The Jubilee Centre’s new report, Virtuous Medical Practice, examines the place of character and values in the medical profession in Britain today. Its findings are drawn from a UK-focused multi-methods study of 549 doctors and aspiring doctors at three career stages, first and final year students and experienced doctors.
Dimensions of character are often overlooked in professional practice at the expense of the development of technical competence and operational efficiency. Drawing on philosophical accounts of virtue ethics and positive psychology, the present work attempts to elevate the role of ‘good’ character in the professional domain. A ‘good’ professional is ideally one that exemplifies dimensions of character informed by sound judgement. A total of 2340 professionals, from five discrete professions, were profiled based on their valuation of qualities pertaining to character (...) and judgement. Profile differences were subsequently examined in the self-reported experience of professional purpose towards a wider societal ‘good’. Analysis of covariance, controlling for stage of career, revealed that professionals valuing character reported higher professional purpose than those overweighting the importance of judgement or valuing neither character nor judgement, F = 7.92, p <.001. No differences were found between the two groups valuing character, irrespective of whether judgement was valued simultaneously. This profiling analysis of entry-level and in-service professionals, based on their holistic character composition, paves the way for fresh philosophical discussion regarding what constitutes a ‘good’ professional and the interplay between character and judgement. The empirical findings may be of substantive value in helping to recognise how the dimensions of character and judgement may impact upon practitioners’ professional purpose. (shrink)
This article explores student teachers' attitudes to and experience of character and values education in schools and looks at their assessment of the opportunities provided by schools for the development of character. The data from over 1000 student teachers in two universities indicates that while they are overwhelmingly in favour of developing their skills in the area of moral development, their opportunities to do this are uneven and are dependent on their course and their teaching placement school. Whilst character education (...) is seen as part of citizenship education in the school curriculum in England, the data indicates that it is not part of the formal curriculum of teacher education. (shrink)
The Jubilee Centre’s new report, Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law, sets about trying to examine the place of character and values in the legal profession in Britain. The report draws its findings from a UK focused survey of 966 lawyers and aspiring lawyers at varying stages of their careers. It is one of the largest pieces of research carried out in Britain focusing on issues of character and virtue within a specific industry sector.
There has been across the world a resurgence of interest in ‘values education’ at school education, research and policy levels. In Australia the Australian Values Education projects led to the government initiating a number of large scale curriculum developments and resources projects as part of its expressed policy to introduce values education programmes in all schools. UNESCO has its own values education programme, entitled Living Values that functions in 84 countries. In the United Kingdom, the introduction of the National Curriculum (...) in England has led to a major effort to develop what is variously described as a ‘moral’ or ‘ethical’ perspective. In England, the education of the moral child has been both an underpinning aspiration of the National Curriculum and a focus of particular curricular subjects, most notably citizenship education. The purpose of this book is to make a contribution to this emerging field, and to do so in two ways. First, it presents a substantial body of empirical evidence, the results of the largest UK study to date of what parents, pupils and teachers are thinking and doing in the area of moral education and, more specifically, ‘character education’. Second, it seeks to elucidate more clearly what those involved in the debate mean by the terms used. The terms used in relation to moral and character education are not fixed, and are sometimes used apparently in different senses, by different contributors, and for different purposes. As a result of these two features, the present work offers some suggestions about possible ways forward in developing concrete proposals for moral education, in particular in identifying an appropriate language that can be used by practitioners in situations ‘on the ground’. (shrink)
The research project described in this report represents one of the most extensive studies of character education ever undertaken, including over 10,000 students and 255 teachers in schools across England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Research techniques consisted of a mixture of surveys, moral dilemmas and semi-structured interviews. This report explores: - The current situation in character education, both in the UK and internationally - How developed British students are with respect to moral character and the extent to which they (...) are able to understand and apply moral virtues, especially those aged 14 and 15 - How teachers in the UK understand their role in terms of students’ moral and character development - What helps or hinders the development of children’s characters according to teachers in UK schools. (shrink)
