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A big welcome to all of our MA # CharacterEducation students, who officially start today @ unibirmingham # HelloBrum https://t.co/NOER0wRJ24

Frase de la Semana

It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein

Professor David Carr Publishes in British Journal of Educational Studies

30/08/16

Professor David Carr has published a paper titled 'Virtue and Character in Higher Education' in the British Journal of Educational Studies. The paper makes the case for character the general case for character education with particular consideration of the contexts of pre-adult schooling and adult professional and vocational training. Find the abstract, and a link to the publisher's page below:

Access the paper at this page.

Abstract:

Despite much recent concern with the possibilities of moral character education in elementary schooling and professional training, the university and higher educational prospects of such education have only lately received much attention. This paper begins by considering – and largely endorsing – the general case for character education in contexts of pre-adult schooling and adult professional and vocational training. However, it proceeds to argue that the case for intervention in character formation in some educational contexts is not generally applicable to university and higher education. Key points are that there can be no clear normative warrant for such intervention in the case of learners who are: (i) beyond the age of majority and (ii) voluntarily engaged in study wherein significant professional or public implications of personal character development are not a pressing concern. In short, while good moral character is clearly of general human importance, its deliberate or explicit promotion may not be equally warranted in all educational contexts.

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Deputy Director Publishes in Philosophical Explorations

16/08/16

Jubilee Centre Deputy Director Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson has published "A Philosophical Critique of Psychological Studies of Emotion" in the journal Philosophical Explorations.

The article aims to provide a critical review of recent writings about jealousy in psychology, as seen from a philosophical perspective. At a more general level of inquiry, jealousy offers a useful lens through which to study generic issues concerned with the conceptual and moral nature of emotions, as well as the contributions that philosophers and social scientists can make to understanding them. Hence, considerable space is devoted to comparisons of psychological and philosophical approaches to emotion research in general. It turns out that although (Aristotle-style) arguments about the necessary conceptual features of jealousy qua specific emotion, do carry philosophical mileage, they may fail to cut ice with psychologists who tend to focus on jealousy as a broad dimension of temperament. The review reveals a disconcerting lack of cross-disciplinary work on jealousy: the sort of work that has moved the discourse on other emotions (such as gratitude) forward in recent years.

The article is available by clicking the below image.

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Positive Initial Findings from Pilot Study of Interventions in Gratitude and Compassion

15/08/16

A recent pilot study by the Jubilee Centre has shown that a five-week programme of school-based activities promoting compassion and gratitude can have a noticeable effect on pupils’ attitudes and virtue literacy of two key virtues.  

As part of the Gratitude and Related Character Virtues project, which is examining how gratitude relates to four other virtues (generosity, compassion, forgiveness and humility) this pilot study sought to establish whether teaching interventions designed to promote one of these virtues has the effect of increasing the others - with the focus here being on compassion and gratitude in a secondary school setting. 

The wider project seeks to promote a reinvigorated focus on character and virtues development in schools, with particular reference to emphasising the allocentric (other-focused) virtues mentioned above.  The positive results of this initial pilot study, therefore, are extremely encouraging. Individual children’s initial knowledge of compassion and gratitude, as expressed through mind maps, was enriched by the five-week programme, leading to more nuanced diagrammatic representations of the virtues, suggesting wider comprehension and learning.

Dr. Liz Gulliford, Research Fellow on the project, is looking forward to the full-scale research project in the autumn. She says: “Preliminary data shows increasing complexity in young people’s understanding of the concepts of compassion and gratitude. We are encouraged by the early results which appear to show improvements in pupils’ virtue literacy. The pilot suggests the interventions are helping to build a vital bedrock of understanding among young people.”

Read more about the results of the pilot study, and feedback from schools involved, in this blog post.

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Centre's Free Online Course Opens for Registrations

11/08/16

The Jubilee Centre's free online course 'What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education' begins on 24th October 2016 and is now open for registrations.  This will be the fourth run of the two-week course, for which over 15,000 people have registered since its launch in January 2015. The course, delivered in partnership with FutureLearn, explores how character might be taught in a conscious, planned and reflective way, enabling learners to gain practical knowledge on taking character education into the classroom. Drawing on the insights of leading experts in the fields of character education and virtue ethics, the course introduces the theoretical and philosophical basis for character education, including a background to virtue ethics.  You can watch the trailer below, and register to join the course here.

The course provides an excellent taster experience for those interested in further study in character education following the launch of the world's first distance learning MA in Character Education at the University of Birmingham. Find out more here.  

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Jubilee Centre Publishes New Book: 'Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools'

04/08/16

Prof. James Arthur, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson, Dr. Tom Harrison, Dr. Wouter Sanderse and Dan Wright publish Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools with Routledge Taylor & Francis. The book addresses the contemporary issues of quantification and measurement in educational settings. The authors draw on the research of the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham in order to investigate the concern that the conventional wisdom, sound judgement and professional discretion of teachers is being diminished and control mistakenly given over to administrators, policymakers and inspectors which in turn is negatively affecting pupils’ character development.

The books calls for subject competence to be complemented by practical wisdom and good character in teaching staff. It posits that the constituent virtues of good character can be learned and taught, that education is an intrinsically moral enterprise and that character education should be intentional, organised and reflective. The book draws on the Jubilee Centre’s expertise in support of its claims and successfully integrates the fields of educational studies, psychology, sociology, philosophy and theology in its examination of contemporary educational practices and their wider effect on society as a whole. It offers sample lessons as well as a framework for character education in schools.

