Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2013

Thesis Advisor(s)

Catherine Little

Honors Major



Elementary Education and Teaching


This study explored preservice and practicing teachers’ perspectives on their preparation to support students’ character development and their sense of efficacy in implementing classroom practices related to this area of education. The research questions framing the study were as follows: (1) What levels of efficacy around character education do practicing and preservice elementary teachers from the same teacher preparation program report? (2) How do efficacy levels differ between practicing and preservice teachers? (3) What influences on their efficacy for character education do practicing and preservice teachers report? The study involved a survey of 79 practicing and preservice teachers, with similar group sizes between the two groups. Results overall were similar to previous research using an instrument assessing teacher efficacy for character education, with overall scores somewhat positive about teachers’ efficacy in this area. Descriptive results also suggested a possible pattern of slightly higher levels of efficacy for character education among preservice teachers as compared to practicing teachers, although the difference did not prove to be statistically significant. Teacher responses also indicated the importance of both personal and professional experiences in developing skills for supporting student development in this area.