Character education is a specific approach to morals or values education, which is consistently linked with citizenship education. But how is it possible for a heterogeneous society that disagrees about basic values to reach a consensus on what constitutes character education? This article explores how character education has returned to the agenda of British education policy, having been largely neglected since the 1960s in response to unsatisfactory attempts at character education going back to the nineteenth century. Between 1979 and 1997 (...) Conservative governments attempted to reverse a perceived decline in moral standards, established State control of the schools curriculum, imposed on State schools the duty to provide for moral and other development, and established a National Forum which attempted to articulate a set of consensus values in education. Labour has extended these developments in the curriculum, introduced compulsory citizenship education, and its White Paper of September 2001 speaks of 'education with character'. The character and virtues Labour seeks to promote through schools are pragmatic and instrumental in intention, linked to raising pupil school performance, meeting the needs of the new economy, and promoting democratic participation. Otherwise the vision is pluralistic and evades explicit directives, and there is no explanation or analysis of its theoretical basis. The question of how agreement can be reached on what counts as character education may benefit from Sunstein's analysis of how law is possible in a heterogeneous society - 'incompletely theorized agreements on particular cases' allow for common laws without agreement on fundamental principles. Many schools in fact operate in this way, but such a consensus is not entirely stable and runs the danger of teaching character education as a series of behaviour outcomes taught in a behaviourist fashion. (shrink)
This report describes research focusing on virtues and character in teaching, by which we mean the kind of personal qualities professional teachers need to facilitate learning and overall flourishing in young people that goes beyond preparing them for a life of tests. The ‘good’ teacher is someone who, alongside excellent subject knowledge and technical expertise, cares about students, upholds principles of honesty and integrity both towards knowledge and student–teacher relationships, and who does good work . In the Framework for Character (...) Education , we considered the character of teachers to be a crucial ingredient in the development of flourishing children. This new report describes research that examined how teachers thought about, and drew upon, character strengths and virtues in their daily professional lives. (shrink)
The subject of gratitude has gained traction in recent years in academic and popular circles. However, limited attention has been devoted to understanding what laypeople understand by the concept of gratitude; the meaning of which tends to have been assumed in the literature. Furthermore, while intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of gratitude have been extolled in this growing body of research, there has been little assessment of the value laypeople place on gratitude themselves, or whether and how they think it might (...) be fostered. Since September 2012, our Attitude for Gratitude research project has been engaged in examining precisely how gratitude is conceptualised by the British public, what British people are grateful for, the value they place on gratitude, what kinds of people tend to be grateful, and whether and how they think gratitude might be promoted in British society. The project has incorporated a variety of methods to examine these questions, conceptually and empirically, canvassing the opinions of over 10,000 people in the UK. A key issue for our research has been to represent the views of British people across a range of ages, ethnicities and backgrounds that are representative of Britain today. We are strongly committed to the view that researchers should engage with laypeople to avoid superimposing a meaning and value on gratitude that does not reflect the views of the people the research purports to study. To this end, and to throw light on what British laypeople understand by the concept of gratitude, we carried out a series of empirical studies that complement the definitions of philosophers and psychologists with more everyday definitions of laypeople5. To examine the perceived value of gratitude we surveyed British people directly, making no prior assumptions about where gratitude might be evaluated in relation to other values and virtues. Finally, we sought to elicit suggestions from the British public themselves about how gratitude might be fostered in British society. Much recent research on gratitude has originated in the USA and therefore a further aim of the project was to assess the degree to which the understanding and evaluation of gratitude may differ between the USA and the UK. We sought to target the British public with these questions. (shrink)
The contributors discuss why character education is considered valuable, what character education is taken to mean, and identify and test hypotheses about various influences on the development of character through reporting on our research in UK schools, universities and businesses.
