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Frase de la Semana

Good fiction creates empathy. A novel takes you somewhere and asks you to look through the eyes of another person, to live another life. Barbara Kingsolver

Unicef Montenegro and Partners Visit Jubilee Centre

30/06/16

On 19th – 22nd June 2016 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was delighted to welcome guests from the My Character and Values project team, supported by Unicef in Montenegro, the Ministry for Education, and Principals from top schools across Montenegro. Also visiting were colleagues from the Innovation Lab, a UNICEF initiative, who work on youth social action.  The visit formed part of the Jubilee Centre’s ongoing partnership with Unicef Montenegro and provided an opportunity for those working to implement character education across the country, to discuss the progress of their work and next steps. During their time in Birmingham, the group gave presentations on their work and were able to visit a range of different schools, including the new University of Birmingham School, dedicated to character education, and two local primary schools – Brownmead Primary Academy and Topcliffe Primary School. The group also heard more about the Jubilee Centre’s current research, and in particular, its work on youth social action and the Habits of Service project.

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Centre Staff Visit Netherlands Defense Academy

21/06/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited the Netherlands Defense Academy, Breda on Thursday 16th June to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with sociologist Prof. Rene Moelker.  The aim of the visit was to gather information about the ethical development of Dutch military officers.  Prof Arthur and Dr Walker will also visit US Military cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point next year, in order to contextualise the Soldiers of Character research study. 

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Deputy Director and Research Fellow Publish on South Korean Education

21/06/16

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, and Research Fellow, Dr. David Walker, have published a paper titled 'Misery in dark shadows behind the high achievement scores in South Korean schooling: an ethnographic study' in Educational Review. The paper's lead author, Soonjung Kwon is a former School of Education PhD student. The abstract for the paper can be found below and the full paper can be accessed here.

 

Abstract

This article explores some of the hidden background behind the highly praised school results in South Korea. An ethnographic case study is used to cast light on how schooling is actually experienced by South Korean students. Two main results are reported from these data. First, evidence is presented of damaging cultural elements such as internalised norms of resistance and conformity, symbolised helplessness, studying without any interest in controversial issues, an internalised culture of “dealing” and widespread playing with mobile phones, sleeping and applying make-up in class. Second, evidence is presented of an institutionalised school violence involving mechanisms of control, abusive and violent everyday language, explicit school violence and delinquent/deviant behaviour. The article concludes that there is something unique and deeply disturbing about institutionalised violence in South Korean schools and that the abysmally low subjective wellbeing levels of pupils are no coincidence.

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Prof. David Carr Presents at University of Chicago

15/06/16

On Thursday 9th June 2016, Prof. David Carr presented at a seminar as part of the ‘Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life’ project. The seminar was hosted by Professor Candace Vogler, the project lead, in the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society of the University of Chicago and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Over a period of five days, the seminar featured twenty presentations from an internationally distinguished group of philosophers, social scientists and theologians.  Professor Carr’s presentation explored the possibility of developing a secular sense of spirituality for wider public usage and education.

Professor Carr's paper is available to read here.

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Centre Holds Character and Virtue in the Professions Conference

09/06/16

On 2nd-4th June 2016, the Jubilee Centre held the Character and Virtue in the Professions Conference on campus at the University of Birmingham. The three-day event brought together scholars and practitioners from across the professions to speak about the role of character and virtue in both training and practice of professions such as nursing, medicine, teaching, business and the military.

The international conference was attended by delegates from around the world, and included key note speeches from Prof. Sarah Banks (Durham), Prof. Geoff Moore (Durham), Prof. Justin Oakley (Monash), Prof. Ann Gallagher (Surrey) and Prof. Nancy Sherman (Georgetown). 

Journalist Richard McComb attended the conference and wrote a blog about ethical insights from an outside. It can be read here.

 

The abstracts from all of the papers given at the conference can be accessed below, as well as the full programme.

