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date_range Starts on February 15, 2016
event_note Ends on February 17, 2016
list 2 sequences
assignment Level : Introductory
chat_bubble_outline Language : English
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credit_card Free access
verified_user Free certificate
timer 8 hours in total

About the content

Explore important questions about character education and how it contributes to individual and societal flourishing.

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Character education is increasingly being talked about by politicians, employers, teachers, parents and young people across the world. Can teaching virtues such as honesty, self-control, fairness, resilience and respect - which contribute to good character - be part of the solution to many of the challenges facing society today? This free online course offers you the opportunity to understand virtues and the role they play in helping both individuals and society flourish. We will tap into this increasing interest and answer important questions such as what is character and character education, why is it important and can it be taught? For those interested in extending their learning it will also provide a taster course for an exciting new MA in Character Education currently being developed by the University of Birmingham. Learn with academic experts and practising teachers We will draw on the insights of academics from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues within the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. These leading experts in the fields of character education and virtue ethics will help you explore the theoretical and philosophical basis for character education, including a background to virtue ethics. You’ll also meet teachers and head teachers with first-hand experience of the transformative power of implementing character education in day-to-day practices within a school. They’ll discuss how character might be taught in a conscious, planned and reflective way, enabling you to gain practical knowledge on taking character education into educational settings. You can learn according to your interests and at your convenience. Each week has been divided into activities which can be completed together or individually: Week 1: An Introduction to Character Education What is character education and why does it matter? (Professor James Arthur) What is the philosophical basis for character education and what virtues constitute good character? (Professor Kristján Kristjánsson) Week 2: Character Education in Practice How can character be ‘caught’ in schools? (Gary Walsh, Head Teacher) Why should character be taught in schools? (Dan Wright, Teaching Fellow) You can also explore each area in as much depth as you wish, with further reading materials available to those who want to learn more about particular aspects of the course. You can find out more about what to expect from this course in a guest post from a religious studies and wellbeing teacher, Matthew Bawden, on the FutureLearn blog: “Everyone’s talking about character education, but what does it really mean for teachers?”


  • Dr Tom Harrison



FutureLearn is a massive open online course (MOOC) learning platform founded in December 2012.

It is a company launched and wholly owned by The Open University in Milton Keynes, England. It is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of March 2015 included 54 UK and international University partners and unlike similar platforms includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School.

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