School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Kathie Morgan

Primary Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature


children's literature, Newbery Award, character traits


Teacher Education and Professional Development


The purpose of this study was to determine the character example elements in the Newbery Award winning books from 1997-2007. Content analysis was used to identify the pertinent character traits identified by the researcher using the acronym C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R. These example elements include: (a) caring/compassionate, (b) helpfulness, (c) acceptance, (d) respect, (e) ambition, (f) citizenship, (g) trustworthiness, (h) encouragement, and (i) responsibility. Using a coding system developed for this study, four readers read and discussed the books to attempt consensus as to the character traits identified. The researcher sought answers to the following questions: (a) Do the Newbery Award winning books from 1997-2007 reveal example elements of character education as specified by the acronym C.H.A.R.A.C.T.E.R.? (b) What are the predominant character example elements in the Newbery Award winning books between 1997 and 2007? (c) Who displays these character example elements in the literature? (d) Does the protagonist exhibit certain example elements? (e) How are these character example elements portrayed in the books? (f) What are the frequencies of the positive character traits? (g) What are the frequencies of the negative counterparts of the character traits? (h) How many pages are devoted to expressing the positive character traits? (i) Which books could be recommended for teachers to use to meet guidelines for teaching character education as outlined by federal legislation? Frequency lists were kept for each character trait for the entire sample and for each individual book.