Thesis

Teacher perceptions of character counts!: related to student behavior

This study replicated and extended a study by Lambur and Hunnings (2002) examining teacher perceptions of the Character Counts! program in an elementary school setting and determined whether the teachers perceive the program to have an effect on students' behavior. Participants included 22 elementary teachers from kindergarten to fifth grade who taught at one elementary school in Murrieta, California. A survey asked teachers to judge changes in 24 kinds of student behavior, four for each of the six pillars of character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship). Teachers rated both pre and post-program perceptions at the end of the school year. Report card marks for the students of the 22 participants were also examined to measure changes in social skills and behavior marks. Two sources of data, surveys and report card marks, determined that the Character Counts! program has had a positive overall effect on student behavior, trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. Furthermore, the findings on the two instruments demonstrated triangulation, which makes this study unlike any prior studies reviewed in this area.

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