The book encourages the view that character education is about helping students grasp what is ethically important and how to act for the right reasons so that they can become more autonomous and reflective individuals within the framework of a democratic society. Particularly interested readers will be educational leaders, teachers, those undertaking research in the field of education as well as policy analysts with a keen interest in developing the character and good sense of learners today.

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Deputy Director Publishes in Philosophia

04/08/16

Deputy Director Prof. Kristjan Kristjansson has published an article titled 'Awe: An Aristotelian Analysis of a non-Aristotelian Virtuous Emotion' in Philosophia. The article defends awe as a virtuous emotion and can be accessed here:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11406-016-9741-8

Abstract:

While interest in the emotion of awe has surged in psychology (especially positive psychology), philosophers have yet to devote a single self-standing article to awe’s conceptual contours and moral standing. The present article aims to rectify this imbalance and begin to make up for the unwarranted philosophical neglect. In order to do so, awe is given the standard Aristotelian treatment to uncover its conceptual contours and moral relevance. Aristotelianism typically provides the most useful entry point to ‘size up’ any emotion – more problematically here, however, as Aristotle did not himself explicitly identify awe. The article critiques and proposes to improve upon existing psychological conceptual analyses of awe, probes the question why Aristotle ignored it and addresses an often-presumed link between awe and humility which bears on its moral status.

 

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Jubilee Centre Hosts CitizED's 12th International Conference

01/08/16

On 28th – 30th July 2016 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was delighted to host CitizED’s 12th International Conference at the University of Birmingham.   Exploring the theme, ‘Citizenship and Character: Clarifying Characterisations and Exploring Collaboration’, the conference aimed to enhance understanding about the relationships between citizenship education and character education.  Centre Director, Prof. James Arthur, gave a keynote speech at the conference, titled 'Citizenship, Character and the Emotion Friendly Zeitgeist'. With prestigious key note speakers, and delegates from all over the world delivering a range of seminar sessions across the three days, the conference highlighted significant academic work in the field and shed light on high quality professional practice that is happening globally.

 

The conference programme, including abstracts of seminar papers, can be downloaded here.

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents at Teach First Impact Conference 2016

27/07/16

On Monday 25th July 2016, the Centre’s Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, presented at the Teach First Impact Conference 2016.  In his presentation, titled ‘Giving character education the same status as academic subjects’, Tom made the case for character education to be integrated into the curriculum and outlined the merits of this for both teachers and pupils. During the session, Tom also explored what best practice in character education might look like and provided practitioners with the tools needed to replicate this in their schools.  The Impact Conference was attended by over 4,300 leaders in education and explored four broad themes in education; the classroom and school leadership, research and policy, charities and social enterprises and leadership. You can read about highlights from the event here

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Jubilee Centre Poll Features as Top BBC Education Story

21/07/16

A parent poll by the Jubilee Centre, which found that more than half of UK parents think popular social media sites hamper their children’s moral development, recently featured as the top story on the BBC education website on 18th July 2016.  The results of the poll generated a huge amount of media interest across a range of more than 200 different outlets internationally, including coverage in the Birmingham Mail, Economic Times, Business Standard India and the Mail Online.  Read the full press release here.

Research Fellow, Dr. Blaire Morgan, who is researching the 'Influence of Parents and Social Media on Children's Moral Functioning' has also written a piece for The Conversation titled 'Is social media messing with children’s morals?'. 

The Conversation article is available to read below.

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Deputy Director Chairs Keynote Panel at IPEN Festival in Dallas

20/07/16

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson chaired a keynote panel at the first International Festival on Positive Education in Dallas on 19th July. The panel explored the philosophical and conceptual underpinnings of positive education and included presentations by Professors Nancy Snow, Randall Curren and Blaine Fowers. Find out more about the Festival here.

 

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The Jubilee Youth Awards 2016

15/07/16

On Thursday 14th July 2016, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues held the 2016 Jubilee Youth Awards at the House of Lords. Hosted by Lord James O’Shaughnessy, 14 young people from across the UK were honoured with Jubilee Youth Awards, across three of the Jubilee Centre's awards and contests programmes. 

The Centre celebrated the winners of the Jubilee Youth Awards for Service, the Thank You Letter Awards and Why Virtue Matters: Essay Contest, for 2016. Over 40,000 young people have taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards, across 200 schools. 600 essays were submitted into the Why Virtues Matters Essay Contest and 100 nominations were received and considered for a Jubilee Youth Award for Service.

The ceremony was introduced by Prof. James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre, and awards were presented by Sir Nick Parker, Chair of Trustees of Step up to Serve, and Lord O'Shaughnessy. Dr. Rania Marandos, Deputy Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve, Dr. Tom Harrison, Director of Education for the Jubilee Centre and Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director for the Jubilee Centre announced the winners across each of the three categories.

