Goma curriculum, a character education paradigm: Composing a text for shaping classroom character culture

Alicia D Ritchey, Florida International University


The written text, and approaches to reading it, serves well as an analogy for the classroom space as a "text" that teachers are able to compose; and students are able to read, interpret meaning(s) of, and make responses to and about (Rosenblatt, 1988). Researchers point to ways in which the classroom can be conceptualized as a text to be evoked, experienced, and read (Freire & Macedo, 1987; Powell, 2009; Rosenblatt, 1988; Spears-Bunton & Powell, 2009). The present study analyzed secondary data including: 10 transcripts of teacher talks and six self-reports retrieved from the program evaluation archives of DOR Foundation. The data described six teachers' classroom experiences subsequent to professional development centered on Goma character education curriculum that was used during a summer youth program located in South Georgia. Goma, an acronym that stands for Goal, Objective, Method, and Attitude, is a character education paradigm derived from The Inclusive Community Building Ellison Model, the theoretical framework used for this study. The Model identifies conflict resolution as one of its five foci (Hunt, Howard, & Rice, 1998). Hunt (2006) conceived Goma as part of a 7-Step unitary process, also named the 7-Step pathway, to demonstrate how conflict resolution is accomplished within a variety of contexts. Analysis of the data involved: (a) a priori coding of teacher talks transcripts using the components of the Goma 7-Step pathway as coding categories, (b) emergent coding of teacher talks transcripts for the types of experiences teachers evidenced, and (c) emergent coding of teachers' self-reports for categories of teachers' instructional activities. Results of the study showed positive influence of Goma curriculum on participating teachers and their instructional practices. Teachers were shown to have had cognitive, instructional, emotional, and social experiences that were most evident when they reported changes in their attitudes toward their students, themselves, and their instructional practices. The present study provided implications for classroom teachers wherein all aspects of teachers' instructional practices can be guided by principles of positive character; and can be used to help compose the kinds of "texts" that may likely contribute to a classroom character culture.

Subject Area

Instructional Design|Curriculum development

Recommended Citation

Ritchey, Alicia D, "Goma curriculum, a character education paradigm: Composing a text for shaping classroom character culture" (2012). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3554203.