Publication Date

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Counselor Education

First Advisor



This document defines character and character education, as it applies to the school setting. It explores the history and purpose of character education, the impact that character education has had on school violence, programmatic attempts at character education, and the strengths and weaknesses associated with character education programs. The researcher also identifies developmental targets and explains the role of the school counselor in implementing character education. The researcher sought out to determine the core values that were being incorporated and the teachers’ perceptions of the character education program at the middle and high school level. This project took place at a rural public school in Livingston County, located approximately 20 miles southwest of Rochester, NY. The individuals who were selected to participate were employed as full-time teachers in the middle and high school. Teachers were asked to provide their perceptions of the character education program in regards to planning and implementation. Overall, teachers indicated that they were supportive of the program and were successfully able to teach, demonstrate, and model the behaviors that they expected their students to exhibit. Teachers identified several core values that were being incorporated into their classroom curricula, but integrity, responsibility, and respect were identified as being the most significant.