The Heights and Depths of our Characters

In the ocean off Panama City Beach one beautiful summer day, two boys were screaming. Caught in a rip current, they were quickly being swept out to sea. There was nothing they could do. Their mother heard their cries, and with her other family members dove into the ocean. Soon enough they all were trapped... Continue Reading →

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Civic Friendship and Disagreement: Political Character and Party Management

The title of this year’s annual Jubilee Centre conference was Virtues in the Public Sphere, a subject which brought together distinguished speakers from a wide spectrum of academic disciplines, as well as a number of participants from within the policy-making community. Amongst the themes covered by the keynotes and other papers which were given, those on... Continue Reading →

Anger begets Anger: Three Billboards and the Role of Film in Promoting Moral Reflection

!SPOILER ALERT! I recently watched the thought-provoking film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, a movie that invites the viewer to reflect on classic ‘Western’ themes of justice and redemption, through the eyes of its righteously angry main character, Mildred Hayes. Seven months before the action begins we learn that Mildred’s daughter, Angela, had been raped... Continue Reading →

Is Human Rights the Only Moral Language We Need?

The year-long campaign in the run up to the 70th anniversary of the passing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10th December 2018 was launched this January. The Declaration, which proclaims the inalienable rights associated with the status of being a human being, marked a milestone in history and, exceptionally, continues to ensure mass support across a broad political spectrum.

The Character of the Religious Educator

Religious Education teachers should have ‘a tremendous sense of humour and a hide like a rhinoceros’, wrote Bernard R Youngman in 1953. The most successful author of RE textbooks in his day, Youngman was commenting on the qualities RE teachers needed to negotiate the lowly status of RE as a curriculum subject, and the contested... Continue Reading →

A new research project on parent-teacher partnerships

The opening lines of A Framework for Character Education in Schools state that, while parents/guardians are the primary educators of their children’s character, they want all adults who have contact with their children to contribute to that education, especially their children’s teachers. Motivating a new stream of research at the Jubilee Centre for Character and... Continue Reading →

Phronesis: The New Synthesis?

Psychologists have acquired newfound interest in examining moral development since Kohlberg’s famous studies in the 80s. Likewise, there has, in the last few decades, been a resurgence of interest in character education. We know a lot about how moral understanding and moral emotions develop. Yet the crucial question of what motivates moral behaviour, especially in... Continue Reading →

Teacher Education:  Character, ethics and the professional development of pre- and in-service teachers

“If we want character education to be embedded within our curriculum and practised in our schools then it needs to be included in teacher training and explicitly developed and recognised in the assessment of trainee teachers. It also needs to be reflected and enhanced in ongoing continuing professional development for teachers” Nicky Morgan MP (Taught... Continue Reading →

Kindness at Christmas

While it seems the run up to Christmas gets longer each year, with mince pies and brandy butter appearing on supermarket shelves well before Halloween, many still prefer to see the end of the month of November before decking the halls. Indeed, for centuries, the first Sunday of Advent (this year falling on the 3rd... Continue Reading →

What Makes A Habit of Service?

Think about the last thing you did to help someone else or the environment. It might be doing the food shop for your elderly neighbour, setting up a change.org petition, or volunteering at the local Park Run on a Saturday. Did you enjoy it? Did you feel it challenged you? Did you see the benefit... Continue Reading →

Value in the Community

The Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership (CEFL) launched their Leadership of Character Education report at their National Conference in September. At the conference practitioners presented new character education initiatives used within their own schools; overviews of short case studies illustrated schools’ diverse approaches to, and examples of character education provision in both primary and... Continue Reading →

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