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ERIC Number: ED527609
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 233
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-0245-9
Similarities and Differences of Preferred Traits in Character Education Programs by Ethnicity and Class According to Parents, Faculty/Staff, and Students at Two Middle Schools in California
Boen, Jennifer
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
This study provides two perspectives on the various character traits provided by character education programs by comparing the voices of minority and lower-lower middle class stakeholders with those of upper middle class stakeholders. The literature on the values and virtues based approaches to moral development and character education were studied initially. Examination of character education programs in use and the identification of character traits they promote was conducted. A survey was developed based on the traits emphasized in specific programs. The survey was administered at two schools, representing a high socioeconomic and a low socioeconomic school. Parents, sixth grade students, and faculty/staff, at two middle schools in California were asked to select the ten character traits they believed were most important for students to know. Frequency distributions of the top ten and bottom ten preferred traits were determined for the two schools' total sample populations, ethnicities, and positions (parent, student, faculty/staff). Data were analyzed according to (a) school; (b) position (parents, students, faculty/staff); (c) ethnicity; (d) ethnicity and position; and (e) school, ethnicity, and position. Notable patterns between ethnicity, position, and class were found. The data analysis revealed that preferred character traits varied by class and ethnicity. In the lower middle class, participants indicated a preference toward character traits considered "conservative" in the literature. In the white upper middle class, participants selected more "liberal" values. All stakeholders had the same top three desired traits which is consistent with the literature, (a) Respect, (b) Responsibility, and (c) Honesty. Major differences with the literature were evident in minority and lower middle class preferences. Minority and lower middle class preferences differed from the literature more than that of whites in the upper middle class. For example, Respect for Law and Order was among the ten most frequently chosen traits for parents and students at the lower middle class school but in the bottom ten for parents and faculty staff at the upper middle class school. Major findings are reported as well as suggestions for future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 6; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California