Date of Award

Summer 6-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom

Second Advisor

Dr. Nicole Vaux

Third Advisor

Dr. Emilie Johnson


This research study used surveys and one on one interviews conducted with substitute teachers to investigate whether character education programs in a middle school setting can be observed having a noticeable impact on school culture and climate. The study observed findings through the lens and perspectives of substitute teachers to see if guest teachers reported a significant difference in their experience between schools of character versus schools that did not practice character initiatives. The study investigated this Research Question through exploring four topics: 1) how substitute teachers described schools that are actively involved in character education versus those schools that are not; 2) how substitute teachers described students in a school of character versus students in schools that were not schools of character; 3) how substitute teachers described staff members in a school of character versus staff members that were not in schools of character; and 4) how substitute teachers described the administrative team in a school of character versus an administrative team that was not in a school of character. The research used a 22-question survey of substitute teachers (sample of 101) and select interviews (6) to investigate them. Findings from the research showed differences in buildings’ atmosphere, student behavior, staff morale, staff behavior, and administrative support in schools that practiced character education compared to those buildings where character education was not practiced.


Copyright 2020