The Jubilee Youth Award Winners are listed below:

Jubilee Youth Award for Service Winners, 2016

Andrew Lees                                     Lanarkshire

Charlotte King                                   West Sussex

Jordan Dixon                                     Central London

Kimarla Johnson                               Greater London

Mary-Beth McFern                           East Lothian

Patrick Cantellow                              Kent

Reece Lunt                                        Tyne and Wear

Yasmin Tyrrell                                   Belfast

 

Thank You Letter Award Winners, 2016

Primary Winner:

Adaeze Ordu                                     St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Greater London

Secondary Winner:

Peace Buraimo                                  King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, West Midlands

 

Essay Contest: Why Virtue Matters Winners, 2016

Primary Winners:

Lucy Snowdon                                   Dame Allan’s Schools, Northumberland              

Mollie McHardy,                               Heversham St Peter’s CE Primary School, Cumbria

Secondary Winners:

Jessica Bonner                                  Highclare School, West Midlands  

Awais Hussain                                  Dixons Kings Academy, West Yorkshire

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Jubilee Centre Poll: Social Media Sites Obstruct Children’s Moral Development, Say Parents

14/07/16

More than half of UK parents think popular social media sites hamper their children’s moral development, according to a poll commissioned by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The 'parent poll' also reveals only 15% of parents think the popular sites provide a positive influence on young people’s character. A significant number of parents (40%) are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about the negative and potentially harmful impact of social media. The poll, the first of its type conducted in the UK, provides a unique insight into the way moral values are portrayed on social media. It points to widespread parental anxieties about the influence of online networks on children as young as 11, who are often using the sites despite age limits. Other key findings include:

  • Anger, arrogance and hatred are among the top negative character traits, or vices, reported by parents on social media;
  • A quarter of parents highlight a lack of forgiveness and self-control among users;
  • As an antidote to the negative findings, almost three-quarters (72%) of parents who use social media see content containing a positive moral message at least once a day;
  • The “character strengths” promoted most regularly are humour, appreciation of beauty, creativity, love, courage and kindness.

The full press release is available here. The story became the lead article on the BBC Education pages on 18th July 2016.

You can read more about the virtues and vices of social media in this latest Jubilee Centre blog post.

The project page is available here.

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Can You Teach Character? Centre Produce Short Film

11/07/16

As part of the content for the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and University of Birmingham MA in Character Education, the Jubilee Centre has produced a short film titled Can You Teach Character? The film, made by award-winning producers The Moment, includes the voices of staff and pupils from the University of Birmingham School, a school dedicated to the development of character of its pupils. The short film demonstrates the character-led approach that the University of Birmingham School has taken, and the response from pupils on the development of their character. The film is available to view here

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Research Fellows Present at Eighth European Positive Psychology Conference (ECPP)

11/07/16

The Eighth European Positive Psychology Conference (ECPP) took place in Angers, France, between June 28th and July 1st 2016.  Research Fellows Drs. Blaire Morgan and Liz Gulliford spoke at one of the 24 thematic paper sessions, presenting the findings from their cross-cultural replication of three empirical strands of the An Attitude for Gratitude research project. Liz and Blaire gave a paper based on the Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: Unravelling the Concept of Gratitude in a Developmental, Cross-Cultural Analysis report, which was funded by a Society for Educational Studies (SES) small grant, and presented findings of a cross-cultural study of the understanding of gratitude to an international audience.

An abstract for Liz and Blaire's presentation is given below and the PowerPoint presentation is available here.

Paper Session: Cross-Cultural Differences in Gratitude Experience
Theme: Cross-Cultural Approach
Authors:  B. Morgan (1) L. Gulliford (1) L. Waters (2)
Authors' Address: (1) Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, UK (2) Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
Abstract: As is well known, gratitude has been related to a host of intrapersonal, interpersonal and health benefits. However, gratitude research tends to have had the narrow aim of increasing gratitude experience without much opportunity for probing the meaning of the concept itself. We believe a more effective method of fostering moral values, such as gratitude, would be to encourage reflection on what gratitude is, and when and why it is experienced (Morgan, Gulliford & Carr, 2015; Carr, Morgan & Gulliford, 2015). We have developed instruments to shed light on both children’s and adults’ understanding of the concept. We have used these instruments to examine developmental differences in the understanding of gratitude in both the UK and Australia and report the extent to which understandings of gratitude differ cross-culturally. Findings from a prototype analysis of gratitude conducted in Australia will be compared with our UK study (Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjansson, 2014), and the earlier findings of Lambert, Graham and Fincham’s (2009) US study. This cross-cultural comparison of ‘gratitude features’ reveals that, relative to Australia and US, our UK sample demonstrates more negative associations with the construct. We also present findings from a vignette questionnaire probing intuitions about gratitude. The questionnaire was compiled following an extensive literature review on how gratitude is conceptualised (Gulliford, Morgan, & Kristjánsson, 2013). It presents various scenarios to which respondents decide whether (and to what degree) gratitude is appropriate. For instance, if a benefactor has ulterior motives, are you still grateful for the benefit they bestow? Should you be grateful to someone who is doing their job? We compare UK responses to this questionnaire with our Australian sample of young people and adults. Australian adults, for example, deem benefits that do not materialise as more worthy of gratitude than do UK adults, and UK adults report less gratitude in response to non-valuable benefits. Finally we report on the findings from our gratitude stories for children. The stories incorporate themes elaborated in the vignettes, enabling us to examine the way in which different factors that may impact on gratitude differ across the lifespan and between different cultures. Whilst in need of further replication, these results seem to suggest that Australian children may place fewer conditions on when gratitude is due. This research provides important insights into the conception of gratitude, how this might change and develop across the life-span, and the degree to which it differs cross-culturally. Such differences will inevitably impact upon gratitude interventions and gratitude measurement. Furthermore, educational interventions are currently adopted from different countries (primarily from the USA) without appropriate sensitivity to cultural differences. We believe these cross-cultural differences deserve further scrutiny.

