Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Erskine Dottin

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Gail Gregg

Third Advisor's Name

Linda Spears-Bunton

Fourth Advisor's Name

Thomas Reio

Keywords

Perceptions, Character, Character Education, Teaching Methods, Seventh-day Adventist school, Respect, Integrating Faith and Learning, Integrity, Ownership of Values

Date of Defense

11-9-2012

Abstract

Character education has been viewed by many educators as having significant

historical, academic, and social value. Many stakeholders in education argue for

character development as a curricular experience. While understanding the degree to

which character education is of worth to stakeholders of institutions is important,

understanding students, teachers, and administrators perspectives from their lived

experiences is likewise significant.

The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain a deeper understanding

of character education within a Biblical framework environment by examining the lived

experiences of students, administrators, and teachers of a Seventh-day Adventist

School. Phenomenology describes individuals’ daily experiences of phenomena, the

manner in which these experiences are structured, and focuses analysis on the

perspectives of the persons having the experience (Moustakas, 1994). ). This inquiry

was undertaken to answer the question: What are the perceptions of students, teachers,

and an administrator toward character education in a Seventh-day Adventist school

setting?

Ten participants (seven students and three adults) formed the homogeneous

purposive sample, and the major data collection tool was semi-structured interviews

(Patton, 1990; Seidman, 2006). Three 90-minute open-ended interviews were

conducted with each of the participants. Data analysis included a three-phase process of

description, reduction and interpretation.

The findings from this study revealed that participants perceived that their

involvement in the school’s character education program decreased the tendency to

violence, improved their conduct and ethical sensibility, enhanced their ability to

engage in decision-making concerning social relationships and their impact on others,

brought to their attention the emerging global awareness of moral deficiency, and

fostered incremental progress from practice and recognition of vices to their acquisition

of virtues. The findings, therefore, provide a model for teaching character education

from a Seventh-day Adventist perspective. The model is also relevant for non-Seventh

day Adventists who aspire to teach character education as a means to improving social

and moral conditions in schools.

Identifier

FI12120401

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