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Full Title of Your PaperNameCapella UniversityAbstractLeave this blank until Chapter 4.It is necessary to complete the abstract after the entire project has been developed.  The abstract contains an abbreviated overview of the entire project. This overview will reference the following elements of the project:The Research Question_________________________________ The Research Problem: _____________________________________The Significance of the Study: _______________________________Theory or theories that apply to the concepts associated with the RQ: ________________A Narrative describing the qualitative approach planned, implications for stakeholders, significance to the scientific community, and a description of expected results. The abstract is one concise paragraph.Keywords: [Add keywords here.]Table of ContentsCHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………. 1Background of the Study…………………………………………………………………………….. 1Statement of the Problem……………………………………………………………………………. 1Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………………………………… 1Significance of the Study……………………………………………………………………………. 1Research Question……………………………………………………………………………………… 1Definition of Terms……………………………………………………………………………………. 1Research Design………………………………………………………………………………………… 1Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW………………………………………………………………….. 1Theoretical Orientation for the Study……………………………………………………………. 1Review of the Literature……………………………………………………………………………… 1Synthesis of the Research Findings………………………………………………………………. 1Critique of Previous Research Methods………………………………………………………… 1Summary…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 1CHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGY…………………………………………………………………………… 1Purpose of the Study…………………………………………………………………………………… 1Research Question……………………………………………………………………………………… 1Target Population………………………………………………………………………………………. 1Recruitment Strategy………………………………………………………………………………….. 1Sampling Design (purposive for qualitative) ………………………………………………… 1Procedure………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 1Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1Ethical Considerations………………………………………………………………………………… 1CHAPTER 4. EXPECTED FINDINGS/RESULTS………………………………………………….. 1CHAPTER 5. DISCUSSION…………………………………………………………………………………. 1Implications………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1Methodological Strengths and Weaknesses…………………………………………………… 1Suggestions for Future Research………………………………………………………………….. 1CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION
The debate on whether reading moral stories build characters has been an incessant one. This is the question that will be answered in this paper. The purpose of this paper is the study the above-mentioned claims. This paper involves the use of qualitative research methods. Multiple forms of data will be gathered (Narvaez, 2001). There exists a long-standing assumption that children raise their moral literacy level through the consuming content that are moral in nature is highly questionable in light of what is currently known concerning all the relevant fields, moral comprehension plus text comprehension. The assumption pushed concerning traditional character educators that children curate their moral literacy from hearing and reading moral stories is challenged by several research findings. Firstly, research regarding text comprehension shows that readers do not necessarily process texts the same way because of differences in reading skill as well as background knowledge. Moreover, moral comprehension research shows that moral arguments are processed in a different manner due to differences in moral schema development. Additionally, moral texts that are provided with moral reasoning are understood and modified in a different manner by readers who possess varying moral schemas. Lastly, children do not derive the same moral story themes that were intended by the writer. However, before delving into the relevant research one must first examining what the traditional character educators said about this topic. This is covered below (Nash, 1997).        Background of the StudyWhat do we know so far about the area of the literature that you reviewed?Character education as an independent area of research emanated from early studies carried out in the 1960s. It was spurred by repeated incidences of bullying and violence in schools (Bellous, 2009). The proposal into the study of character education led to the in-depth analysis of how character can be developed through different means. The late 1980s showed a development of the programs that were initiated to ensure character development. In the 21st century, states as well as district schools have implemented character building curriculums in their studies. The world has experienced a degradation of character over the past years (Bohlin, 2005). The extents of the degradation in youths have led to demands of three fundamental aspects in relation to character development. Firstly, human beings need good character, secondly, schools are the appropriate surroundings where character education can take place and lastly, construction of ethics in the society is dependent on the actualization of character education. For some morality ministers, interest in character education is pushed by a general perception that cultural values are decreasing in society and youth disorders are on the rise. Robert Nash even branded traditional character education advocates as declinists. According to his view, America is on its way to a catastrophe of grand proportions if nothing is done to modify the erosion of the country’s fundamental values. According to supporters of traditional character education, the consumption of virtue stories is one of the crucial pillars of moral education. These advocates contend that visibility and exposure to virtue stories possesses a formative impact on one’s