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Jubilee Centre Partner Awarded UoB Alumna of the Year

08/07/16

On Thursday 7th July, Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up to Serve, was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Birmingham degree congregations, and awarded the title of Alumna of the Year. Charlotte studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. Following the 2012 review into youth social action, Step Up To Serve was established in 2013 to coordinate the #iwill campaign. It is run by a small dynamic team of dedicated and experienced staff, supported by secondees from partner organisations. The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has partnered with Step Up to Serve since its launch, and continues to collaborate on multiple projects, and provide a dedicated academic researcher to work as part of the Step Up to Serve team.

Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur, and Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison joined Charlotte and University of Birmingham Chancellor Lord Bilimoria as part of the celebrations. During her acceptance speech, Charlotte spoke to University of Birmingham graduands of the importance of service, character virtues and undertaking meaningful social action.

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Director of Education Gives Keynote at Teaching and Learning Conference

05/07/16

On Tuesday 28th June 2016, Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison gave a keynote address at the University of Birmingham Teaching and Learning Conference: Developing the Birmingham Graduate. Tom's keynote lecture was titled 'An internal perspective - from thinking and doing to being and becoming' and communicated to delegates why character matters, revealing theoretical and practical insights on how to build students’ character for individual and societal benefit.

The abstract for Tom's lecture is below:

Abstract - 'An internal perspective - from thinking and doing to being and becoming'

Teaching and learning at universities primarily focusses on enabling students to think and do. However, education, at all levels, should also help students be and become in order to flourish - an aspiration outlined in the Birmingham Graduate. To flourish, both as individuals and as a society, we need to develop key character virtues - such as compassion, courage, resilience, good citizenship and curiosity amongst many others.

This presentation will discuss the rising interest in character education in the UK as well as globally. It will demonstrate how university education should be about learning knowledge as well as building good character in students. Good character that will be necessary for students to successfully perform the many roles they will undertake when the leave the University of Birmingham. 

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Prof. Arthur Presents Character Awards With Edward Timpson MP

04/07/16

On Thursday 30th June 2016, Prof. James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, presented the Department for Education Character Awards with Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families. The Character Awards celebrated nine outstanding practitioners in character education from across regions in England, including the National Award winner, Thoresby Primary School in Hull. Details of all of the Character Awards winners can be found below, including the announcement by the Minister available here. During his speech, Minister Timpson thanked the Jubilee Centre for leading the way on research in character education in the UK.

The Character Awards were made as part of the Association for Character Education (ACE) inaugural conference, at the University of Birmingham School. The conference also marked the launch of the ACE e-journal Character Matters. ACE, supported by the Jubilee Centre, is a 'bottom-up', grassroots organisation, created to respond to the growing interest in character education in Britain.

The conference, chaired by ACE Chairman Gary Lewis (Head of Kings Langley Secondary School), featured key note addresses from Prof. James Arthur (Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues) and Michael Roden (Principal of the University of Birmingham School), Charlotte Hill (CEO of Step up to Serve) with Nicky Broomhall (Head of Star Academy, Sandyford) and Thomas Munnelly (#iwill Ambassador), and Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Jo Glen (Floreat Education). There were also workshops by leading practitioners and organisation in the field of character education.

Association for Character Education Executive.

L-R: Jo Glen, Linda Sanders, Prof. James Arthur, Edward Timpson MP, Gary Lewis, Michael Roden, Dr. Tom Harrison, Geoff Smith

Image used courtesy of the Department for Education

 

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Dr. Tom Harrison Publishes on Cultivating Cyber-Phronesis

04/07/16

Dr. Tom Harrison has published a paper titled ‘Cultivating cyber-phronesis: a new educational approach to tackle cyberbullying’ in Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. With cyberbullying increasingly presenting a concern for parents, schools, teachers and pupils, this paper explores if there is a need to rethink traditional educational approaches to dealing with the issue.  The abstract can be found below and the paper can be accessed here.

Abstract: 
Cyberbullying is a pervasive and troubling moral concern for teachers, schools, parents and pupils. As children and young people in England are now more likely to be bullied online than face-to-face, this article explores if there is a need to rethink traditional educational approaches to dealing with the issue. The article starts with a critique of the current dominant approaches to tackling cyberbullying in schools, which draw predominantly on deontological and utilitarian moral philosophies. It then details what an Aristotelian character education approach to cyberbullying would consist of. At its heart is a requirement to enable children and young people to become digitally virtuous citizens, through the development of cyber-phronesis. The article concludes with a description of moral educational interventions that would increase the likelihood of children and young people making both ‘good’ and ‘wise’ choices when online.

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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 Publishes in British Journal of Educational Studies

30/08/16

Professor David Carr has published a paper titled 'Virtue and Character in Higher Education' in the British Journal of Educational Studies. The paper makes the case for character the general case for character education with particular consideration of the contexts of pre-adult schooling and adult professional and vocational training. Find the abstract, and a link to the publisher's page below:

Access the paper at this page.

