principles and practice of self-evaluation to enhance and improve their character education provision; 
  • Is intended to be a source of inspiration that schools should adapt to their own context;
  • Is based on the premise that by using varied forms of self-evaluation teachers can develop a holistic and formative picture of their school’s character-education profile; and    
  • Is designed to support the recent movement in schools to self-evaluate their own practice. School-led approaches to self-evaluation are now commonplace in most schools, including the Ofsted framework whereby inspectors often use the outcomes from self-evaluation as the starting point for their inspections.  

You can access the handbook in full here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/HandbookNov2016.png

Policy Brief: National Citizen Service Bill

15/11/16

The Jubilee Centre has prepared an evidence-informed policy briefing to coincide with the passing of a Bill through Parliament to enshrine the National Citizen Service via Royal Charter. The briefing, which the Centre distributed to all Lords who have spoken to the Bill, was informed by the Centre's extensive research around character and youth social action, as well as early findings from the current Habits of Service project. The paper is available to view here.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/PolicyBriefGeneric.png

Centre Director Publishes in the Journal of International and Comparative Education

14/11/16

Professor James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, has had an article published in the Journal of International and Comparative Education (JICE). The article, titled ‘Convergence on Policy Goals: Character Education in East Asia and England’, can be accessed here. The abstract can be read below:

The goal of character building in east Asian countries is often presented as a shared cultural construct and positioned within an east-west dichotomy. However, it is not at all clear that east Asian forms of character education are identifiable and distinct or that they always transcend national and cultural values. Jeynes (2008) has cautioned us to remember that cultural differences limit the extent to which we can learn lessons from another country, but how authoritative is this caution' The English Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan, announced in December 2014 that she intended to secure England's place as a global leader by expanding the nation's provision and evidence base for character education. In this context, this article asks whether England shares any commonalities in the so-called east-west dichotomy on character education-are they mutually exclusive or are they compatible. Is there a west-individual view and an east - collective view' Is the character education movement in east Asia more of an ideological and political movement' As the British government looks for policy solutions to new and challenging problems, including character education, what answers can it find from abroad' What can it learn, borrow or pinch from these east Asian countries and is there a convergence on policy goals for character education within and across these countries' The paper is based on the work (translated) of prominent east Asian academics and builds on the author's personal interface with officials in the Ministry of Education in Japan and Singapore as well as meetings and conferences with numerous academics in universities across east Asian countries to address these questions.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/James_article_JICE.png

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Wins 2016 SES Books Prize

11/11/16

On Thursday 10th November 2016, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson was presented with the 2016 Society for Educational Studies Books Prize for his sole-authored book Aristotelian Character Education (2015, Routledge). Kristján was awarded 1st prize of £2,000. The Society for Educational Studies Books Prize has a long standing tradition of awarding the best books in the field of education studies published each year. SES judge books based on the quality of research and/or scholarship; originality of analysis and argument; theory/practice relation; and quality and accessibility of writing. The award was made at the 2016 SES Fellows' Dinner, and Chair of the Books Prize Sub-Committee, Prof. Andrew Peterson (Canterbury Christ Church University) made the presentation. Congratulations to Kristján on this prestigious award.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KK_Book_Award.png

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson Guest Lectures at University of Birmingham School

08/11/16

On Thursday 3rd November, Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, delivered a guest lecture at the University of Birmingham School.  Speaking to A-level students at the school’s 6th form, Prof. Kristjánsson taught two classes introducing Aristotelian virtue ethics. The guest lecture forms part of the ongoing partnership between the Jubilee Centre and the University of Birmingham School, which delivers a bespoke curriculum, developed in collaboration with the Jubilee Centre, focussing on character. The school is now in its second academic year having opened in September 2015 and was recently praised by the Prime Minister.

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/KKUoBSchool.jpg

Deputy Director Joins New JTF-Funded Project

04/11/16

DEPUTY DIRECTOR JOINS CORE TEAM OF NEW JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION FUNDED PROJECT

Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, has joined the core team of a new JTF-funded project, "The Pathways to Character", run out of Arizona State University and Wake Forest University. The overarching goal of the project is to stimulate research on whether and how adversity, challenge, or failure could potentially influence growth in character strengths and virtues. 

The main activity of the proposed work is to hold a Request for Proposal (RFP) that is open across disciplines, including Psychology, Philosophy, and Religious Studies with the goal of seeding two million dollars’ worth of research on this topic by a wide range of scholars. 

The other core team members are:

William Fleeson, Wake Forest University

Patricia Frazier, University of Minnesota

Richard Lerner, Tufts University

Crystal Park, University of Connecticut

Jacqui Smith, University of Michigan

Howard Tennen, University of Connecticut

Valerie Tiberius, University of Minnesota

/userfiles/jubileechinese/images/news-thumbs/wakeforest.png