Date Approved

5-12-2003

Embargo Period

5-4-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. in Learning Disabilities

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Urban, Stanley

Subject(s)

Learning disabled children; Moral education; Second grade (Education); Third grade (Education)

Disciplines

Disability and Equity in Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness and value of a character education program when administered over a six-month period to a convenience sample of second and third grade students eligible for special education. The subjects for this study attend Parkview Elementary School in Stratford, New Jersey, and are a part of the resource program there. This study can help determine whether or not a character education curriculum will lead to improved decision-making in morals and ethics. The design of the program is individual to the researcher, but each of the following nine character traits are covered: respect, honesty, responsibility, citizenship, self-discipline, perseverance, compassion, fairness, and trustworthiness. Over the six-month training period, students were administered three assessments: a pre-test in September, an interim-assessment in January, and a post-test in March. Instruction was implemented throughout the six-month study as the researcher focused on a different character trait each month. The results of the three assessments were then examined for progression, regression or static rates of development in the area of character education. The overall results of the three assessments revealed that there was positive improvement in ethical decision-making between the pre-test and post-test periods.

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