Université d'Erfurt

International Conference: The Shadow Side of Gratitude

German Network Meeting on Character Education

The aim of the network meeting to be held in German is to bring together experts, stakeholders and practitioners from a wide range of fields to examine the potentials of character education (CE) and its institutionalisation in Germany. Two afternoons (July 4th and 5th) are set aside for initiating the establishment of a professional network:

-          Thursday, 5.00pm – 6.30pm: Network Meeting 1

-          Friday, 2.30pm – 4.30pm: Network Meeting 2

The overall goal of this event is to begin a discussion about character education (or “Charakter- bzw. Persönlichkeitsbildung”) in Germany to complement existing initiatives in the USA and UK. CE foregrounds the importance of promoting valued traits of character alongside academic outcomes traditionally associated with schooling. While there are different approaches to CE, there is a dedicated network in the UK (the Association for Character Education – ACE) which promotes the exchange and dissemination of ideas about CE. The creation of such a forum in Germany would facilitate and extend a similar discussion.

The conference on the shadow side of gratitude would serve as a ‘case study’ demonstrating to the emerging German network that a character education approach to gratitude needs to be grounded in reflection about the meaning of gratitude and its potentially darker side (e.g.  dependency, ingratiation and manipulation).

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