_The Routledge Education Studies Reader_ provides an authoritative overview of the key aspects of education for students beyond the introductory stages of a degree programme in Education Studies, enabling students to deepen their understanding. A blend of modern-classic and contemporary readings, based on a combination of empirical research and established theory, provide coverage of the following: globalisation and the impact of new technologies educational policies and society curriculum and pedagogy assessment professional learning learning beyond schools. In order to encourage engagement (...) with the literature, each reading is introduced by the editors. Key questions accompany every reading, enabling the student to reflect on the piece. Suggestions for further reading are made and explained throughout. _The Routledge Education Studies Reader_ is an essential resource for students of Education Studies, especially during years 2 and 3 of the undergraduate degree. It will prove useful to other students and professionals interested in the study of education. _The Routledge Education Studies Textbook_ is an academically comprehensive and appropriately challenging textbook that can be used alongside this Reader. (shrink)
Universities and Colleges with a Christian affiliation have in recent years sought to renew and redefine their identities and almost all have rearticulated their mission for the modern age after a long and serious process of reappraisal. This process has been accompanied by an ongoing discussion of the nature and identity of higher education itself. This discussion has required leadership that is different from most secular leadership. This book provides a range of experienced voices, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, that (...) reflect on the character and mission of leadership in Christian higher education in the 21st Century. (shrink)
Since 9/11 the European Court of Human Rights (the European Court) has raised anew the question of the relationship between religion and public education. In its reasoning, the European Court has had to consider competing normative accounts of the secular, either to accept or deny claims to religious liberty within Europe's public education system. This article argues that the trajectory on which the term 'secularism' had been used by the European Court pointed increasingly towards secular fundamentalism. This study is located (...) at the cutting edge of religion, education and the law and builds on previous work in the field (Arthur, 1998, 2008). It examines, through extensive research of legal cases, the most important developments of the usage of secular and secular education in modern discourse and explores the background to these concepts. Unless otherwise stated, religion in this article shall refer to the Christian tradition because Christianity has been the historical context for the development of the concept of 'secular' in Europe. The paper outlines three models of secular education before moving on to scrutinise how the European Court has understood and evaluated various legal cases before it on the interaction between secular States, public education and notions of religious symbolism and influence. The paper will discuss the significance of the European Court's reasoning and decisions for public education within a secular State context and offer some conclusions on the implications of these decisions. It examines the legal principles that underpin the European Court's supervision of the State's role in the provision of education. It focuses on the chimeric goal of neutrality and highlights the risks attached to the use of an ideological conception of secularism that could lead potentially to the complete removal of the religious as a vital cultural and intellectual dimension of public education. (shrink)
Evaluates aspects of professional value commitments in respect to teachers in the education system. Analysis of the role of teachers; Necessity of professionalism in teachers; Assessment of competence of professional practice in teaching; Significance of values in the act of teaching.
The initial focus of this research centred on a study of the extent to which government legislation and action since 1965 has threatened or eroded the Catholic Church's influence over its schools within the maintained sector . However, it became clear that this focus was based on the assumption that the Catholic Church in England and Wales had a clear set of educational principles which were not only distinct from those of the state but involved different policy outcomes. Moreover, during (...) the course of the study, evidence emerged which indicated that the Church had not given as much attention to the principles underlying its educational policy as it had to the maintenance and numerical expansion of the schools themselves. It was also realised that the nature of Catholic education cannot be determined solely by examining the Church's official documents. Whilst official Church pronouncements indicate what Catholic education ought to be, they may not correspond to a reality of what a particular Catholic community has made of Catholic education. Therefore, this paper examines some of the beliefs and attitudes of a sample of Catholics involved in Catholic schooling. (shrink)
Parental participation in the control and administration of Catholic schools has often been minimal and wholly dependent on the clergy. This is not surprising since Catholic parents have generally found the raison d'etre of Catholic schooling convincing and have concentrated their efforts on its continued maintenance and expansion under firm clerical leadership. Therefore, the increasing willingness of Catholic parents publicly to challenge the stated educational policies of the bishops needs to be examined. This article assesses the role of parents in (...) the schools which serve their children. It traces the increasing cases of public conflict between parents and ecclesiastical authority in England and Wales since the 1960s. (shrink)
Summary In the context of British communitarianism there has been almost no educational literature which draws on this philosophy. The educational debate in Britain has suffered as a result of this neglect, therefore this article argues that British educational policy will benefit if it engages with the challenges of recent communitarian debates. The article introduces and reviews the meaning of communitarianism and explores the implications for some education policies in England and Wales.