Exams ‘do not help to teach’ character

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CHILDREN are failing to develop important values like courage, fairness and gratitude at school due to a relentless focus on exams and results, according to a report published today.

It argues that “moral character” is being squeezed out of modern day education, leaving youngsters without key qualities they will need for the future.

Teachers need more time in the school day to teach youngsters the difference between right and wrong, the study argues. The findings come amid growing calls from politicians and education experts for youngsters to be taught skills and abilities outside of the classroom, like character and grit, that would help them later in life.

The new study, by Birmingham University’s Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, involved over 10,000 students and 255 teachers completing surveys and taking part in interviews.

Researchers found that eight in 10 teachers believe that a focus on academic attainment in their school is hindering the development of pupils’ characters.

“The majority claimed that exams have become so pervasive in schools that they have crowded out other educational goods,” the study said.

Pupils taking part in the research were asked to say how they would respond to a series of moral dilemmas.