Before coming to the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, I spent three years training and working as a secondary school teacher. Working in this role fuelled my conviction for character education within schools and allowed me valuable insight into the concerns that teachers have about the idea of its implementation. This blog explores those... 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 →
The Virtuous Poker Player: Is There Such a Thing?
The Godfather of Poker, Doyle Brunson, once said, ‘Poker actually isn’t about winning or losing; poker is about making the right decision.’ In my opinion, this is a very versatile saying. For example, if you were to substitute the word poker for life, you would have a quote worthy of an inspirational fridge magnet. Such... 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 →
Have NHS Pressures Caused UK Nurses to Lose Their Moral Compass?
A new research report, launched on September 28 by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, reveals that NHS pressures are hindering ethical practice and caring among UK nurses. The new research reveals that eight in ten nurses face barriers to working in a caring and compassionate manner, and that staff reductions, time pressures and... Continue Reading →
Students at UK Business Schools Value Financial Rewards Over Honesty
A new research report, launched on September 27 by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, identifies honesty and integrity as important virtues for experienced business professionals, but finds such an awareness lacking among undergraduates, for whom financial aspirations trump any references to moral virtues or the common good. There... Continue Reading →
New DfE Report on Developing Character Skills Acknowledges the Importance of a Moral Compass
It is gratifying for us working in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues to see how the newly-published Summary Report by the Department for Education on ‘Developing Character Skills in Schools’ (August, 2017) cites our work repeatedly as providing leading theoretical insights into character education in UK schools. Kudos for work well done is... Continue Reading →
Gender Differences in Ethical Dilemmas
Throughout the ages there have been debates about gender differences in ethical decision making, from Aristotle to Aquinas to Freud. These arguments generally centre on the different ways men and woman make judgments when faced with a moral dilemma. Freud claims (1999, p. 237) that ‘in women the measure of what is ethically normal is... Continue Reading →
Living a Flourishing Life
In this vlog, philosopher Julia Annas discusses the concept of Aristotelian flourishing and examines what exactly does it mean to live a flourishing life? Talking about the necessary conditions of what it is to flourish, Julia asserts that money and success are not necessarily the key components to lead a flourishing life. Julia Annas is... Continue Reading →
Encouraging Virtuous Living Through Poetry
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words – Robert Frost In this blog post, I wish to describe my proposed PhD project that I’m undertaking as of this coming autumn. I’d like to begin by briefly explaining the concept of character education, before describing the elements of... Continue Reading →
Telling Stories: Using Cinema for Character Education Part I
The art of cinema is the art of telling stories. For thousands of years we have used the persuasive power of stories to build cultures, imbed morals and to understand what it is to be human. From Jesus’ parables to Grimm’s fairy tales, stories resonate with us on a far deeper level than rhetoric. Today,... Continue Reading →
Do Flawed Super Heroes or Saints Make the Best Moral Exemplars for Young People?
The role of moral exemplars in character education is often neglected, despite the fact that pointing to models of virtue is an effective way of reminding us of the kind of person we wish to be. It is common to hear teachers tell pupils to “be yourself, don’t copy anyone!”, making emulation sound like poor... Continue Reading →
Three Conceptions of Integrity and Two Important Questions
The virtue of integrity used to be the darling of virtue ethicists and character educators in the 1980s and 1990s, but for some reason it seems to have fallen out of favour. I return to that apparent ‘fall from grace’ at the end of the blog. During the halcyon days of integrity, three broad conceptions... Continue Reading →
Is Honesty the Best Policy for the Ideal Business Professional?
Money, it is said, makes the world go round and the individuals who generate pounds, dollars and yuan are rarely out of the news. The world’s largest economy, the United States, is now run by a veteran businessman rather than a career politician. The elevation of billionaire Donald Trump to the Oval Office has ensured... Continue Reading →
Ethical Consumption and the Challenges of the Virtuous Shopper
There was public disquiet when a BBC investigation revealed exploited child refugees from war-torn Syria were being used to make clothes for major British stores. The “sweatshop” factories in Turkey were reportedly using children as young as 15 to work 12 hours a days, ironing garments for sale. Some workers were exposed to hazardous chemicals,... Continue Reading →
Take the First Step to Happiness – and Get Over Yourself!
Philosopher Candace Vogler, of the University of Chicago, is a principal investigator in a project grappling with virtue, happiness and the meaning of life. Prof Vogler is seeking to establish if self-transcendence – the sense that life is part of a bigger good – helps to make the cultivation and exercise of virtue a source... Continue Reading →
Character Education in Spain: Problems and Potential
One of the developing trends in education, internationally, over the last few years, has been the renewed attention to the moral dimensions of education, and more specifically, to character education. Spain is slowly starting to refocus its interest in the sphere of character education; however, it is happening more slowly than in other countries such... Continue Reading →
Developing Children into Good People
In this Vlog, Professor Marvin W Berkowitz, Professor of Character Education at University of Missouri – St Louis, talks about the drawbacks of taking a purely pedagogical approach to Character Education. If the aim of Character Education is to develop children into good people, then Professor Burkowitz suggests that we need to adopt more sociological... Continue Reading →
Why Character is Important in the United States Army
On my first day of Army Basic Training back in 1998, my senior drill sergeant had us all in formation. We had just finished doing somewhere in the region of 10,000 press-ups and he said to us in a very calm, slow, and steady voice, “Privates… there are three things you have to do in... Continue Reading →
Reasoning Social Creatures – a psychological approach
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, focuses his work on the contributions of Aristotle's ethics to a richer understanding of research and clinical practices in psychology... Continue Reading →