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Behavior Problems in the Classroom: Can Character Education Improve It? Action Research Paper: EDU 702.22/Spring 2010 By Jacqueline Holzer.

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Presentation on theme: "Behavior Problems in the Classroom: Can Character Education Improve It? Action Research Paper: EDU 702.22/Spring 2010 By Jacqueline Holzer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Behavior Problems in the Classroom: Can Character Education Improve It? Action Research Paper: EDU /Spring 2010 By Jacqueline Holzer

2 Table of Contents o Abstract o Introduction o Statement of the Problem 4 o Review of Related Literature o Statement of Hypothesis 12 o Method o Participants 13 o Instrument 14 o Experimental Design o Procedure

3 Table of Contents Continued... o Results o Discussion o Implications o References o Appendices o Appendix A 18 o Appendix B o Appendix C

4 Statement of the Problem With positive character not being effectively enforced within the school, as well as within the home, the school environment is becoming challenged. Teachers constantly deal with disruptive behavior in a classroom, thereby taking away from the teaching time. Some students may not be aware of why they are behaving a certain way, while others are aware and just dont care. Children need guidance and with Character Education they are introduced to areas such as moral, respect and integrity. The researcher believes through character education students will grow into mature and respectful individuals, thinking about their actions before hand and/or resolving problems in the appropriate manner.

5 Review of Related Literature: Prior Research o Although there is no thorough data, character education can produce positive results o (Winton, 2008; Skaggs & Bodenhorn, 2006) o Children see their surrounding world and develop their character based on what they see and what they are taught o (Rynders, 2006; Brannon, 2008) o 97% of teachers agreed that schools need discipline and behavior to grow o (Public Agenda, 2004) o Gradually students come to feel no moral discredit in rule violation and grow unresponsive to discipline o (Goodman, 2007)

6 Review of Related Literature: Pros o By teaching students how to handle and address a potential problematic situation they are able to better control their lives o (Rynders, 2006; Gable, Hester, Hester & Hendrickson, 2005; McArthur, 2002) o Peaceable Magnet School: Teachers and staff saw a difference in attitudes and behaviors in students as they discussed and explored peace o (Celia & Anstine, 1999) o A teacher who is motivated and persistent regarding character education is likely to believe in his or how own ability to build students character and the ability of teachers in general to overcome negative influences outside of the classroom o (Milson & Mehlig, 2002; Varham, 2005b) o Citizens are realizing that a society cannot operate unless its citizens follow certain moral principals, and schools are realizing that without character education, which can help establish a good learning environment, education itself may not be effective o (Davis, 2006)

7 Review of Related Literature Cons oEach community has different values they believe in o(Bulach, 2002) oCharacter Education teaches students to do the right thing for the wrong reason o(Davis, 2003) oWe cannot force the issue of character development. We can only reinforce the appropriate components of character when we have the opportunity to observe them in action o(Milliren & Messer, 2009)

8 Review of Related Literature Current Instructional Strategies oCharacter Counts!: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship o(Rynders, 2006; Barton, Richard & Wenglinsky, 1998) oPRIDE: address both moral and performance character concerns oMonday: Plan for Success oTuesday: Reading oWednesday: Improve your grades oThursday: Develop your character oFriday: Enjoy your day o(Butler-Banks, 2010) oAlternative Dispute Resolution: negotiation and mediation. Peer Mediation: positive side of conflict, provide structure to handle conflicts, teach responsibility, develop life skills, promote understanding & sensitivity, higher level of citizenship, reduce disciple, increase teaching time o(Varnham, 2005a)

9 Review of Related Literature Current Instructional Strategies oCharacter Matters! And The CEP: Tolerance, respect, caring and love for one another is practiced, taught and learned o(Winton, 2008) oGrimm Approach: Fairy Tales by the Grimm Brothers (Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel). Include moral law and general types of human experiences o(Bryan, 2005) oCharacter through Social Studies: Expose students to how women and men of our history were faced with difficult, challenging situations and how they overcame it through truth, integrity, honesty and loyalty o(Sanchez, 2006; Ellenwood, 2006)

