Date Approved

6-19-2008

Embargo Period

3-22-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S. in Teaching

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

McBee, Robin Haskell

Subject(s)

Fifth grade (Education); Moral education (Elementary)

Disciplines

Elementary Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine the effects of using character education lessons to (a) decrease negative behaviors and (b) increase positive behaviors. Three character education lessons were taught over the period of one school week. Students completed reading, writing, and listening activities both collaboratively and independently. The focuses of these lessons were: listening to others, understanding point of view, and controlling anger. The informants for this study included the whole class (14 students) as well as three focus students who often exhibited bullying behavior. Observations were recorded and surveys were completed both prior to the lessons and following the lessons. Interviews were additionally used for the focus group. Data was analyzed through the use of coding in which five codes emerged: aggressive behavior, refusal to cooperate, name-calling, social isolation, and helping others. The frequencies of these behaviors in the three sources of data were compared from before the implementation of the lessons to after. The results of this study have shown that the use of character education lessons in a classroom during a one week period can decrease negative behavior and increase positive behavior.

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