Montrose honors its first three teachers to be awarded a Master's in Character Education from the University of Birmingham (UK), an opportunity unique to Montrose.
Barbara Whitlock, Becky Roberts and Jennifer Bowman were the first faculty members to earn their Master's in this program, thanks to generous funding from the Kern Family Foundation.
To date, Kern has awarded seven full-time faculty members a full scholarship to pursue their Master's in Character Education through a program operated by the Jubilee Centre for Character & Virtue at the University of Birmingham. In addition to the three graduates, six Montrose teachers are currently earning their Master's: Mary Jo White, Bakhita (Thordarson) Wanner ‘12, Abigail Rios, Seana Dorich, Angeli Fernandes and Margaret Juge.
Montrose has a longstanding relationship with the Jubilee Centre, thanks to former Head of School Karen Bohlin, a Senior Scholar at the Jubilee Centre. The Jubilee Centre aims to bring Aristotelian ethics to all aspects of society in order to help human flourishing, with support from the Templeton Foundation, the largest educational foundation in the world, and the Kern Family Foundation. Appropriately, each graduate was awarded a bust of Aristotle.
This Master's program enables students to develop their knowledge and expertise in the field of character education. Students learn alongside professionals within a dynamic online learning community.
The course covers a range of topics, including: theories of flourishing; researching character education; the history and politics of character education; leadership in character education; and running character interventions.
The character scholars developed their knowledge and expertise in the field of character education, studying topics like the history and politics of character education; leadership in character education; and running character interventions. In the final year of the program, each of the three graduates wrote a dissertation based on her research:
Jennifer Bowman dissertation's Reflecting for Well-Being researched the questions: Looking closely at our Practical Wisdom Frameworks, we teach students to reflect before recalibrating and responding. Reflecting is an emerging skill for 7th graders. Do 7th-grade students know how to reflect? Do they understand the benefits of reflection?
Becky Roberts' dissertation The Parent Partnership Model for Character Education researched the questions: To what extent do parents at Montrose perceive their relationship to be a partnership with the school when it comes to the character education program? What are the barriers and the enablers to parent engagement/partnership at Montrose?
Barbara Whitlock's dissertation Bridging the Character Education Gap from Adolescence to Citizenship researched the question: How do interactions with a trusted, non-parent adult cause improved outcome goals for adolescents with mentors?
"Thanks to this program, these teachers are leading departments and task forces, sharing their wisdom and research-based best practices in curriculum design and leading professional development workshops on learning and teaching," said Head of School Katie Elrod.