The Influence of The Leader In Me Program within a Middle School in Virginia
Newell, Lisa Gayebower
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Character education has increased over the past years to build student character in such a way that students are more successful and teachers spend maximal time for classroom instruction as well as minimal time with behavioral concerns. If a student experiences positive character traits and practices success in earlier grades, then it is logical to assume that the positive habits he or she establishes will transfer into the upper grades. However, very few studies have determined whether positive habits established in early grades will continue to bring success in subsequent grades. The purpose of this study was to examine the success of students in subsequent years after they were taught character traits and 21st-century skills in elementary school using The Leader in Me program. Previous research indicates a lack of studies that measure results after students leave the program setting. The main question for this study was the following: Do middle school students who have received instruction in The Leader in Me program for two years during elementary school show more improvement on selected measures of student behavior and academics than students who have not received such instruction? In order to determine the success of the program, the researcher reviewed discipline referrals, attendance records, and cumulative grade point averages (GPA) for reading and math students in grades six and seven. Independent samples t-tests were performed on the data sets to find relationships between the treatment population who had received The Leader In Me instruction for two or more years during elementary school and the control population who had not received any instruction in The Leader in Me during elementary school. Descriptive statistics showed fewer discipline referrals for the treatment group, but the numbers were not statistically significant. The results of the study showed a significant difference in attendance between the two groups. The students who had been instructed in The Leader in Me missed significantly fewer days than those who had not been instructed. Reading and math GPA did not show a significant difference for either group.
- Doctoral Dissertations