10 Review of Related Literature Current Instructional Strategies oJudicious Discipline: use the language of citizenship rights and responsibilities into class meeting to teach positive goal setting and peaceful conflict resolution o(Landau & Gathercoal, 2000) oCharacter Education goal: to help young people understand, care about and act upon core ethical values o(Davis, 2006)

11 Review of Related Literature Theorist oMaria Montessori & Lawrence Kohlberg ochildren develop character by exploring and making free choices o(Brimi,2009; Vardin, 2003) oMaslow: Hierarchy of Basic Needs: the need of the individual to fulfill physiological requirements o(Smith, 2001) oDr. Thomas Linkona: Eleven Principals of Character Education Effectiveness o(Bulach, 2002)

12 Statement of Hypothesis HR1: By implementing character education in P.S. X, twice a week over a six week period, a positive and safe environment will occur, resulting in a decrease in behavioral problems This will be tested through classroom observations, read alouds, class discussions and activities, discipline referrals and completed surveys

13 Participants Two second grade common branch classes in two NYC Public Schools Classroom 1 o24 students o1 teacher oImplement Character Ed Classroom 2 o24 students o1 teacher

14 Instruments oFamily member and school staff survey 1: oWill be given prior to action research oAssess how the adults in the students lives handle problematic situations and ability to model good character oStudent Survey 2: oWill be given to both classrooms prior to action research oEvaluate their practices of displaying good character oAssess the type of individual each student is oStudent Survey 3: oWill be given to classroom 1 following the action research oAsses themselves as participants of good character oAsses students thoughts on Character Ed

15 References Barton, P.E., Coley, R.J., & Wenglinsky, H. (1998). Order in the Classroom: Violence, Discipline and Student Achievement. Policy Information Center:Research Division. Princeton, NJ:Educational Testing Service. Retrieved from Key to Saferschools: Violence,%20Discipline.pdf Violence,%20Discipline.pdf Violence,%20Discipline.pdf Brannon, D. (2008). Character Education: It's a Joint Responsibility. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 44(2), Retrieved from ERIC: Brimi, H. (2009). Academic Instructors or Moral Guides? Moral Education in America and the Teachers Dilemma. Clearing House, 82(3), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete: Bryan, L. (2005). Once Upon a Time: A Grimm Approach to Character Education. Journal of Social Studies Research, 29(1), 3-6. Retrieved from ERIC Butler-Banks, C. (2010, February 4,). PRIDE in school and self: Waterloo Middle School uses character education to improve academics. New York Teacher, LI(9), Bulach, C. (2002). Implementing a Character Education Curriculum and Assessing Its Impact on Student Behavior. Clearing House, 76(2), 79. Retrieved from ERIC: Celia E..J., & Anstine, R.T. (1999). Promoting Peace in a Place Called School. Learning Environments Research, 2(1), Retrieved from Education Research Complete database: AN Davis, D. (2006). Character Education in America's Public Schools. Journal of Church & State, pp Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database : Davis, M. (2003). What's Wrong with Character Education?. American Journal of Education, 110(1), Retrieved from ERIC:

16 References Ellenwood, S. (2006). Revisiting Character Education: From McGuffey to Narratives. Journal of Education, 187(3), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database: Gable, R., Hester, P., Hester, L., Hendrickson, J., & Sze, S. (2005). Cognitive, Affective, and Relational Dimensions of Middle School Students: Implications for Improving Discipline and Instruction. Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 79(1), 40. Retrieved from ERIC database: EJ Goodman, J. F. (2007). School Discipline, Buy-In and Belief. Ethics and Education, 2(1). Retrieved from ERIC Database: EJ Landau, B., & Gathercoal, P. (2000). Creating Peaceful Classrooms. Phi Delta Kappan, 81(6), 450. Retrieved from ERIC: McArthur, J.R. (2002). The Why, What, and How of Teaching Children Social Skills. Social Studies, 93(4), Retrieved from ERIC database:EJ Milliren, A., & Messer, M.. (2009). "Invitations" To Character. Journal of Invitational Theory & Practice,15, Retrieved from ERIC: Milson, A., & Mehlig, L. (2002). Elementary School Teachers' Sense of Efficacy for Character Education. Journal of Educational Research, 96(1), 47. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database : Public Agenda, and Common Good. (2004). Teaching Interrupted: Do Discipline Policies in Todays Public Schools Foster the Common Good?. Public Agenda. Retrieved from:

