Teachers' Perceptions of Their Role in Character Education

Teachers' Perceptions of Their Role in Character Education

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In 1997 the Georgia legislature mandated that character education be implemented in all Georgia schools. However, there were no clear guidelines as to how to meet this mandate, and there was little evidence of teacher participation in character education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore teachers' perceptions of their role in character education, their understanding of the state mandate, implementation of character teaching methods, and obstacles to teaching character. The theoretical framework based on the works of Daniel Goleman and Lawrence Kohlberg informed the study in describing how children at different ages understand or respond to character related behaviors. Over a two week period, sixteen teachers at six different grade levels from one elementary school participated in 45 minute, semi-structured interviews. The interviews were analyzed using typological analysis, leading to the discovery of themes relating to the research questions. This study found that the teachers perceived the responsibility for teaching character was shared with the family. Although a majority of teachers were not aware of the state mandate, all teachers taught character through class discussion, the use of books, and participation in the school's character recognition program. An obstacle to teaching character was the lack of instructional time due to the emphasis placed on standardized tests. Recommendations included teachers working collaboratively to create a uniform character curriculum guide and administrators informing all staff members of the school's expectations of teacher involvement in character education. The improved implementation of character education may lead to fewer discipline problems and higher student motivation which may lead to a more productive school climate and higher academic achievement for students.Ms. Brown, a kindergarten teacher, described how she uses character lessons when students exhibit character traits that are either ... Ms. Ingles, a second grade teacher, uses discussion to recognize positive character traits in her students.

Title:Teachers' Perceptions of Their Role in Character Education
Author: Joan Yandles
Publisher:ProQuest - 2008

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