The effects of character education on reading achievement
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The Effects of Character Education on Reading Achievement. Nicole O’Leary Ed. 7202T, Fall 2010. Table of Contents. Statement of the Problem Review of Related Literature Statement of the Hypothesis Methods Results Discussion Implications Threats to Validity References.

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The effects of character education on reading achievement

The Effects of Character Educationon Reading Achievement

Nicole O’Leary

Ed. 7202T, Fall 2010

Table of contents

Table of Contents

Statement of the Problem

Review of Related Literature

Statement of the Hypothesis





Threats to Validity


Statement of the problem

Statement of the Problem

Society is faced with the erosion of its moral and ethical standing. This is evident in the behavior of inner-city students. Teachers can not teach and students can not produce until we embrace an approach that uses all phases of school life to develop character (Weinstock,Assor &Broide, 2008). It is neither possible nor desirable to leave moral issues outside of the realm of schooling (Damon, 2005).

Related literature

Related Literature

“A perceived increase in social problems experienced by children and youth, accompanied by advances in psychological theory, resulted in a marked increase in emotional, social, and moral (ESC) education inschools in the 1990’s.”McKenzie, M. (2004).

“…the most important revelation on values is that they are not innate, but must be taught…” (Lickona)Sanchez, T. (2004).

“Historically, the goal of a public education system was to develop a moral society. Brimi, H. (2009).

Related literature cont

Related Literature cont.

“There is a push toward standards-based learning in the area of social and character development. Social and behavioral goals can be intertwined with current academic goals.”

Sailor, W., Stowe, M., Turnbull, H., & Kleinhammer, P. (2007)

“Implementing programs to improve student behavior associated with character is a task worth undertaking.”

Bulach, C. (2002).

Related literature1

Related Literature

“Character Education is any school-directed program designed to shape directly and systematically the behavior of young people by teaching explicitly the nonrelativistic values believed to directly bring about good behavior.” Lockwood, L. (2007)

“ Our research suggests that schools goals and activities that are associated with good character education programs are also associated with academic achievement.” Benninga, J., Berkowitz, M., Keuhn, P., Smith, K. (2006)

“ “Before, you used the term ‘respect’ and they didn’t know what it meant, so this has introduced it as a real thing that we expect at school.” ” Nickell, P., Field,S. (2001)

Related literature cont1

Related Literature cont.

“ Schools characterized by a strong sense of community… report higher attendance and improvements in academic performance.” Lapsely,D., Narvaez,D. (2008)

“The adoption of a moral education curriculum appears to act to facilitate conscious attention to teachers’ moral manner in the way in which they carry out the activities of teaching.” Fenstermacher, G., Osguthorpe, R., Sanger, M. (2009)

“If teacher self-efficacy for moral education is considered a predictor of teaching practices which in turn are expected to effect the moral development of youth, then positive score change might provide initial evidence of program effectiveness.” Narvaez, D., Khmelkov, V., Vaydich, J., Turner, J. (2008)

Related literature cont2

RelatedLiterature cont.

“ We cannot so easily shirk responsibility for assisting students’ moral growth. Parents and the wider family should hold the highest degree of responsibility in this matter. However, if they fail, we are perhaps the only barrier left between the students and potentially life devastating decisions.” Brimi, H. (2009)

“A convincing 90% feel that teachers play an important role in the character education of students.” Mathison, C. (1998)

“Whatever the rhetoric in the classroom, students are very attuned to their teachers actual behavior.” Battistich, V. (2008)

“By intentionally including discussions on good character in literature study, we can help assure that children develop characters that know, love, and do good-- perhaps our most important work as teachers.” O’Sullivan, S. ( 2004)

Related literature cont3

RelatedLiterature cont.

“Students need not only the academic and knowledge skills for their future, but they need to learn to become productive and caring citizens.” Chang, F., Munoz, M. (2007)

“Elementary school teachers feel confident in their abilities to serve as role models, to discuss issues of right and wrong with their students, and to use strategies that might lead to positive changes in students’ character.” Milson, A., Mehlig, L. (2002)

“In a study of random, stratified sample of 120 California elementary schools applying for state recognition for excellence, it was found that academic achievement scores were significantly correlated with four aspects of character education.” Berkowitz, M., Bier, M. (2007)

Related literature cont4

Related Literature cont.

