Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


Moral education; Students--United States--Conduct of life; Respect for persons; Sixth grade (Education);


The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a pilot character education program, called BOOMERANG, on students' reported attitudes and behaviors of six character constructs. The subjects consisted of 80 sixth-grade students enrolled in a small Midwestern town during the 1995-96 school year who were randomly assigned to an experimental group and a control group.

The intervention consisted of a 16-week character education program led by trained high-school students for a weekly, 30-minute session, using a pilot character education curriculum designed by the researcher. The intervention program consisted of six character traits: (a) caring, (b) citizenship, (c) fairness, (d) respect, (e) responsibility, and (f) trustworthiness.

Data were collected through a student questionnaire, focus-group interviews, and student journals, using a pre/post experimental design. Results of the questionnaire showed statistical significance in the area of respect favoring the experimental group as compared to the control group. However, no statistical significance was found between the experimental and control groups in the character traits of caring, citizenship, fairness, responsibility, and trustworthiness.

The qualitative data from focus-group interviews and student journals showed that the students in the experimental group demonstrated knowledge of, and more positive attitudes about, the six character traits introduced in the character education program. The data revealed that students also gained in their ability to apply the six character traits to real-life situations.

Due to the complexity of character development, the findings of this study suggest a possible hierarchy to the development of the six traits, with respect being the foundation.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education


Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations

First Advisor

Radhi H. Al-Mabuk


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Date Original


Object Description

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