Character in the Classroom: How The Leader in Me Affects Student Performance

The purpose of this study was to compare students who are proficient in the seven habits to those who are not by measuring the difference in their academic performance and to determine if the difference was statistically significant. This study also focused on the subgroups of gender and status as an English language learner as they pertained to proficiency on the benchmark assessment. The study took place at one elementary school site, located in a San Diego suburb, with an overall student population of approximately 645 students and included all third grade students at this school. The researcher utilized a quantitative methodology approach. Data were collected in the form of a seven habits assessment as well as a Language Arts benchmark assessment. The tests were scored against a rubric and students were categorized as proficient (> 70%) or not proficient (< 69%) and placed into two sample groups. Sample A consisted of students who scored proficient on the seven habits assessment and Sample B students who scored below proficiency in the habits. A t-test was conducted to compare the sample group mean scores. Based on the results of the t-test and with 95% confidence, the researcher concluded there is a statistically significant difference in benchmark assessment performance between students who are proficient in the seven habits versus those who are not. It was also found that gender affects the mean to a small extent in Sample A and none at all in Sample B. Additionally, higher English proficiency is generally more associated with proficiency in the seven habits and higher benchmark performance. This was an introductory study focused on how a systematic program affects students’ academic performance. It is complex topic that needs to be examined in greater detail.