Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

School of Education

Abstract

The study's purpose was to examine student and teacher perceptions of classroom meetings by using the lessons in Social Decision Making/Social Problem Solving (SDM/SPS)--as prescribed by Elias and Butler (2005). The research problem determined whether SDM/SPS lessons taught in classroom meetings were a good strategy to teach character education.

The study quantitatively measured participant perceptions of classroom meetings regarding the classroom environment while implementing the character education program SDM/SPS. First, students' perceptions of classroom meetings, where their classroom teacher teaches SMD/SPS lessons within the context of classroom meetings, were quantitatively measured using a survey. Second, teachers responded to a survey to identify their perceptions of students' behavior/character traits. Finally, students' perceptions of their peers were measured using a quantitative survey to identify students' perceptions of their peers' behavior/character traits.

The research questions were: (1) What is the relationship between students' attitudes toward classroom meetings, where their classroom teacher teaches SMD/SPS lessons within the context of classroom meetings, and students' perceptions of the character/behavior traits of their peers? (2) What is the relationship between teachers' perceptions of students' behavior/character traits and students' perceptions of their peers' behavior/character traits where their classroom teacher teaches SMD/SPS lessons within the context of classroom meetings? (3) What is the relationship between students' attitudes toward classroom meetings and teachers' perceptions of students' behavior and character traits where their classroom teacher teaches SMD/SPS lessons within the context of classroom meetings?

Findings revealed that classroom meetings are an effective tool to teach character education, where the classroom teacher teaches SDM/SPS lessons within the context of classroom meetings, as measured by students' perceptions of their peers' character traits and teachers' perceptions of students' behavior and character traits.

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