“Research by Nucchi (2001) found that between third grade and fifth, the amount of discourse between students and teachers about ethical issues gradually declined. The trend continues and by grade seven it is so infrequent that researchers could not employ a statistical analysis.” Howard, R. (2005)

“The strategies used in character education vary among programs and can include role modeling, moral discipline, democratic classroom environments, cooperative learning, service projects, drama, literature, etc…” McKenzie, M. (2004)

“Education innovations live or die by the amount and quality of assistance that their users receive once they are underway.” Hollingshead, B. (2009)

Statement of the hypothesis

Statement of the Hypothesis

(HR1) Providing 6 fifth grade students from P.S. X with a consistent infusion of character education during 25-minute sessions, 3 days a week, over an 8-week period during Guided Reading, will positively impact reading levels.

Experimental design

Experimental Design

Quasi Experimental: OX1O, OX2O

Two groups: Treatment group (X1) (new/experimental treatment) and control group (X2) (traditional treatment/no treatment)

Both groups (X1 and X2) are pre and post tested (O)




Total population: Fifth grade students from P.S. X

Group A: 6 students (Character Ed-infused Guided Reading

Group B: 6 students (Guided Reading w/ no attention to Character Education)

Groups not randomly assigned

One teacher

Students with equal reading ability

Each group: 3 boys, 3 girls

Use of same reading resources and assessment tools

Methods cont

Methods cont.


2 Guided Reading Groups with equal reading ability

Each group comprised of 3 boys and 3 girls

25-minute sessions, 3 days a week, for 8 weeks

Group A (Experimental) infusion of character education (“Traits in a Bag”)

Group B (Control) typical Guided Reading instruction (skill and strategy only)

Methods cont1

Methods cont.



NYS English Language Arts Test (2010)

Periodic Reading Benchmarks (Fountas & Pinnell)



Correlation of students' feelings of responsibility toward their education and test scores.

Survey Question: “I am responsible for my learning.”

There is a negative correlation between students’ feelings of responsibility and test scores.

Rxy= .0974047

The effects of character education on reading achievement




Students at P.S. X performing at or approaching grade level

Student behavior is a concern

Existing character ed. program is not embraced or monitored

Though research findings were inconclusive, researcher deems it beneficial



More time needed for conclusive effects

Formal character education program that addresses all areas of curriculum

Research to be conducted with children performing below grade level

Threats to internal validity

Threats to Internal Validity

History: Schedule changes, illnesses, absences, interruptions (calls to the classroom, announcements, fire drills)

Maturation: Loss of interest in routine

Testing: Familiarity with content of test may affect scores; cheating

Instrumentation: Teacher’s rigor and enthusiasm may differ between groups

Mortality: Student transfer

Threats to external validity

Threats to External Validity

Ecological: Emotional disturbances could affect outcome

Pre-Test Treatment: Anxiety during pre- test could affect reaction to the treatment

Multiple Treatment: Participants may receive more than one treatment

Treatment Diffusion: Students discussion different practices between groups

Experimenter Effects: Partiality toward one group or student

To educate one in mind and not morals is to educate a menace to society theodore roosevelt




Aldridge, J. (2000). The Future of Character Education. Childhood Education International. 100-10

Allred, C. G. (2008). Improving Academics, Behavior, and Character . Leadership, 38(2), 26-29.

Avarez, D., & Lapsley, D. K. (2008). teaching Moral Character: Two Alternatives for Teacher Education. The Teacher Educator, 43(2), 156-162.

Bajovic, M., Rizzo, K., & Engemann, J. (2009). Character Education Re-Conceptualized for Practical Implementation. Canadian Journal of Educational Administrationand Policy, p. 1-23. Retrieved March 1, 2010, from Education Full Text database.

Battistich, V. A. (2008). Voices: A Practitioner's Perspective: Character Education, Prevention, and Positive Youth Development. Journal of Research in Character Education, 6(2), 81-90.

Benninga, J. S., Berkowitz, M. W., Kuehn, P., & Smith, K. (2006). Character and Academics: What Good Schools Do. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(6), 448-452.