Abstract:

Despite much recent concern with the possibilities of moral character education in elementary schooling and professional training, the university and higher educational prospects of such education have only lately received much attention. This paper begins by considering – and largely endorsing – the general case for character education in contexts of pre-adult schooling and adult professional and vocational training. However, it proceeds to argue that the case for intervention in character formation in some educational contexts is not generally applicable to university and higher education. Key points are that there can be no clear normative warrant for such intervention in the case of learners who are: (i) beyond the age of majority and (ii) voluntarily engaged in study wherein significant professional or public implications of personal character development are not a pressing concern. In short, while good moral character is clearly of general human importance, its deliberate or explicit promotion may not be equally warranted in all educational contexts.

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Deputy Director Publishes in Philosophical Explorations

16/08/16

Jubilee Centre Deputy Director Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson has published "A Philosophical Critique of Psychological Studies of Emotion" in the journal Philosophical Explorations.

The article aims to provide a critical review of recent writings about jealousy in psychology, as seen from a philosophical perspective. At a more general level of inquiry, jealousy offers a useful lens through which to study generic issues concerned with the conceptual and moral nature of emotions, as well as the contributions that philosophers and social scientists can make to understanding them. Hence, considerable space is devoted to comparisons of psychological and philosophical approaches to emotion research in general. It turns out that although (Aristotle-style) arguments about the necessary conceptual features of jealousy qua specific emotion, do carry philosophical mileage, they may fail to cut ice with psychologists who tend to focus on jealousy as a broad dimension of temperament. The review reveals a disconcerting lack of cross-disciplinary work on jealousy: the sort of work that has moved the discourse on other emotions (such as gratitude) forward in recent years.

The article is available by clicking the below image.

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Positive Initial Findings from Pilot Study of Interventions in Gratitude and Compassion

15/08/16

A recent pilot study by the Jubilee Centre has shown that a five-week programme of school-based activities promoting compassion and gratitude can have a noticeable effect on pupils’ attitudes and virtue literacy of two key virtues.  

As part of the Gratitude and Related Character Virtues project, which is examining how gratitude relates to four other virtues (generosity, compassion, forgiveness and humility) this pilot study sought to establish whether teaching interventions designed to promote one of these virtues has the effect of increasing the others - with the focus here being on compassion and gratitude in a secondary school setting. 

The wider project seeks to promote a reinvigorated focus on character and virtues development in schools, with particular reference to emphasising the allocentric (other-focused) virtues mentioned above.  The positive results of this initial pilot study, therefore, are extremely encouraging. Individual children’s initial knowledge of compassion and gratitude, as expressed through mind maps, was enriched by the five-week programme, leading to more nuanced diagrammatic representations of the virtues, suggesting wider comprehension and learning.

Dr. Liz Gulliford, Research Fellow on the project, is looking forward to the full-scale research project in the autumn. She says: “Preliminary data shows increasing complexity in young people’s understanding of the concepts of compassion and gratitude. We are encouraged by the early results which appear to show improvements in pupils’ virtue literacy. The pilot suggests the interventions are helping to build a vital bedrock of understanding among young people.”

Read more about the results of the pilot study, and feedback from schools involved, in this blog post.

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Centre's Free Online Course Opens for Registrations

11/08/16

The Jubilee Centre's free online course 'What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education' begins on 24th October 2016 and is now open for registrations.  This will be the fourth run of the two-week course, for which over 15,000 people have registered since its launch in January 2015. The course, delivered in partnership with FutureLearn, explores how character might be taught in a conscious, planned and reflective way, enabling learners to gain practical knowledge on taking character education into the classroom. Drawing on the insights of leading experts in the fields of character education and virtue ethics, the course introduces the theoretical and philosophical basis for character education, including a background to virtue ethics.  You can watch the trailer below, and register to join the course here.

The course provides an excellent taster experience for those interested in further study in character education following the launch of the world's first distance learning MA in Character Education at the University of Birmingham. Find out more here.  

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Jubilee Centre Publishes New Book: 'Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools'

04/08/16

Prof. James Arthur, Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson, Dr. Tom Harrison, Dr. Wouter Sanderse and Dan Wright publish Teaching Character and Virtue in Schools with Routledge Taylor & Francis. The book addresses the contemporary issues of quantification and measurement in educational settings. The authors draw on the research of the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham in order to investigate the concern that the conventional wisdom, sound judgement and professional discretion of teachers is being diminished and control mistakenly given over to administrators, policymakers and inspectors which in turn is negatively affecting pupils’ character development.

The books calls for subject competence to be complemented by practical wisdom and good character in teaching staff. It posits that the constituent virtues of good character can be learned and taught, that education is an intrinsically moral enterprise and that character education should be intentional, organised and reflective. The book draws on the Jubilee Centre’s expertise in support of its claims and successfully integrates the fields of educational studies, psychology, sociology, philosophy and theology in its examination of contemporary educational practices and their wider effect on society as a whole. It offers sample lessons as well as a framework for character education in schools.

The book encourages the view that character education is about helping students grasp what is ethically important and how to act for the right reasons so that they can become more autonomous and reflective individuals within the framework of a democratic society. Particularly interested readers will be educational leaders, teachers, those undertaking research in the field of education as well as policy analysts with a keen interest in developing the character and good sense of learners today.