17 References Rynders, L. (2006). If You Matter to Someone, There is Always a Glimmer of Hope. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 14(4), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete: Sanchez, T. (2006). Harry Truman and The Atomic Bomb: An Excursion into Character Education through Storytelling.American Secondary Education, 35(1), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database: Skaggs, G., & Bodenhorn, N. (2006). Relationships Between Implementing Character Education, Student Behavior, and Student Achievement. Journal of Advanced Academics, 18(1), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database: Smith, C.J. (2001). School Discipline and Classroom Management: A Must for Improved Instruction. Walden University Cyberspace Chapter of PDK International. Retrieved from Walden PDK on March 19, 2010: Vardin, P. (2003). Character Education In America. Montessori Life, 15(2), Retrieved from ERIC: Varnham, S. (2005a). Seeing Things Differently: Restorative Justice and School Discipline. Education and the Law, 17(3), Retrieved from ERIC database: EJ Varnham, S. (2005b). Citizenship in schools: the gap between theory and practice. Education & the Law, 17(1/2), Retrieved from ERIC: Winton, S. (2008). The appeal(s) of character education in threatening times: caring and critical democratic responses. Comparative Education, 44(3), Retrieved from Academic Search Complete:

18 Appendix A Parent/Guardian Consent Form Dear Parent/ Guardian, My name is Jacqueline Holzer and I am currently a graduate student at Brooklyn College. I am conducting a research for my thesis class on Character Education. In order to conduct this research I am seeking permission to include you and your child in my study. If you chose to participate I will ask you and your child to complete surveys throughout the research. Your child will participate in class discussions and activities pertaining to character education. All information will be kept confidential and student identify along with school information will remain anonymous Please Sign and Return Childs name______________________________________________ ( ) I give my child permission to participate in this anonymous research study. ( ) I do not give my child permission to participate in this anonymous research study. Parent/Guardian signature-________________________________ Date____________

19 Appendix B Parent and Staff Survey 1 Questions Strongly agree AgreeDisagree Strongly disagree Undecided I am usually comfortable discussing issues of right and wrong with my students/child When a child has been exposed to negative influences at home, I do not believe that I can do much to impact that childs character I am confident in my ability to be a good role model Teachers are usually not responsible when a child becomes more courteous When a student shows greater respect for others, it is usually because teachers have effectively modeled that trait I am usually at a loss as to how to help a child be more responsible

20 Appendix B Parent and Staff Survey 1 continued… Questions Strongly agree AgreeDisagree Strongly disagree Undecided I know how to use strategies that might lead to positive changes in students character I am not sure that I can teach my students/child to be honest When students demonstrate diligence it is often because teachers have encouraged the students to persist with tasks Teachers who spend time encouraging students to be respectful of others will see little change in students social interaction When I have a student who lies regularly, I can usually convince him/her to stop lying

21 Appendix B Parent and Staff Survey 1 continued… Questions Strongly agree AgreeDisagree Strongly disagree Undecided Some students will not become more respectful even if they have had teachers/parents who promote respect If students are inconsiderate, it is often because teachers/parent have not sufficiently modeled this trait If responsibility is not encouraged in a childs home, teachers will have little success teaching this trait at school I often find it difficult to persuade a student that respect for others is important When a student becomes more compassionate, it is usually because teachers have created a caring classroom environment

22 Appendix B Parent and Staff Survey 1 continued… Questions Strongly agree AgreeDisagree Strongly disagree Undecided Teaching students what honesty is results in students who are most honest Teachers are often at fault when students are dishonest Teachers who encourage responsibility at school can influence students level of responsibility outside of school I am continually finding better ways to develop the character of my students/child Milson, A., & Mehlig,L. (2002). Elementary School Teachers Sense of Efficacy for Character Education. Journal of Educational Research, 96(1), 50-51


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