Keywords

character education, Florida public schools

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine whether significant relationships existed between character education and the number of incidents of crimes and violence, attendance rates, and academic achievement in Florida public schools. Proponents of character education such as Lickona (1991) and Murphy (1998) posited that there was a positive correlation between teaching and practicing the six pillars of character education, and student achievement, and increased attendance. They also posited that there was a negative correlation between character education and incidents of crime and violence. The researcher acquired data in an attempt to determine whether or not the views of Lickona (1991), Murphy (1998) and others holding this view would yield similar results in the Florida public schools. The theoretical framework for the study was Kohlberg's cognitive-developmental theory of moral reasoning. The study was compiled between 2003 and 2004 based on data for the 1998-1999 school year and the 2002-2003 school year. These dates were chosen because they were the pre-implementation year (1998-1999) and four years after the character education mandate went into effect. Data from 67 Florida counties were solicited and 10 counties selected as samples of effective character education implementers and non-effective character education implementers in their elementary schools. Utilizing Statistical Package for Social Science (2004), data were analyzed for statistically significant relationships in order to confirm or negate the null hypotheses. The tests utilized were repeated measures ANOVAs. The study found a statistically significant relationship between those counties that effectively implemented a character education program in their elementary schools and student attendance, as compared to counties that did not effectively implement a character education program in their elementary schools. The study did not find a statistically significant relationship between those counties that effectively implemented a successful character education program in their elementary schools and student achievement, as compared to counties that did not effectively implement a character education program in their elementary schools. The study did not find a statistically significant relationship between those counties that effectively implemented a successful character education program in their elementary schools and lowered incidents of crime and violence, as compared to counties that did not effectively implement a character education program in their elementary schools. In all school districts studied, however, over the four-year period incidents of crime and violence were reduced, the absenteeism rate was reduced, and achievement had increased. This could have been due to the implementation of any type of character education program or it may have been due to other programs implemented in the Florida schools.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2005

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Murray, Barbara

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

College

College of Education

Department

Educational Research, Technology and Leadership

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0000333

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0000333

Language

English

Release Date

January 2015

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

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