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Deputy Director Publishes in Philosophia

04/08/16

Deputy Director Prof. Kristjan Kristjansson has published an article titled 'Awe: An Aristotelian Analysis of a non-Aristotelian Virtuous Emotion' in Philosophia. The article defends awe as a virtuous emotion and can be accessed here:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11406-016-9741-8

Abstract:

While interest in the emotion of awe has surged in psychology (especially positive psychology), philosophers have yet to devote a single self-standing article to awe’s conceptual contours and moral standing. The present article aims to rectify this imbalance and begin to make up for the unwarranted philosophical neglect. In order to do so, awe is given the standard Aristotelian treatment to uncover its conceptual contours and moral relevance. Aristotelianism typically provides the most useful entry point to ‘size up’ any emotion – more problematically here, however, as Aristotle did not himself explicitly identify awe. The article critiques and proposes to improve upon existing psychological conceptual analyses of awe, probes the question why Aristotle ignored it and addresses an often-presumed link between awe and humility which bears on its moral status.

 

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Jubilee Centre Hosts CitizED's 12th International Conference

01/08/16

On 28th – 30th July 2016 the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues was delighted to host CitizED’s 12th International Conference at the University of Birmingham.   Exploring the theme, ‘Citizenship and Character: Clarifying Characterisations and Exploring Collaboration’, the conference aimed to enhance understanding about the relationships between citizenship education and character education.  Centre Director, Prof. James Arthur, gave a keynote speech at the conference, titled 'Citizenship, Character and the Emotion Friendly Zeitgeist'. With prestigious key note speakers, and delegates from all over the world delivering a range of seminar sessions across the three days, the conference highlighted significant academic work in the field and shed light on high quality professional practice that is happening globally.

 

The conference programme, including abstracts of seminar papers, can be downloaded here.

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Dr. Tom Harrison Presents at Teach First Impact Conference 2016

27/07/16

On Monday 25th July 2016, the Centre’s Director of Education, Dr. Tom Harrison, presented at the Teach First Impact Conference 2016.  In his presentation, titled ‘Giving character education the same status as academic subjects’, Tom made the case for character education to be integrated into the curriculum and outlined the merits of this for both teachers and pupils. During the session, Tom also explored what best practice in character education might look like and provided practitioners with the tools needed to replicate this in their schools.  The Impact Conference was attended by over 4,300 leaders in education and explored four broad themes in education; the classroom and school leadership, research and policy, charities and social enterprises and leadership. You can read about highlights from the event here

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Jubilee Centre Poll Features as Top BBC Education Story

21/07/16

A parent poll by the Jubilee Centre, which found that more than half of UK parents think popular social media sites hamper their children’s moral development, recently featured as the top story on the BBC education website on 18th July 2016.  The results of the poll generated a huge amount of media interest across a range of more than 200 different outlets internationally, including coverage in the Birmingham Mail, Economic Times, Business Standard India and the Mail Online.  Read the full press release here.

Research Fellow, Dr. Blaire Morgan, who is researching the 'Influence of Parents and Social Media on Children's Moral Functioning' has also written a piece for The Conversation titled 'Is social media messing with children’s morals?'. 

The Conversation article is available to read below.

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Deputy Director Chairs Keynote Panel at IPEN Festival in Dallas

20/07/16

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson chaired a keynote panel at the first International Festival on Positive Education in Dallas on 19th July. The panel explored the philosophical and conceptual underpinnings of positive education and included presentations by Professors Nancy Snow, Randall Curren and Blaine Fowers. Find out more about the Festival here.

 

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The Jubilee Youth Awards 2016

15/07/16

On Thursday 14th July 2016, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues held the 2016 Jubilee Youth Awards at the House of Lords. Hosted by Lord James O’Shaughnessy, 14 young people from across the UK were honoured with Jubilee Youth Awards, across three of the Jubilee Centre's awards and contests programmes. 

The Centre celebrated the winners of the Jubilee Youth Awards for Service, the Thank You Letter Awards and Why Virtue Matters: Essay Contest, for 2016. Over 40,000 young people have taken part in the 2016 Thank You Letter Awards, across 200 schools. 600 essays were submitted into the Why Virtues Matters Essay Contest and 100 nominations were received and considered for a Jubilee Youth Award for Service.

The ceremony was introduced by Prof. James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre, and awards were presented by Sir Nick Parker, Chair of Trustees of Step up to Serve, and Lord O'Shaughnessy. Dr. Rania Marandos, Deputy Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve, Dr. Tom Harrison, Director of Education for the Jubilee Centre and Prof. Kristján Kristjánsson, Deputy Director for the Jubilee Centre announced the winners across each of the three categories.

