keynote speakers and featured guest biographies

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Professor james arthur

Professor James Arthur is Deputy Pro-Vice- Chancellor for Staffing and Professor of Education and Civic Engagement at the University of Birmingham. He is Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, a pioneering interdisciplinary research centre focusing on character, virtues and values in the interest of human flourishing. James was Head of the School of Education between 2010 and 2015 and is Director of CitizED.

A leading expert in the field of character and values, James has written extensively on the relationship between theory and practice in education, particularly the links between communitarianism, social virtues, citizenship, religion and education.


thomas arnett

Thomas’ research focuses on the changing roles of teachers in blended learning environments and other innovative educational models. He also studies how teacher education and professional development are shifting to support the evolving needs of teachers and school systems. Additionally, he examines policies and innovations affecting technology access and infrastructure. 

Thomas previously worked as an Education Pioneers Fellow with the Achievement First Public Charter Schools, where he designed and piloted a blended-learning summer school program. He also taught middle school math and experimented with blended-learning models as a Teach For America corps member in the Kansas City Missouri School District. Thomas received a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University. He also earned an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a William G. McGowan Fellow. 


dr tom harrison

Dr Tom Harrison is the Director of Education in the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and leads on all the applied research projects working with schools, colleges, employers, voluntary sector organizations and policy makers across Britain as well as internationally. His specialist interests are character and virtue ethics, youth social action, citizenship, community development and volunteering. He has published extensively in these areas as well as developing resources and training programmes for schools and other organisations. Recent publications include 'Teaching Character Through Curriculum', 'Educating Character Through Stories', 'Schools of Character' and 'Teaching Character in Primary Schools'.

He has completed his PhD at the University of Birmingham on the influence of the Internet on character virtues. Tom is currently the Programme Director of the distance learning MA in Character Education and also the Secretary of the association of Character Education (ACE)