What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education (FutureLearn)

What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education (FutureLearn)
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No prior knowledge of the subject area is required. This course has relevance across the world.
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What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education (FutureLearn)
Explore important questions about character education and how it contributes to individual and societal flourishing. 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?

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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?

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.


What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

- Develop an understanding of what character education is and and how it can be the basis of individual and societal flourishing

- Evaluate the philosophical basis for character education

- Identify and define the virtues that constitute good character

- Demonstrate the ability to distinguish between how character can be both caught and taught in educational settings

- Apply and implement key approaches to developing character in young people

- Discuss the implications of what you have learned during this course in relation to your own environment and/or current affairs



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MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Course Auditing
64.00 EUR
No prior knowledge of the subject area is required. This course has relevance across the world.

MOOC List is learner-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.