This 3-year, £427,430 grant lead by James Arthur, Professor of Education and Civic Engagement at the University of Birmingham, will develop an intervention to teach the knightly virtues in 8-10 year old students in a sample of Church of England and Roman Catholic schools in the UK. The project will primarily include three initiatives: 1. A literature review exploring philosophical scholarship on virtue ethics, historical and socio-cultural scholarship on the institution of knighthood, and children’s literature on stories of chivalry and knighthood; 2. A teaching pack entitled, “The Knightly Virtues” that will include a program of study and information for teachers, a workbook for students, and accompanying resources that will be implemented for approximately 600 students over a 5-6 week period in 20 primary schools; and 3. A randomized control trial research study that will compare these 600 students with 600 students in well-matched control schools that will include survey collection of baseline data on the knightly virtues and a follow-up survey undertaken 12 and 18 months after the intervention to assess the longitudinal impact of the program. A complementary research study of 30 parents and teachers of the students will be conducted to collect baseline data on knowledge of knightly virtues and their role in society, as well as an assessment on whether student attitudes and behavior have changed as a result of the intervention. Outputs include a research report, a documentary film that will focus on the impact of the project on students, teachers, and schools, as well as a book highlighting inspiring stories about the students that will be disseminated to policy makers in the UK.
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