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Professor David Carr Delivers Keynote at University of Lodz, Poland

08/06/16

On Saturday 28th May 2016, Professor David Carr presented a keynote paper at a conference on Ethical Education to an audience of ethics teachers and moral educationalists from various European countries including Poland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. The conference took place at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Lodz in Poland and was organised as part of a project entitled ‘Ethics in the System of Education in Poland and Selected Western Countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France, USA, Norway, Finland). The project is being run by the Head of the Department of Ethics at the University of Lodz and is funded by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. David’s paper, entitled ‘Towards the Education of Moral Character and Virtue’, defended an Aristotelian approach to moral education and the ethics of teaching, and drew on recent work in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The paper is available to view here

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Jubilee Centre #iwill Pledge

08/06/16

Update on our #iwill pledge

Since 2013, the Jubilee Centre has supported the #iwill campaign, which aims to make involvement in social action part of life for 10-20 year-olds across the UK. The Centre is proud of its partnership with the campaign and delighted to celebrate this year’s Share Your Pledge Day.

The Centre has 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;
  • Provide 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 publish findings.

Since pledging to the #iwill campaign, the Centre has carried out a study with over 20 youth social action providers in the UK, exploring character and youth social action, with findings published in a report available here. These organisations collectively work with over a million young people. The Centre is working on a new project to discover ‘What is a habit of service for young people in the UK?’. The research will involve surveying over 2,000 young people in summer 2016, followed by more in-depth qualitative research in early 2017. Research Associate Emma Taylor is undertaking the research, and is based in Step Up To Serve’s offices in London.

The Centre has also supported the #iwill campaign by recognising youth social action through the Jubilee Youth Awards and publishing the Statement on Youth Social Action and Character Development. The Centre also sponsors the #iwill Ambassadors, contributing to the selection process, publishing the stories of the ambassadors, and hosting events at the #iwill campaign anniversaries.

Centre Director Professor James Arthur says “The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is proud of its close association and the joint work it has undertaken with Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign. Together we have been able to bring researchers and practitioners together to explore big questions such as ‘how does social action transform the character of young people as well as the communities they live in?'”

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 Professor James Arthur. 

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Schools Celebrate Schools Gratitude Day

02/06/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues celebrated Schools Gratitude Day on 20th May 2016, with almost 80 schools across the UK and internationally taking part in a range of activities. The purpose of the Day was to further emphasise the concept of gratitude through activities run and inspired by the Teacher’s Pack produced by the Centre, containing activities and ideas for exploring gratitude in schools.

Gratitude stories were read in school assemblies, people watched Thank You Films created by young people and listened to the benefits of gratitude. ‘Gratitude Visits’ were arranged, giving pupils the chance to thank a special someone for contributing to their communities. One popular choice of activity was building a Gratitude Tree. Young people were asked to think about what they enjoy doing in their lives and to think about who they rely on to enjoy that activity. Below is a photo of pupils from St. Luke’s C of E Primary School and their gratitude tree - thank you for sharing!

Schools Gratitude Day provided schools who had taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards with an opportunity to award all shortlisted finalists with their certificates and book vouchers, and for everyone else that took part to celebrate gratitude and hold their own Thank You Letter Awards ceremonies.

Schools Gratitude Day offers people a chance to collaborate with one another and the community by sharing who one another are grateful to and recognising why gratitude is such an important virtue. The Schools Gratitude Day Teaching Pack is still available to download and use at: www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/schoolsgratitudeday

Thank You to everyone who took part.

 

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Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: New Report Published

01/06/16

Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: Unravelling the Concept of Gratitude in a Developmental, Cross-Cultural Analysis.

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Research Fellows Dr. Liz Gulliford and Dr. Blaire Morgan secured small grant funding from the Society for Educational Studies (SES) to replicate three key studies from the Attitude for Gratitude project with an Australian sample. The study compared how Australians and Britons understand gratitude and the factors which influence the way in which gratitude is conceived and experienced in Australia.

Key findings from the study show that Australians associated gratitude with fewer negative features than were found in the UK study. ‘Indebtedness/obligation’ was named as a feature of gratitude by 29% of UK participants and by only 6.5% of Australian respondents. Likewise ‘guilt’ was named by 17% of the UK participants but by only 2.6% of the Australian sample. Australians, therefore, seem less likely to reference negative associations of gratitude than UK respondents.

Relatedly, findings from this preliminary study suggest that negative aspects of gratitude (ulterior and malicious motives, mixed emotions and indebtedness) impacted less on reported gratitude for Australian children in comparison with UK children. Similar results are found for adult and adolescent Australians whose gratitude seemed to be less impacted by a benefactor’s ulterior motives than in the UK.

