Recent years have seen a revival of these classical ideals as teachers, parents and employers call for an approach to education which focusses on character development as well as academic attainment. There are multiple reasons for the emerging popularity of character education, some are listed below:
•87% of parents want schools to educate for both academic outcomes and good character (Jubilee Centre & Populus, 2013).
•Employers feel that too many school-leavers lack the ‘soft skills’ that are essential to the workplace (CBI, 2012).
•Academic research shows that character virtues contribute to a range of positive outcomes, including academic achievement (Public Health England, 2014), future success (Duckworth et al, 2007), and good mental health (Waters, 2011). Character education can be especially effective for children who lack positive role models in their home lives (Dweck et al, 2007).
•Evidence of the positive impact on character education, and related fields such as positive psychology, on young people’s mental health and wellbeing as a pre-requisite to learning. (Gutman and Vorhaus,2012; Challen et al,2011)
• The rediscovery of classical ideals of education, particularly in England’s popular and successful independent schools which continue to promote this kind of schooling. Sir Anthony Seldon, Master of leading public school Wellington College is a firm advocate of character education. (Seldon,2011)