Professor James Arthur

Professor James Arthur

School of Education
Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Staffing)

Contact details

The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues
School of Education
12th Floor (West) Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Professor James Arthur is editor of the British Journal of Educational Studies, Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Staffing).  

He has written widely on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between communitarianism, social virtues, citizenship, religion and education.


  • D.Phil (Oxon)
  • MSc


Postgraduate supervision

Professor James Arthur is a world leading expert on the Character and Values of young people and is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. He has recently directed a project which completed the largest UK-based study into issues surrounding character development, looking at over 70,000 responses from young people aged 3-25 (see Learning for Life –


His major research activities currently involve the aspirations and character formation of young people in deprived areas. As well as being Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, he is also Director of Citized – an organisation (funded by the TDA) in higher education promoting citizenship and is Director of a major research project on young people’s values and character dispositions (see Learning for Life – and Citized – He was a member of the National Forum for Values in Education and the Community. He has participated in various consultations with QCA about values education, and was a member of the History Task Group of the National Curriculum Council to revise the National Curriculum, and has since been a member of a sub-group of the Citizenship Working Party as well as a member of groups on citizenship and personal and social education in the DCSF and in the Teacher Development Agency.  

Knowledge exchange and impact

He has produced a series of major research reports on citizenship and values education which have fed directly into policy decision making at national government level. He has also worked with the City of Birmingham on a Young International Citizens Award and collaborated with the University of Birmingham Guild of Students and the City of Birmingham on volunteering provision for the Children’s University.  

He was part of the University of Birmingham Heroes campaign to raise awareness regarding some of the current research that continue to address today’s key national and global challenges. James Arthur is one of the featured academic experts from the School of Education and he can be seen talking about his work on the webcast. 


Selected publications

Academic Journal Articles

Arthur, J., (2013) The De-Catholisation of the Catholic School Curriculum in England, International Studies in Catholic Education. Vol. 5. No. 1 83-98. DOI: 10.1080/19422539.2012.754590

Arthur, J. and Carr, D., (2013) Character in Learning for Life: A Virtue-Ethical Rationale for Recent Research on Moral and Values Education, Journal of Beliefs and Values. Vol. 34 No. 1 26-35 DOI: 10.1080/13617672.2013.759343

Arthur, J., Power, S. and Lin, H.C. (2013) Foundations of character methodological aspects of a study of character development in 3 to 6-year-old children with a focus on sharing behaviours, European Early Childhood Research Journal. On Line First Print Vol. 22 No. 1 DOI: 10.1080/1350293X.2012.707413

Arthur, J., and Holdsworth, M., (2012) The European Court of Human Rights, Secular Education and Public Schooling, British Journal of Educational Studies. Vol. 60 No. 2. 129-149 DOI: 10.1080/00071005.2012.661402

Arthur, J., (2012) Exploring good character and citizenship in England, in Asia-Pacific Journal of Education. Vol. 32. No. 4. 489-497. DOI: 10.1080/02188791.2012.741097

Arthur, J. (2011) Personal Character and Tomorrow's Citizens: Student Expectations of their Teachers, International Journal of Educational Research Vol. 50 No. 3, 184-189 DOI:10.1016/j.ijer.2011.07.001

Arthur, J. (2011) Inter-Cultural versus Inter-Religious Dialogue in a Pluralist Europe, Policy Futures in Education. Vol 9, No1, 74-80   DOI: 10.2304/pfie.2011.9.1.74

Arthur, J. (2011) Religious and Spiritual Markers in Community Involvement, British Journal of Religious Education. ISSN: 0141-6200.  DOI:10.1080/01416200.2011.595914

Arthur, J. (2008)  Learning Under the Cross: Legal Challenges to ‘Cultural –Religious Symbolism’ in Public Schools,  Education and the Law,  20,  4,  337-350.  ISSN: 0953-9964.

Authored Books

Arthur, J. (2014) Religion in Public Schools, in The Handbook of Secularism, Oxford University Press, Oxford. (forthcoming)

Arthur, J., and Lovat, T., (eds.) (2013) International Handbook of Religion and Values, Routledge, London.

Arthur, J., Waring, M., and Coe, R., (eds.) (2012) (eds.) Research Methods in Educational Research, Sage, London

Arthur, J. and Peterson, A., (2011) (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Education, Routledge, London.Arthur J., and Cremin, H., (2011) (eds.) Debates in Citizenship Education, Routledge,London.

Arthur, J. (2010). Of Good Character: Exploration of Virtues in Values in 3-25 Year Olds Exeter: Imprint Academic.

Arthur, J. (2010) New Direction in Character and Values Education Research, Imprint Academic, 250 pages, ISBN: 9781845402112.

Arthur, J. (2010) Education, Identity and Religion, London: Routledge.

Chapters in Books

Arthur, J. (2011) Is it appropriate to teach students about morality and values? (pp 100-107) in Lexman, J and Grist, M (2011) The Character Inquiry, London, DEMOS.

Full publication list for Professor James Arthur