Character Perspectives of Student Teachers: Initial Insights

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In recent years, changes in education policy and a growth in character
initiatives have sought to enhance the character education provision in
schools in the UK. Contrary to this, insufficient attention has been paid
to character during a teacher’s Initial Teacher Education (ITE).

This report presents the initial findings from the first phase of the 'Teacher
Education: Character and the Professional Development of Pre- and
In-Service Teachers' project. The aim of the research presented in this
report was to understand student teachers’ views of character in teaching
and to explore how their reported personal character strengths, and what
they perceived as the important character strengths of a ‘good’ teacher,
were affected by ITE.

Initial findings indicate that student teachers recognise the importance
of character as a factor in the academic achievement of pupils and
acknowledge the inherent role that character plays in their own professional
development. Student teachers’ perceptions of a ‘good’ teacher remained
somewhat unchanged over the course of their ITE year, with performance
and intellectual character strengths being prioritised when describing the
character of a ‘good’ teacher. Conversely, student teachers’ perceptions
of their own personal character strengths did change; at the end of ITE, a
greater importance was placed upon performance character strengths at
the expense of moral character strengths.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUniversity of Birmingham
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-7044-2959-8
ISBN (Print)978-0-7044-2959-8
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2018


  • Character
  • teacher education
  • education
  • teacher training
  • character education
  • teacher identity


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