A Journaling Pilot Project to Enhance Future-Mindedness (The My Character project)

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This is a three year funded by the Templeton Foundation which began in March 2011.

Contact:
Aidan Thompson
Email: a.p.thompson@bham.ac.uk
Tel: 0121 414 3602 

 

The My Character project seeks to develop the future-mindedness of young people through the development and trial of a new journal and website, and has already been used by over 1200 secondary school students across the world.

The website and journal, both developed in collaboration with young people and education professionals, encourage young people to think about who they are as well as who they want to become. The belief is that self-reflection in the form of using a journal or interacting with a specifically designed social networking site will encourage young people to discuss goals, strategies, and performance, and this will lead to more accomplished and successful adults, in terms of character development. Focusing on 8 Character traits, the materials contain activities, quotes, biographies of inspirational people and actions that the young people can take to help develop their character. The aim is to guide and stimulate self-reflection in young people in the belief that this will encourage them to discuss goals, strategies, and performance, helping them to become more accomplished and successful adults.

The impact of the materials, and the feasibility of running Randomised Controlled Trials in schools, was investigated during a RCT in 6 UK schools during 2012/13. Analysis of the data from the randomised controlled trial will provide a greater insight into how self-reflection might lead to better character development in young people.

The project will involve a number of members from the School of Education including Professor James Arthur, Tom Harrison, Paul Edwards, Dr. Ian DavisonDr. Karen Guldberg, Dan Hayes and Jenny Higgins.