Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Curriculum Development and Supervision


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Capasso, Ronald L.


Eugene A. Tighe Middle School (Margate N.J.); Interns (Education); Moral education (Secondary); School administrators--Training of


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This internship experience focused on the study of the effectiveness of a formal approach to character education in a small New Jersey middle school. This effort projected student outcomes to include observable student demonstration of positive character traits. The character traits emphasized consist of respect, reliability, responsibility, and resourcefulness. Hence, the name of the project is the "Four R's."

The entire student body of 254 in grades five through eight participated in this study. The integration of one of the four R's into the current curriculum of each quarter served as the means by which the character traits were presented to the students. This comprised a comprehensive curriculum for character education. In addition to thematic instruction, a series of conflict resolution lessons were implemented.

To assess the effectiveness of the program, students participated in a pre- and post-assessment survey of the caring nature of their school community. Also, students completed an evaluative survey regarding the conflict resolution series. In addition to student feedback, the faculty provided a program survey evaluation. The analysis of the data resulted in graphic representations of the findings based on response percentages.

The findings indicate minimal improvement in student adoption of the character traits presented. Further study is necessary to assess the degree to which this formal approach to character development is effective over a longer period of time.