The final report is available to view here

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Dr. David Walker Publishes Chapter on Military Research Methods

30/05/16

Dr. David Walker has published a chapter titled 'Putting ‘Insider-ness’ to Work: Researching Identity Narratives of Career Soldiers about to Leave the Army' in The Routledge Companion to Military Research Methods.  This edited volume brings together an extensive group of authors from a range of disciplinary perspectives whose chapters engage with the conceptual, practical and political questions raised when doing military research. Find out more at the publisher's page here.

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Lord Rabbi Sacks Receives Templeton Prize 2016

27/05/16

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

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

The full speech is available to read here

 

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Floreat Education Launches Character Programme Website

26/05/16

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

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

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

Access the Floreat Character Programme here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deputy Director Publishes on Flourishing in Education

24/05/16

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

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

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Centre Welcomes Blaine Fowers as Distinguished Visiting Professor

23/05/16

During the week of 16th May 2016, the Jubilee Centre was delighted to welcome Blaine Fowers as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2016.  Blaine, who is Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami, focusses his work on the contributions of Aristotle's ethics to a richer understanding of research and clinical practices in psychology and of ordinary life. During his visit he had the opportunity to meet with the Centre's researchers to discuss projects and delivered a seminar titled 'How Can Humans Flourish as Dependent, Vulnerable Creatures?
The Necessity of Virtue
' as part of the Centre's bi-weekly seminar series.  The paper is available to view here. Blaine has also written for the Centre's Insight Series; the paper titled 'The Accidental Virtue Scholar' is available to view here.

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Centre Launches Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum Resources

16/05/16

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

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

An 'Introduction' to the resources is available here.

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

16/05/16

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

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Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony 2016

12/05/16

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

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

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

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

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

Finalists

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

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

Winners and Runners Up

Primary

Winner:

Adaeze Ordu, St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

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

Secondary

Winner:

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


Runners-Up:

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

 

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

Thank You Letter Awards 2016

 

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Professor Robert C. Roberts Presents at University of Notre Dame

10/05/16

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

 

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

 

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

09/05/16

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


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

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents to Taunton Teaching Alliance

06/05/16

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

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

04/05/16

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

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Dr. Sandra Cooke Presents at Dacorum Schools Conference

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

25/04/16

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

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Unicef Montenegro and Partners Visit Jubilee Centre

30/06/16

On 19th – 22nd June 2016 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was delighted to welcome guests from the My Character and Values project team, supported by Unicef in Montenegro, the Ministry for Education, and Principals from top schools across Montenegro. Also visiting were colleagues from the Innovation Lab, a UNICEF initiative, who work on youth social action.  The visit formed part of the Jubilee Centre’s ongoing partnership with Unicef Montenegro and provided an opportunity for those working to implement character education across the country, to discuss the progress of their work and next steps. During their time in Birmingham, the group gave presentations on their work and were able to visit a range of different schools, including the new University of Birmingham School, dedicated to character education, and two local primary schools – Brownmead Primary Academy and Topcliffe Primary School. The group also heard more about the Jubilee Centre’s current research, and in particular, its work on youth social action and the Habits of Service project.

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Centre Staff Visit Netherlands Defense Academy

21/06/16

Prof. James Arthur (Director) and Dr. David Walker (Research Fellow) visited the Netherlands Defense Academy, Breda on Thursday 16th June to discuss the Soldiers of Character project with sociologist Prof. Rene Moelker.  The aim of the visit was to gather information about the ethical development of Dutch military officers.  Prof Arthur and Dr Walker will also visit US Military cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point next year, in order to contextualise the Soldiers of Character research study. 

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Deputy Director and Research Fellow Publish on South Korean Education

21/06/16

Deputy Director, Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, and Research Fellow, Dr. David Walker, have published a paper titled 'Misery in dark shadows behind the high achievement scores in South Korean schooling: an ethnographic study' in Educational Review. The paper's lead author, Soonjung Kwon is a former School of Education PhD student. The abstract for the paper can be found below and the full paper can be accessed here.

 

Abstract

This article explores some of the hidden background behind the highly praised school results in South Korea. An ethnographic case study is used to cast light on how schooling is actually experienced by South Korean students. Two main results are reported from these data. First, evidence is presented of damaging cultural elements such as internalised norms of resistance and conformity, symbolised helplessness, studying without any interest in controversial issues, an internalised culture of “dealing” and widespread playing with mobile phones, sleeping and applying make-up in class. Second, evidence is presented of an institutionalised school violence involving mechanisms of control, abusive and violent everyday language, explicit school violence and delinquent/deviant behaviour. The article concludes that there is something unique and deeply disturbing about institutionalised violence in South Korean schools and that the abysmally low subjective wellbeing levels of pupils are no coincidence.

