Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor's Name

Mohammed K. Farouk

Advisor's Title

Committee Co-Chair

Advisor's Name

Linda Spears-Bunton

Advisor's Title

Committee Co-Chair

Advisor's Name

Aisha Y. Musa

Advisor's Name

Hilary Landorf

Advisor's Name

Carole Boyce Davies

Keywords

Character Education, Muslim School, Curriculum, Integration, Character Traits, Morality, Character

Date of Defense

7-8-2011

Abstract

Deteriorating social behavior, negative media influence and violence among adolescents have given cause to pause and assess character development for the youth of this country. The purpose of this case study was to examine how a Muslim school’s curricula implemented character education. This study used a qualitative single-case methodology to examine character education as it was experienced by the participants in a private Muslim school.

Data were collected from participant interviews, document analysis, and observations of classrooms, daily activities and special events. Data were analyzed to determine how character education was defined by the school, the method of delivery for the character education initiatives and the implementation of character education in this Muslim school. Analysis was based on Character Education Partnership’s (CEP) Eleven Principles of Effective Character Education (2007). The results of the study revealed: (a) participants defined character education using varied traits, processes, and expected behaviors. (b) The school delivers its character education curriculum primarily through the Islamic studies division; an add-on delivery method. Still, there was evidence of partial integration of character education in the core courses and (c) based on CEP’s Eleven Principles four were present and five were partially present in the school’s character education initiatives. Findings also revealed that the school’s emphasis on values, morality and spirituality was instrumental in their teaching character.

Findings suggest that if participants in the school community work together they might formulate a definition of character education based on common process and expected behavior and create a collaborative working relationship to implement a character education program. Finally, addressing the absent and partially absent elements of the eleven principles could enhance the school’s character education initiatives. The study provides a process by which religious schools could examine their character education programs. The criteria used to measure the use of character education elements are transferable to other settings; however, this method of study does not allow generalization of findings.

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