Developing character among the next generation
For Seldon, the educated person is learning until the day they die; the great teacher is learning until their last day in the classroom, and the great professional is always eager to learn. While everyone is born with eight “aptitudes of intelligence”, Seldon argues that schools concentrate on just two: the logical and the linguistic – paying little or no attention to the creative, physical, social, personal, moral and spiritual. This, he believes, is where character comes into play. Seldon’s argument is that schools should be doing more to develop character education. This, in turn, will lead to greater success once their students enter the world of work.
“Some schools do an outstanding job of preparing young people for work, but the focus of government and Ofsted does little or nothing to encourage the development of skills that good employees will need,” he asserts.
“Schools just don’t help young people to think or develop as human beings. Much more needs to be done to help our young people develop essential character traits to help them navigate the workplace – for example, teamwork, leadership, time management, trustworthiness, autonomy and creative skills.
“We have to go back to Aristotle and see the importance of the role he placed on character as a core requirement of good education, good society, companies and organisations,” he says. “It’s mandatory for leaders to portray good character traits – if bosses are late; never say thank you; show themselves to be dishonest, sly or cowardly, this gives a deplorable example to employees within the organisation. As such, the whole company’s performance will go down.”