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Prof. David Carr Presents at University of Chicago

15/06/16

On Thursday 9th June 2016, Prof. David Carr presented at a seminar as part of the ‘Virtue, Happiness and the Meaning of Life’ project. The seminar was hosted by Professor Candace Vogler, the project lead, in the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society of the University of Chicago and funded by the John Templeton Foundation. Over a period of five days, the seminar featured twenty presentations from an internationally distinguished group of philosophers, social scientists and theologians.  Professor Carr’s presentation explored the possibility of developing a secular sense of spirituality for wider public usage and education.

Professor Carr's paper is available to read here.

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Centre Holds Character and Virtue in the Professions Conference

09/06/16

On 2nd-4th June 2016, the Jubilee Centre held the Character and Virtue in the Professions Conference on campus at the University of Birmingham. The three-day event brought together scholars and practitioners from across the professions to speak about the role of character and virtue in both training and practice of professions such as nursing, medicine, teaching, business and the military.

The international conference was attended by delegates from around the world, and included key note speeches from Prof. Sarah Banks (Durham), Prof. Geoff Moore (Durham), Prof. Justin Oakley (Monash), Prof. Ann Gallagher (Surrey) and Prof. Nancy Sherman (Georgetown). 

Journalist Richard McComb attended the conference and wrote a blog about ethical insights from an outside. It can be read here.

 

The abstracts from all of the papers given at the conference can be accessed below, as well as the full programme.

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Professor David Carr Delivers Keynote at University of Lodz, Poland

08/06/16

On Saturday 28th May 2016, Professor David Carr presented a keynote paper at a conference on Ethical Education to an audience of ethics teachers and moral educationalists from various European countries including Poland, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium. The conference took place at the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Lodz in Poland and was organised as part of a project entitled ‘Ethics in the System of Education in Poland and Selected Western Countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, France, USA, Norway, Finland). The project is being run by the Head of the Department of Ethics at the University of Lodz and is funded by Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education. David’s paper, entitled ‘Towards the Education of Moral Character and Virtue’, defended an Aristotelian approach to moral education and the ethics of teaching, and drew on recent work in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The paper is available to view here

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Jubilee Centre #iwill Pledge

08/06/16

Update on our #iwill pledge

Since 2013, the Jubilee Centre has supported the #iwill campaign, which aims to make involvement in social action part of life for 10-20 year-olds across the UK. The Centre is proud of its partnership with the campaign and delighted to celebrate this year’s Share Your Pledge Day.

The Centre has 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;
  • Provide 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 publish findings.

Since pledging to the #iwill campaign, the Centre has carried out a study with over 20 youth social action providers in the UK, exploring character and youth social action, with findings published in a report available here. These organisations collectively work with over a million young people. The Centre is working on a new project to discover ‘What is a habit of service for young people in the UK?’. The research will involve surveying over 2,000 young people in summer 2016, followed by more in-depth qualitative research in early 2017. Research Associate Emma Taylor is undertaking the research, and is based in Step Up To Serve’s offices in London.

The Centre has also supported the #iwill campaign by recognising youth social action through the Jubilee Youth Awards and publishing the Statement on Youth Social Action and Character Development. The Centre also sponsors the #iwill Ambassadors, contributing to the selection process, publishing the stories of the ambassadors, and hosting events at the #iwill campaign anniversaries.

Centre Director Professor James Arthur says “The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues is proud of its close association and the joint work it has undertaken with Step Up To Serve and the #iwill campaign. Together we have been able to bring researchers and practitioners together to explore big questions such as ‘how does social action transform the character of young people as well as the communities they live in?'”

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 Professor James Arthur. 

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Schools Celebrate Schools Gratitude Day

02/06/16

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues celebrated Schools Gratitude Day on 20th May 2016, with almost 80 schools across the UK and internationally taking part in a range of activities. The purpose of the Day was to further emphasise the concept of gratitude through activities run and inspired by the Teacher’s Pack produced by the Centre, containing activities and ideas for exploring gratitude in schools.

