Rewarding Gratitude in Schools and in Ourselves

Gratitude has become a hot topic to teach in schools I believe that as adults, we naturally become more grateful as we get older; with the past to reflect on; remembering ‘cringe’ moments that we regret today (fortunately - forgiveness is a virtue!). I doubt anyone could deny that they screamed at their parents ‘it’s... Continue Reading →

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Why classroom character and virtues should be in Justine Greening’s in tray

Over the coming weeks and months, it will be interesting to see how the new Education Secretary Justine Greening lays out her vision for schools. Ms Greening’s previous incumbent, Nicky Morgan, stressed the importance of “building character and resilience in every child” in the White Paper Educational Excellence Everywhere, published in March. The paper noted... Continue Reading →

Global Values, Human Rights and Character Education

We now know more than ever about what makes humans flourish. This has been driven by dramatic advances in genetics, psychological research, neurobiology, behavioral economics and a number of other disciplines in the past three decades. As New York Times columnist David Brooks suggests this “intellectual revolution” exposes the superficiality of public current policy debate.... Continue Reading →

Humility as Freedom

When we contemplate a virtue, two big questions that we ask about it are, What is it? and What makes it a virtue, that is, a human excellence? The answers to these questions are intertwined, since what makes a trait a virtue will always depend on what that trait is. In this short piece, I... Continue Reading →

Virtue ethics and the modern-day nurse

A staff nurse enjoys working on a ward for the elderly but ongoing changes to the hospital regime means she has less time to spend with patients. There are fewer nurses on duty, she grows increasingly frustrated, stops enjoying her job and is worried that patient care is being comprised. The nurse’s worst fears are... Continue Reading →

Young People’s Role Models: Miley Cyrus or Mother Teresa?

Role-modelling, especially of the kind that moral philosophers, moral psychologists and moral educationists define as learning from moral exemplars or exemplarity, has been achieving renewed prominence. The reasons for this development are probably varied, but it seems likely that they stem from declining trust in the ability of pure reasoning principles to enact lasting changes... Continue Reading →

Soldiers of character in the modern British Army

More than two decades of major military engagements and the changing face of warfare have created a unique set of challenges for the British Army. The Gulf War and lengthy conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have put huge demands on frontline troops and their leaders. Soldiers’ roles can change rapidly as fighting units switch from... Continue Reading →

It’s time to close the school “exam factories”

Educational assessment can seriously damage a child’s health in Britain’s modern schools system. At least, that is the belief of a union representing educational professionals. A recent survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) suggests the mental health of children as young as six is being put at risk by overwhelming assessment stress.[i] What... Continue Reading →

The Rise of the Academy Chain

The Government’s recently announced commitment to ensure that ‘by 2020 every primary and secondary school in England will be, or be in the process of becoming, an academy’ has generated discussion, concern and questions. The academy programme was initially introduced by the Labour government in 2000 and aimed specifically to turn around schools that were... Continue Reading →

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