Friday 6 May 2016

1.5: Why Does Character Matter?

Character in the Professions: Teaching
Discussion Board Unit 1.5
Why Does Character Matter?

Please use these discussion boards to interact with your fellow learners. The discussion boards provide a unique opportunity for learners to debate ideas and thoughts generated by the ‘Character in the Professions: Teaching’ course and reflect on the application of theory discussed in your professional lives.

Unit 1.5 asks ‘Why Does Character Matter?’ 

Activity 1 asks you to download the worksheet and discuss the ways in which character was taught and developed at your school or college.
What are challenges or drawbacks to teaching character?
Is character best taught as a discrete subject in its own right, or as part of a whole school ethos and throughout the curriculum? You may wish to refer to some Jubilee Centre publications and resources to inform your thinking.

Can character be developed outside of the classroom and school environment?

Which environment has had the greatest impact on your own character development? Why?

Activity 3 asks you think about the benefits of acting in a virtuous way. Complete the following and discuss with your colleagues:

Activity 4 asks what would you differently with regards your own character development? Were there any missed opportunities to develop your character at school, or home?

Please post your comments below and join the discussion.


  1. I personally felt that my character development came from my social life at school, not my lessons as such, but my interaction with other people of my own age. Despite having the odd PSHE lesson I always thought that school lacked the real opportunity to explore things like character or other important emotional topics like relationships and morality. Thankfully, by taking Religious Studies at A-level I was able to develop these ideas further and engage with subjects like Virtue Ethics and Situation Ethics, which I felt had a huge impact on my character development. I would also say my home environment had a big impact on this too, as there were clear principles and rules that I knew my family would be unhappy or disappointed if I went against. Developing a strong character also comes from self-awareness, which comes from making mistakes and learning from difficulties, which I would say happens in our teenage years. I think that schools and teachers have an obligation to help children discover and develop their own characters and this needs to be done consistently throughout all lessons rather than crammed into a few uncomfortable PSHE lessons a year.

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  3. I feel that my own character was developed with the combination of my social life at school as well as my home environment encouraged by my parents and siblings. At school, engaging and exploring real life situations with the other pupils that were of similar age encouraged me to develop character traits such as kindness, honesty, humility and generosity. This was mainly apparent during a situation I came across of another pupil being bullied by some other pupils in the year group. I was able to practice what I was taught at home by my parents of helping others around me so they don’t feel alone in difficult situations. Although I engaged in various PSHE lessons, I feel this type of teaching did not have much of an impact on my own character development. Rather practical lessons at home through exploring religious and fictional stories helped me understand the causes and consequences of choices and actions people make. Exploring stories allowed me to decide for myself, which character traits are desirable and how I can help others around me through what I have learnt for example being honest, helping other, compassion, kindness etc.

  4. I think the jobs I have had throughout my life have had a huge impact on my character. I have learnt to put others before myself and what hard work is. I think I have become someone of a stronger character in terms of resilience and hard work, as well as how to work as part of a team, which I do not think I would have had I not had many jobs. I also think employment has helped me develop other good character traits, including kindness, patience and, in particular, confidence. Working has made me a much more confident person as it has constantly made me work outside of my comfort zone, which has been good to help me develop my character.

  5. Home environment had the most impact as the values are enacted daily and from a source of authority that has no ulterior motives.