Gratitude stories were read in school assemblies, people watched Thank You Films created by young people and listened to the benefits of gratitude. ‘Gratitude Visits’ were arranged, giving pupils the chance to thank a special someone for contributing to their communities. One popular choice of activity was building a Gratitude Tree. Young people were asked to think about what they enjoy doing in their lives and to think about who they rely on to enjoy that activity. Below is a photo of pupils from St. Luke’s C of E Primary School and their gratitude tree - thank you for sharing!

Schools Gratitude Day provided schools who had taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards with an opportunity to award all shortlisted finalists with their certificates and book vouchers, and for everyone else that took part to celebrate gratitude and hold their own Thank You Letter Awards ceremonies.

Schools Gratitude Day offers people a chance to collaborate with one another and the community by sharing who one another are grateful to and recognising why gratitude is such an important virtue. The Schools Gratitude Day Teaching Pack is still available to download and use at: www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/schoolsgratitudeday

Thank You to everyone who took part.

 

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Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: New Report Published

01/06/16

Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: Unravelling the Concept of Gratitude in a Developmental, Cross-Cultural Analysis.

Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Research Fellows Dr. Liz Gulliford and Dr. Blaire Morgan secured small grant funding from the Society for Educational Studies (SES) to replicate three key studies from the Attitude for Gratitude project with an Australian sample. The study compared how Australians and Britons understand gratitude and the factors which influence the way in which gratitude is conceived and experienced in Australia.

Key findings from the study show that Australians associated gratitude with fewer negative features than were found in the UK study. ‘Indebtedness/obligation’ was named as a feature of gratitude by 29% of UK participants and by only 6.5% of Australian respondents. Likewise ‘guilt’ was named by 17% of the UK participants but by only 2.6% of the Australian sample. Australians, therefore, seem less likely to reference negative associations of gratitude than UK respondents.

Relatedly, findings from this preliminary study suggest that negative aspects of gratitude (ulterior and malicious motives, mixed emotions and indebtedness) impacted less on reported gratitude for Australian children in comparison with UK children. Similar results are found for adult and adolescent Australians whose gratitude seemed to be less impacted by a benefactor’s ulterior motives than in the UK.

The final report is available to view here

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Dr. David Walker Publishes Chapter on Military Research Methods

30/05/16

Dr. David Walker has published a chapter titled 'Putting ‘Insider-ness’ to Work: Researching Identity Narratives of Career Soldiers about to Leave the Army' in The Routledge Companion to Military Research Methods.  This edited volume brings together an extensive group of authors from a range of disciplinary perspectives whose chapters engage with the conceptual, practical and political questions raised when doing military research. Find out more at the publisher's page here.

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Lord Rabbi Sacks Receives Templeton Prize 2016

27/05/16

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

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

The full speech is available to read here

 

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Floreat Education Launches Character Programme Website

26/05/16

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

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

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

Access the Floreat Character Programme here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deputy Director Publishes on Flourishing in Education

24/05/16

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

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

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Centre Welcomes Blaine Fowers as Distinguished Visiting Professor

23/05/16

During the week of 16th May 2016, the Jubilee Centre was delighted to welcome Blaine Fowers as a Distinguished Visiting Professor for 2016.  Blaine, who is Professor of Counseling Psychology at the University of Miami, focusses his work on the contributions of Aristotle's ethics to a richer understanding of research and clinical practices in psychology and of ordinary life. During his visit he had the opportunity to meet with the Centre's researchers to discuss projects and delivered a seminar titled 'How Can Humans Flourish as Dependent, Vulnerable Creatures?
The Necessity of Virtue
' as part of the Centre's bi-weekly seminar series.  The paper is available to view here. Blaine has also written for the Centre's Insight Series; the paper titled 'The Accidental Virtue Scholar' is available to view here.

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Centre Launches Teaching Character Through the Primary Curriculum Resources

16/05/16

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

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

An 'Introduction' to the resources is available here.

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

16/05/16

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

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Thank You Letter Awards Ceremony 2016

12/05/16

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

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

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

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

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

Finalists

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

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

Winners and Runners Up

Primary

Winner:

Adaeze Ordu, St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Birmingham


Runners-Up:

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

Secondary

Winner:

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


Runners-Up:

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

 

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

Thank You Letter Awards 2016

 

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Professor Robert C. Roberts Presents at University of Notre Dame

10/05/16

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

 

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

 

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

09/05/16

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


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

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents to Taunton Teaching Alliance

06/05/16

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

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

04/05/16

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

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Dr. Sandra Cooke Presents at Dacorum Schools Conference

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

25/04/16

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

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