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PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - Feb 15, 2016) - The National Liberty Museum (NLM) in Philadelphia, the only museum in the country dedicated to advancing liberty by fostering positive character and civic engagement, is today releasing the results of the Torchbearers of Liberty research report, an evaluation study on the impact of its character and civic education programs. In collaboration with the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues at the University of Birmingham, UK, made possible by grant support from the John Templeton Foundation, the report findings indicate that character-based programs taught through the lens of liberty can positively impact students attitudes and behaviors.
The report's findings come from a feasibility study, which operationalized and tested a new measure for the complex construct of liberty and evaluated the NLM's educational exhibits and programs among underserved Philadelphia youth. Study participants included students who participated in the NLM's Young Heroes Outreach Program (YHOP), a yearlong character and civic education program for students in grades 4-8 that empowers students in the areas of leadership and civic engagement. The study tracked nearly 800 students ages 9-13 over the 2014-2015 school year at Title 1 schools in Philadelphia. Its findings demonstrate that the NLM's approach to character education, using a model of empowerment and project-based learning, positively impact students' acquisition and appreciation of the core virtues that underpin the ethical practice of liberty, for example, empathy, responsibility and respect. Moreover, students who participated in the NLM's programs showed increased action-oriented civic and social engagement, working to improve their schools and local communities.
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