Existing initiatives (projects, courses, programmes, etc.) for teachers’ professional competence development in the UK:

  1. In 2016, the School of Education at the University of Birmingham introduced the world's first MA programme in Character Education. This distance learning programme is taught by expert members of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues. Course type: postgraduate, continuing professional development, distance learning.
    Duration: 3 years.
    More information
  2. The free online course "Building Character through Youth Social Action" provides an opportunity to learn about the history of social action, and how youth social action can help build character in young people. This course is delivered in partnership with the University of Birmingham and FutureLearn, and is open for anyone with an interest in youth work and working with young people.
    Duration: over two weeks.
    More information
  3. The free online course "What is Character? Virtue Ethics in Education" debates in the field of character and character education. The course explores virtues and the role they play in helping both individuals and society flourish. Tapping into an increasing interest in character education and answering important questions such as: what is character and character education? Why is it important and can it be taught?
    Duration: two weeks.
    ​​​​​More information

Existing initiatives (projects, courses, programmes, etc.) for teachers’ professional competence development in the USA:

Character.org offers multiple support and training opportunities for K-12 schools, districts, and state-wide initiatives. These range from one day to multi-year assistance.

  1. Character.org 11 Principles Sourcebook Training Seminar (1-day or 2-day)
    Character.org trainers provide an overview of the 11 Principles of Effective Character, with significant focus on the foundational steps for systemic change. This work includes looking at existing school culture and "hidden curriculum", the importance of establishing core ethical values used to guide judgment and decision-making, and understanding how character is formed.
  2. Eleven Principles Sourcebook Leadership Institute (1-day or 2-day)
    The Character.org Leadership Institute is an initial training in Character.org’s Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education, customized to help school leaders learn how to move the initiative forward in their schools and what might be major areas for planning. This is an excellent starter format for a school district wishing to initiate effective character education across multiple school sites. The attending teams, which may be the character education committee, should include the principal, other school administrators, teacher-leaders, and community members and students, as appropriate. Teams of 5-9 participants are ideal. This is a great way to build a "critical mass" of supporters. It also works well when schools cannot do a staff-wide training because of limited professional development release days.
  3. Regional Institutes
    Regional Institutes are similar to Eleven Principles Sourcebook Training Seminar, offering foundational coverage of the Eleven Principles. Participants come to a central location for the training day and are encouraged to come in teams. The Institute is held every year at the Character.org’s Forum. It has also been held in areas that share resources across districts. At times, Institute participants go back to their schools so excited that they will bring Character.org to their schools to provide a full-staff experience.
  4. Skill Workshops
    Skill workshops are three-hour training opportunities customized for the needs of a school’s action plan. These workshops typically provide the "how to" training for areas that have emerged as the staff becomes more familiar with character education. Examples of workshop topics include class meetings, service learning, problem-solving, discipline, conflict resolution, SEL skills, i.e., active listening, I-statements, and role-plays.
  5. Collegial Follow-Up Sessions
    Customized and focused discussion with school teams and Character.org leadership addresses specific topics and process identified by the school sometime after initial professional development takes place. Support for class meetings, service learning, and development or implementation techniques for portions of the 11 Principles are often addressed. These are ½ day sessions.