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Knightly virtues : enhancing virtue literacy through stories : research report

Arthur, J and Harrison, T and Carr, D and Kristjánsson, K and Davidson, I and Hayes, D and Higgins, J (2014) Knightly virtues : enhancing virtue literacy through stories : research report. Project Report. Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham.

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Identification Number/DOI: 978-0-7044-2844-7


There is a growing consensus in Britain on the importance of character, and on the belief that the virtues that contribute to good character are part of the solution to many of the challenges facing modern society.

Parents, teachers and schools understand the need to teach basic moral virtues to pupils, such as honesty, self-control, fairness, and respect, while fostering behaviour associated with such virtues today. However, until recently, the materials required to help deliver this ambition have been missing in Britain.

The Knightly Virtues Programme, devised by the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, aims to help solve this challenge. The programme, designed for 9 to 11 year olds, draws on selected classic stories to help teach moral character in schools.

This approach has proved to be popular with children and teachers, with more than 5,000 pupils from one hundred schools having participated in the programme so far. Fifty-five of these schools (including thirty Catholic and Church of England) and 3,272 pupils (1,517 of which attended a Church school) were directly involved in different stages of the research.

Based at the University of Birmingham, the Jubilee Centre houses leading academics dedicated to researching the various ways in which good character, which underpins the building blocks of society, can be developed. Recent research from the Centre has shown that the qualities that make up character can be learnt and taught, and suggests that we need a new emphasis on their importance in schools and in professional education.

This report from the Centre into the use of classic literature within schools sets out the ways in which the Knightly Virtues Programme is able to develop the virtue literacy of school pupils, and the extent to which an understanding and awareness of good moral character can make positive changes to behaviour.

The impact of the programme has been tested using several rigorous research methods, detailed in this report alongside their findings, which provide substantial empirical evidence for the effectiveness of using stories to develop virtue literacy.

Type of Work:Monograph (Project Report)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Number of Pages:31
Department:Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
Keywords:Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues Character Education Virtue Literacy Character Virtues Moral Education
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
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Copyright Status:© University of Birmingham 2014
Copyright Holders:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1946

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