School of Education

Narnian Virtues Character Education English Curriculum Project

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Wisdom and Character education at the 6th Jubillee Centre conference

Because it was his Turkish Delight that he chose, it was a discussion. We realised that he understood that playing on his PlayStation was taking over his life. So he put that down as his Turkish Delight. Because of the Turkish Delight [activity] he’s been able to manage himself. The positive output is that he manages his time exceptionally well on that. [Parent’s interview response]

The Jubilee Centre is a hub for research and discussion into Character Education in the UK, and their 6th annual conference at Oriel College, Oxford, was focused on Wisdom. Delegates were treated to a plethora of definitions, conceptions, and concerns around the concept.

In our paper, we presented the latest findings from our Narnian Virtues research, investigating the relationship between character and English literature, with a focus on the influence and perspectives of parents. This paper reports how families are engaging in the Narnian Virtues character education project and we specifically focused on the views of parents. Initial highlights from the phone interviews with parents showed that the ‘Turkish Delight’ activity – where families write down something that tempts them the most – as the activity that resonated with them the most. This echoed our pilot year, where there was something about how reflecting on their own weaknesses helped them recognise everyday actions as being ethical. Simple behaviours, like turning on the X-Box or picking up their phone, began to be seen as ethical actions: that it reflected on their self-control, honesty, and wisdom. Analysis of this data will begin in earnest spring 2017.

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