School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Clarence Holland


character, education, ethics, evolution, morality, religion


Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Religion


The history of the United States demonstrates a complicated relationship between civil or national religion and the formation of the common schools. This dissertation uses purposive sampling, survey methodology and description research of a local, public school district with noted high scores on character education. The research uses a Likert scale to document educators' perception of success or failure of character education in relation to religion. In the school district, four schools were chosen for their high scores in character education implementation. A purposive sample of 100 participants was provided an email link to a secure, anonymous, online survey. The ten-question survey included a comment section enabling the participant to elaborate on each question. The minimal twenty responses returned from participants indicated an overall perception of the success of character education pedagogy to be minimal. While most participants affirmed the source of ethics to be biological evolution, they strongly believed character should be taught. However, there was no consensus on character education curriculum, pedagogy or methodology. The majority of participants indicated character education would be better served in conjunction with an emphasis upon comparative religion as a means of teaching character.