Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education (MAE)



First Advisor

Susan E Olson

Second Advisor

Gretchen Irvine

Abstract awkward time in your life when you have an abundant amount of energy, hormones are amuck, relationships are budding, identities are forming, rebellion flourishing, developmental changes, boundaries are being explored, and a passion to conquer dreams. It sounds captivating and exciting but it's a time of life that most adults would not want to return to if given the opportunity. Adolescent years can be an influx of the best of times and the worst of times. It is filled with numerous emotional, physical, and mental changes beginning at infancy. As teens learn to harness this energy and handle these experiences, their life can be laden with stress and uncertainty. It is no secret that some of the decisions teens make present a challenge to parents, school systems, communities, and ultimately, our society. Today's students need to be equipped with fundamental character traits. For youth, these traits are not always readily apparent and easy to grasp or learn. The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the concept of character education and how it fits in the home environment as well as the school environment. The research is based on a case study of a suburban school and the perspectives of parents, educators, students, and administration in regards to character education, its definition, purpose, current programming, level of importance and the direct/indirect impact character education has on students.


SC 11.MAE.2007.Hillier.K