The Jubilee Youth Award Winners are listed below:

Jubilee Youth Award for Service Winners, 2016

Andrew Lees                                     Lanarkshire

Charlotte King                                   West Sussex

Jordan Dixon                                     Central London

Kimarla Johnson                               Greater London

Mary-Beth McFern                           East Lothian

Patrick Cantellow                              Kent

Reece Lunt                                        Tyne and Wear

Yasmin Tyrrell                                   Belfast

 

Thank You Letter Award Winners, 2016

Primary Winner:

Adaeze Ordu                                     St Teresa Catholic Primary School, Greater London

Secondary Winner:

Peace Buraimo                                  King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls, West Midlands

 

Essay Contest: Why Virtue Matters Winners, 2016

Primary Winners:

Lucy Snowdon                                   Dame Allan’s Schools, Northumberland              

Mollie McHardy,                               Heversham St Peter’s CE Primary School, Cumbria

Secondary Winners:

Jessica Bonner                                  Highclare School, West Midlands  

Awais Hussain                                  Dixons Kings Academy, West Yorkshire

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Jubilee Centre Poll: Social Media Sites Obstruct Children’s Moral Development, Say Parents

14/07/16

More than half of UK parents think popular social media sites hamper their children’s moral development, according to a poll commissioned by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. The 'parent poll' also reveals only 15% of parents think the popular sites provide a positive influence on young people’s character. A significant number of parents (40%) are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about the negative and potentially harmful impact of social media. The poll, the first of its type conducted in the UK, provides a unique insight into the way moral values are portrayed on social media. It points to widespread parental anxieties about the influence of online networks on children as young as 11, who are often using the sites despite age limits. Other key findings include:

  • Anger, arrogance and hatred are among the top negative character traits, or vices, reported by parents on social media;
  • A quarter of parents highlight a lack of forgiveness and self-control among users;
  • As an antidote to the negative findings, almost three-quarters (72%) of parents who use social media see content containing a positive moral message at least once a day;
  • The “character strengths” promoted most regularly are humour, appreciation of beauty, creativity, love, courage and kindness.

The full press release is available here. The story became the lead article on the BBC Education pages on 18th July 2016.

You can read more about the virtues and vices of social media in this latest Jubilee Centre blog post.

The project page is available here.

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Can You Teach Character? Centre Produce Short Film

11/07/16

As part of the content for the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and University of Birmingham MA in Character Education, the Jubilee Centre has produced a short film titled Can You Teach Character? The film, made by award-winning producers The Moment, includes the voices of staff and pupils from the University of Birmingham School, a school dedicated to the development of character of its pupils. The short film demonstrates the character-led approach that the University of Birmingham School has taken, and the response from pupils on the development of their character. The film is available to view here

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Research Fellows Present at Eighth European Positive Psychology Conference (ECPP)

11/07/16

The Eighth European Positive Psychology Conference (ECPP) took place in Angers, France, between June 28th and July 1st 2016.  Research Fellows Drs. Blaire Morgan and Liz Gulliford spoke at one of the 24 thematic paper sessions, presenting the findings from their cross-cultural replication of three empirical strands of the An Attitude for Gratitude research project. Liz and Blaire gave a paper based on the Taking 'Thanks' for Granted: Unravelling the Concept of Gratitude in a Developmental, Cross-Cultural Analysis report, which was funded by a Society for Educational Studies (SES) small grant, and presented findings of a cross-cultural study of the understanding of gratitude to an international audience.

An abstract for Liz and Blaire's presentation is given below and the PowerPoint presentation is available here.

Paper Session: Cross-Cultural Differences in Gratitude Experience
Theme: Cross-Cultural Approach
Authors:  B. Morgan (1) L. Gulliford (1) L. Waters (2)
Authors' Address: (1) Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham, UK (2) Centre for Positive Psychology, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne, Australia
Abstract: As is well known, gratitude has been related to a host of intrapersonal, interpersonal and health benefits. However, gratitude research tends to have had the narrow aim of increasing gratitude experience without much opportunity for probing the meaning of the concept itself. We believe a more effective method of fostering moral values, such as gratitude, would be to encourage reflection on what gratitude is, and when and why it is experienced (Morgan, Gulliford & Carr, 2015; Carr, Morgan & Gulliford, 2015). We have developed instruments to shed light on both children’s and adults’ understanding of the concept. We have used these instruments to examine developmental differences in the understanding of gratitude in both the UK and Australia and report the extent to which understandings of gratitude differ cross-culturally. Findings from a prototype analysis of gratitude conducted in Australia will be compared with our UK study (Morgan, Gulliford & Kristjansson, 2014), and the earlier findings of Lambert, Graham and Fincham’s (2009) US study. This cross-cultural comparison of ‘gratitude features’ reveals that, relative to Australia and US, our UK sample demonstrates more negative associations with the construct. We also present findings from a vignette questionnaire probing intuitions about gratitude. The questionnaire was compiled following an extensive literature review on how gratitude is conceptualised (Gulliford, Morgan, & Kristjánsson, 2013). It presents various scenarios to which respondents decide whether (and to what degree) gratitude is appropriate. For instance, if a benefactor has ulterior motives, are you still grateful for the benefit they bestow? Should you be grateful to someone who is doing their job? We compare UK responses to this questionnaire with our Australian sample of young people and adults. Australian adults, for example, deem benefits that do not materialise as more worthy of gratitude than do UK adults, and UK adults report less gratitude in response to non-valuable benefits. Finally we report on the findings from our gratitude stories for children. The stories incorporate themes elaborated in the vignettes, enabling us to examine the way in which different factors that may impact on gratitude differ across the lifespan and between different cultures. Whilst in need of further replication, these results seem to suggest that Australian children may place fewer conditions on when gratitude is due. This research provides important insights into the conception of gratitude, how this might change and develop across the life-span, and the degree to which it differs cross-culturally. Such differences will inevitably impact upon gratitude interventions and gratitude measurement. Furthermore, educational interventions are currently adopted from different countries (primarily from the USA) without appropriate sensitivity to cultural differences. We believe these cross-cultural differences deserve further scrutiny.

