The Power of Character

About The Book


The Power of Character: Lessons from the Frontline

There is not a parent, school or business in the land who does not want the very best for the people closest to them – we are after all designed to flourish – to be good people, to be of good character, whilst at the same time, be successful. And yet as accountability and work demands rise, the pursuit of both ‘goodness’ and ‘success’ has never been more elusive – results rule!

Alarmingly, this mind-set has infiltrated our schools, where our children attend exam factories instead of places of hope and inspiration. Recent government initiatives for example have turned our schools into cost-centred and target-driven organisations, with teachers and headteachers incentivised to ‘game’ the system in order to retain their jobs, at the long-term cost to their students. The Power of Character offers the tools by which we can buck the trends of this old, outdated system, introducing new ideas to the classroom and new structures to the schooling system that can revolutionise the way we teach: a mandate for Education 2.0.

In a world where success in school can seem all-important in deciding our future path in life, pioneering educationalist Dr Andrew Reay sees things very differently.

This is the story then of how one organisation gained international recognition for promoting habits of character and the sciences behind them – and how the key to unlocking the hidden strengths of character is open to us all, whether we be a primary school student just embarking on an educational career, or an adult who has long ago left the school gates behind.

Distilling vast amounts of scientific information into engrossing narratives, Reay draws upon powerful stories from his own experience as a military officer, academic researcher, serving school leader and parent, taking the reader into the battlefield to see how military commanders unleash the potential of their most junior subordinates to make life and death decisions in armed conflict, how teachers working in some of the UKs toughest schools enable their students and staff to flourish, whilst all the time mining fascinating insights from business about what can be gleaned from modern interpretations on character development. Reay also introduces us to the work of behavioural scientists and a new wave of educators who, for the first time, are using these tools of science to peel back the mysteries of our very character. 

At its core, The Power of Character contains an exhilarating argument which shows that focusing on character first may, in fact, be the most productive thing we can do for our organisation and by harnessing the science, we can transform our families, our schools, our businesses, our communities – and our LIVES.

The lessons from this book are intended not just for the educational community, just like the notion of what good character means to others – the same principles and values transcend time, cultures, races, religions and continents – so too do the lessons of this book transcend business, communities and families. 

“A fascinating book: thought provoking and stimulating.”

David Laws

former Education Minister

What Others Are Saying

“Part biography, part historical review, part survey of evidence, part polemic and part a how-to guide for ambitious schools, this book will inform, entertain, stimulate, inspire, and occasionally exasperate in equal measure.”

Dr Barry J Hymer

Emeritus Professor of Psychology in Education

“Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with real stories, The Power of Character will permanently change how we see what Martin Luther King once described as the true goal of education – and how you see this within yourself – the content of our very own character and the mandate for an Education 2.0.”

Sir Iain Hall

“Reay’s investigation into the power of character, and his attempt to implement best character practise at King’s Leadership Academy, will open your eyes to the wealth of research, dialogue and debate being undertaken by some of the world’s most learned researchers into this very field.”

John Catt Educational

“The Power of Character is a life-changing guide not only for teachers and policymakers but is just as applicable for parents and business leaders like myself – who wish to maximize potential both for themselves and others.”

Colin Scotland

Marketing Consultant

The Power of Character

The Power of Character: Lessons from the Frontline

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