Berkowitz, M. W., & Bier, M. C. (2007). What Works in Character Education. Journal of Research in Character Education, 5(1), 29-48.

Brannon, D. (2008). Character Education: It’s a Joint responsibility. Kappa Delta PhiRecord, 44(2), 62-5. Retrieved March 1, 2010, from Education Full Text Database.

Brimi, H. (2099). Academic Instructors or Moral Guides? Moral Education in America and the Teacher's Dilemma. The Clearing House, 82(3), 125-130. Retrieved February 21, 2010 from Education Full Text database.

Bulach, C. (2002). Implementing a Character Education Curriculum and Assessing Its Impact on Student Behavior. The Clearing House, 76(2), 79-83. Retrieved February 21, 2010, from Education Full Text database.

Chang, F., & Munoz, M. A. (2006). School Personnel Educating the Whole Child: Impact of Character Education on Teachers' Self-Assessment and Student Development. J Peers Eval Education, 19, 35-49.

Damon, W. (2005). Good? Bad? or None of the Above?. Education Next, 5(2), 20-7.

Fenstermacher, G. D., Osguthorpe, R. D., & Sanger, M. N. (2009). Teaching Morally and Teaching Morality. Teacher Education Quarterly, 36(3), 7-19.

Howard, R. (2005). Preparing Moral Educators in an Era of Standards-Based Reform. Teacher Education Quarterly, 32(4), 43-58. Retrieved March 6, 2010, from education Full Text database.

Kohlberg, L. (1975). The Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Moral Education. Phi Delta Kappan, 56(10), 670.

References cont

References cont.

Lockwood, A. (2009). A case for Character Education. Action Teacher Education, 31(3), 70-3.

Mathison, C. (1998). How Teachers Feel About Character Education: A Descriptive Study.

Action in Teacher Education, 20(4), 29-38

McKenzie, M. (2004).Seeing the Spectrum:North America Approaches to Emotional, Social, and Moral Education.

The Educational Forum, 69(1), 79-90. Retrieved March 1, 2010 from Education Full Text database.

Milson, A. J., & Mehlig, L. M. (2002). Elementary Schools Teachers' Efficacy for Character Education. Journal of Education Research, 96(1), 47-53.

Narvaez, D., Khmelkov, V., Vaydich, J. L., & Turner, J. C. (2008). Teacher Self-Efficacy For Moral Education: Measuring teacher Self-Efficacy for Moral Education. Journal of Research in Character Education, 6(2), 3-15.

Nickell, P., & Field, S. L. (2001). Elementary Character Education: Local Perspectives, Echoed Voices. International Journal of Social Education, 16(1), 1-17.

O’Sullivan, S. (2005) The Soul of Teaching: Educating Teachers of Character. Action inTeacher Education 26(4), 3-9. Retrieved February 21, 2010 from Education Full text database.

Sailor, w., Stowe, M., Thurnbull, H., & Klienhammer-Tramill, P. (2007). A Case for Adding Social Behavior to Standards-Based EducationWith School wide Positive Behavior Supports as Its Basis. Remedial and Special Education 28(6), 366-76. Retrieved March 1, 2010 from Education Full Text database

Sanchez, T. (2004). Facing the Challenge of Character Education. International Journalof Social Education, 19(2), 106-13. Retrieved March 2, 2010, from Education Full text database.

Sanchez, T. (2006). The Forgotten . America: A Story for Character Education. International Journal of Social Education, 21(2), 79-90. Retrieved March 2, 2010 from Education Full text database

Vardin, P. (2003). Character Education In America. Montessori Life, 15(2), 32-4. Retrieved March 1, 2010 from Education Full Text database.

Weinstock, M., Assor, A., & Broide, G. (2008). Schools as Promotoers of Moral Judgement: the essential role of teachers' encouragement of critical thinking. Social Psycholical Education, 12, 137-151.

Appendix a letter of consent

Appendix A Letter of Consent

Appendix b running record

Appendix BRunning Record

Appendix c assessment summary form

Appendix CAssessment Summary Form

Appendix d creation of a full value contract

Appendix DCreation of a Full Value Contract



O’Connor-Petruso, S. (2008)

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