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Jubilee Centre Partner Awarded UoB Alumna of the Year

08/07/16

On Thursday 7th July, Charlotte Hill, CEO of Step Up to Serve, was awarded an honorary degree at the University of Birmingham degree congregations, and awarded the title of Alumna of the Year. Charlotte studied Political Science and Philosophy at the University of Birmingham. Following the 2012 review into youth social action, Step Up To Serve was established in 2013 to coordinate the #iwill campaign. It is run by a small dynamic team of dedicated and experienced staff, supported by secondees from partner organisations. The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues has partnered with Step Up to Serve since its launch, and continues to collaborate on multiple projects, and provide a dedicated academic researcher to work as part of the Step Up to Serve team.

Jubilee Centre Director Prof. James Arthur, and Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison joined Charlotte and University of Birmingham Chancellor Lord Bilimoria as part of the celebrations. During her acceptance speech, Charlotte spoke to University of Birmingham graduands of the importance of service, character virtues and undertaking meaningful social action.

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Director of Education Gives Keynote at Teaching and Learning Conference

05/07/16

On Tuesday 28th June 2016, Director of Education Dr. Tom Harrison gave a keynote address at the University of Birmingham Teaching and Learning Conference: Developing the Birmingham Graduate. Tom's keynote lecture was titled 'An internal perspective - from thinking and doing to being and becoming' and communicated to delegates why character matters, revealing theoretical and practical insights on how to build students’ character for individual and societal benefit.

The abstract for Tom's lecture is below:

Abstract - 'An internal perspective - from thinking and doing to being and becoming'

Teaching and learning at universities primarily focusses on enabling students to think and do. However, education, at all levels, should also help students be and become in order to flourish - an aspiration outlined in the Birmingham Graduate. To flourish, both as individuals and as a society, we need to develop key character virtues - such as compassion, courage, resilience, good citizenship and curiosity amongst many others.

This presentation will discuss the rising interest in character education in the UK as well as globally. It will demonstrate how university education should be about learning knowledge as well as building good character in students. Good character that will be necessary for students to successfully perform the many roles they will undertake when the leave the University of Birmingham. 

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Prof. Arthur Presents Character Awards With Edward Timpson MP

04/07/16

On Thursday 30th June 2016, Prof. James Arthur, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, presented the Department for Education Character Awards with Edward Timpson MP, Minister for Children and Families. The Character Awards celebrated nine outstanding practitioners in character education from across regions in England, including the National Award winner, Thoresby Primary School in Hull. Details of all of the Character Awards winners can be found below, including the announcement by the Minister available here. During his speech, Minister Timpson thanked the Jubilee Centre for leading the way on research in character education in the UK.

The Character Awards were made as part of the Association for Character Education (ACE) inaugural conference, at the University of Birmingham School. The conference also marked the launch of the ACE e-journal Character Matters. ACE, supported by the Jubilee Centre, is a 'bottom-up', grassroots organisation, created to respond to the growing interest in character education in Britain.

The conference, chaired by ACE Chairman Gary Lewis (Head of Kings Langley Secondary School), featured key note addresses from Prof. James Arthur (Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues) and Michael Roden (Principal of the University of Birmingham School), Charlotte Hill (CEO of Step up to Serve) with Nicky Broomhall (Head of Star Academy, Sandyford) and Thomas Munnelly (#iwill Ambassador), and Lord James O'Shaughnessy and Jo Glen (Floreat Education). There were also workshops by leading practitioners and organisation in the field of character education.

Association for Character Education Executive.

L-R: Jo Glen, Linda Sanders, Prof. James Arthur, Edward Timpson MP, Gary Lewis, Michael Roden, Dr. Tom Harrison, Geoff Smith

Image used courtesy of the Department for Education

 

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Dr. Tom Harrison Publishes on Cultivating Cyber-Phronesis

04/07/16

Dr. Tom Harrison has published a paper titled ‘Cultivating cyber-phronesis: a new educational approach to tackle cyberbullying’ in Pastoral Care in Education: An International Journal of Personal, Social and Emotional Development. With cyberbullying increasingly presenting a concern for parents, schools, teachers and pupils, this paper explores if there is a need to rethink traditional educational approaches to dealing with the issue.  The abstract can be found below and the paper can be accessed here.

Abstract: 
Cyberbullying is a pervasive and troubling moral concern for teachers, schools, parents and pupils. As children and young people in England are now more likely to be bullied online than face-to-face, this article explores if there is a need to rethink traditional educational approaches to dealing with the issue. The article starts with a critique of the current dominant approaches to tackling cyberbullying in schools, which draw predominantly on deontological and utilitarian moral philosophies. It then details what an Aristotelian character education approach to cyberbullying would consist of. At its heart is a requirement to enable children and young people to become digitally virtuous citizens, through the development of cyber-phronesis. The article concludes with a description of moral educational interventions that would increase the likelihood of children and young people making both ‘good’ and ‘wise’ choices when online.

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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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