Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Nancy Dishner

Committee Members

W. Hal Knight, Louise L. MacKay, Elizabeth Ralston


In recent years there has been an increase in the number of children committing extreme acts of violence prompting many schools to adopt and implement character education programs. Character education has been defined as educating students to understand, act upon, and care about universal virtues like respect, truthfulness, responsibility, and caring. There are many character education programs available from which a school's staff can choose. The LIFESKILLS and Lifelong Guidelines program is one that focuses on producing a caring community of responsible citizens for life.

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to evaluate the perceptions of students, teachers, and parents regarding the value of a character education program that was implemented in 2003 at a public elementary school located in a small urban area in East Tennessee. In order to gather data, teachers and students participated in one-on-one interviews and parents completed openended surveys.

The findings from this study suggested that the LIFESKILLS and Lifelong Guidelines program has had a positive effect on the school participating in the study. Students explained that the program has helped them and that they use the LIFESKILLS and Lifelong Guidelines at home and school. Teachers perceived the program to be a beneficial addition to the school’s curriculum. Parents perceived the program as valuable and reported their children discussing the LIFESKILLS and Lifelong Guidelines at home. The teacher and parent participants gave several 3 suggestions for improving the program including: further staff development, additional information being sent to parents, and meeting the goal of having consistent use and implementation of the program on a school-wide basis.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.