Character Education – About the Boys

Maximising the impact of character development in our schools
Mr Andrew Mansfield

Character development is necessary to help our boys navigate the challenges of adolescence and to equip our young men for their adult lives. It is acknowledged that there is growing recognition of the need for schools to initiate character education programs, especially for boys. However, there has been very little research to understand what are the vital elements necessary to make these programs successful, or to assess the impact of these programs on young men.

This session will propose twelve principles of effective character development. These principles have been developed as part of a Doctoral Research Project at the University of Sydney and have been distilled from an extensive literature review. The principles have evolved further following interviews with teachers, as well as two rounds of surveying and interviewing students.

This session will not only provide an opportunity for delegates to consider recent research into character development, but to share our experiences of character development in our schools. In so doing, it is hoped that this session will help us confirm existing strengths of our programs and encourage us to think of ways of increasing the impact of our character development programs on our boys.


Andrew is currently a Geography teacher and Boarding Housemaster at The King’s School, Parramatta. He has also been extensively involved in the Australian Army Cadets, having been an Officer of Cadets for 15 years and commanding The King’s School Cadet Corps, Australia’s oldest and one of its largest, from 2008-2015. Andrew is close to completing a PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Sydney; his research focusing on defining and testing the principles of effective character development in schools.