The purpose of this study is to address the gap between the available wealth of resources and the dearth of character education currently in practice at the high school level by investigating if secondary teachers' knowledge of character education information, their beliefs toward character education preparation and their perceived role as an educator relates to their use of character education practices on the school campus and in their own classrooms. The participants consisted of 103 secondary teachers employed in six comprehensive high schools in an urban Southern California city. The researcher developed The Character Education Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices survey instrument to collect data for this non-experimental correlational study.
Descriptive statistics and frequency scores found that teachers are not familiar with existing character education information, strongly believe in their role as character educators, strongly believe that preparation would enhance their practice, and do not frequently practice character education school wide strategies but frequently practice character education in their classrooms. Multiple regression analyses found teachers' school wide practice of character education to be significantly associated with their knowledge of character education information. Two-way analysis of variance tests found no differences exist between gender groups and years of teaching experience for any of the variables except in the case of classroom practices which found a significant interaction effect between males teaching eight to 15 years and males teaching 16 years or more.
The implications of this study highlight the importance of recognizing teachers' strong beliefs in their role to educate for character and their perspectives toward the value of preparation to enhance the practice of character education. The results not only clarity the gap that exists between theory and practice of character education but also suggest that more prevalent opportunities to educate teachers and future teachers in character education may be the next step to move toward a more comprehensive approach to character education.
|Advisor:||Jeynes, William H.|
|Commitee:||Kim, Simon, Mayhugh, COnnie|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 75/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Secondary education|
|Keywords:||Character education, Curriculum development, Multiple regression, Secondary teachers, Survey instrument|
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