Torchbearers of Liberty: An Evaluation of Education Interventions Aimed to Teach Liberty and Its Pillar Virtues

Torchbearers of Liberty: An Evaluation of Education Interventions Aimed to Teach Liberty and Its Pillar Virtues

A curriculum focused on liberty, civic engagement, and critical thinking can help students learn and want to become leaders, an evaluation by the National Liberty Museum in partnership with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom finds. The report, Torchbearers of Liberty: An Evaluation of Education Interventions Aimed to Teach Liberty and Its Pillar Virtues (36 pages, PDF), examined the impact of the museum's guided educational experiences and its Young Heroes Outreach Program, an intensive year-long character- and civic leadership-building program that culminates with student-led community action projects, on eight hundred students between the ages of 9 and 13 in struggling Title 1 schools in Philadelphia. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the evaluation found that participants showed greater engagement with the concepts of courage, integrity, respect, responsibility, and empathy; demonstrated increased ability to reason when presented with a moral dilemma; and were more likely to become civically engaged and invested in improving their schools and communities. The report also suggests that the program's focus on liberty has the potential to empower students in school districts nationwide to address issues such as bullying, violence, and racism.