School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Amy Jones


character, Christian education, children, development, biblical worldview, morals


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the parents’ experiences with their children's character education. The central research question for this study was the following: What are the parents’ experiences with their child’s character education? The two subsequent research questions were: (a) What are the perceived critical factors experienced by the parents influencing their child’s character education process? (b) What are the perceived obstacles experienced by the parents hindering their child’s character education and development? The central phenomenon of the study included 12 parental participants at a private elementary school in South Asia. The central phenomenon was generally defined as the character education factors for elementary school children. The primary theory guiding this study was Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) Ecological System, which postulated that human development interaction between people and their environment greatly influences their behavior with parents, family, friends, and school. Bronfenbrenner’s theory provided an ecological analysis of children’s moral education influences from multiple environmental perspectives. The data collection was from two surveys, interviews, and a focus group. NVivo Qualitative Data Analysis Software (Q-DAS) was utilized to perform data analysis. Moustakas’s (1994) phenomenological research process of seven steps guided this data analysis. The results of the study identified several themes in relationship to the research questions. The major themes discovered were parental commitment/involvement, parental experiences, and school/education. Additional research is required about the universal common virtues and practical application of character education curriculum, and there is an extreme absence of research literature addressing children’s character education in developing regions of the world.