moral character. Nash (1997) elaborates how declinists point out the importance of inspiring books and virtuous stories due t the fact that these texts contain the aspirations and motivations of moral heroes who are plagued with a wide array of moral conflicts. When children read these texts, they begin to learn and understand traditional moral values. This in turn leads them to latch onto these heroes and start to emulate them (Narvaez, 2001). What do you think we need to know to advance the knowledge base?Modern research has basically disconfirmed the theory of the passive reader. Readers have actually been discovered to be active learners. They tend to use their prior knowledge to allow for the strategic construction of meaning from a text. Simply put, whenever a child reads and recalls text, he/she will try to devise a coherent understanding of the text through the integration of text information with prior knowledge about the environment/world (Gill, 2009). Reading theorists have contended that schemas which are basically generalized knowledge structures that are relevant to the discourse lead the construction of the mental form of the text when one is reading. A good example of this is when someone reads the following text, “Owen looked both ways before he crossed the road”. In order for one to understand this text, the reader has to first infer several things from the common knowledge about the real world. These inferences begin with the fact that cars are driven on roads; Owen is crossing a road that has traffic on both sides; there is a high likelihood that Owen is walking; cars can be hazardous to pedestrians; Owen is crossing the road in order to get to the other side, among other types of inferences. If one did not possess such knowledge of the world then it would be hard to understand them passage and it would be even more difficult to imagine what was taking place. The set of inferences that are taken from world knowledge can be linked in the reader’s mind through a schema or an overall knowledge structure that represents “crossing a road.” The schema is activated by a stimulus configuration that is similar to previous stimuli or one’s own personal experiences (Bebeau, Rest, & Narvaez, 1999). How will this new knowledge serve the stakeholders (scientists, care providers, families, patients, institutions) that may in turn be served by implementation of new developments?Stakeholders should take into account all the points that have been made with the new research and relinquish their simplistic understanding concerning the reading of moral stories to build character. In addition to this, they should also reconsider their view concerning character itself as a collection of traits to be nurtured and developed. Such a way of viewing things does not match with the current conceptualizations that personality has or the new approaches to character education. The stakeholders have to attend to the following points:Themes can be made up by the reader but not in an easy or automatic manner. Active reading is a given.Reader acquire different types of information from a text based on their specific background e.g. expertise. Readers do not technically understand the information or message in the way the author intended it to be perceived. Moral messages are a specific kind of theme that the reader put together. They are influenced by one’s reading skills as well as their moral development. Statement of the ProblemIdentify the gap in research or the need for additional research in your area.The research done on the character development as a result of reading has been an extensive one. The relationships of handling the problems related to issues of character have been fundamentally expounded in the research. Current existing research has affirmed the premise that reading moral stories does develop characters. However, there still remains a gap in the explanation of how specific character traits can be developed from reading (Almerico, 2014). Much is unknown concerning how students derive specific themes, such as honesty and integrity from reading moral stories. Additionally, how the implement them in their daily live and whether they succeed or fail is significantly a major hiatus in the research. Researchers have to examine the specific elements that are required for the extraction of the moral theme and the manner in which student use can be facilitated. If armed with such knowledge then they will be able to study whether or not moral theme extraction is a matter that can be taught (Lickona, 2004). Purpose of the StudyThe late 1980s saw two researchers Kohlberg and Erikson delving into the study of the adolescent mind as well as the need of such a mind to function in the society (Bohlin, 2005). The character development programs that were later developed were inspired by the results of these studies which did not focus on specificity (Bellous, 2009). The result of this was that the programs were intended to address general character development and therefore, could not be used in aligning with the specific character development. Reading is one of the ways through which individuals gain knowledge. While it has been established that reading of moral stories can help in the development of character, the detachment of the specific character trait as a theme from the moral stories is a problem (Almerico, 2014). This problem deserves new research since researchers and traditional characters educators do not know how to make sure that children end up with the proper moral message of the stories they read. An inconsistency pushed by traditional educators on this matter needs to be resolved (Seefeldt, 2013). These individuals are able to advocate for teaching character and even emphasize its crucial characteristics but they are quiet on how it can be properly taught (Froh & Bono, 2014). There is an assumption that if readers are exposed to morality by way of an inspiring book then they will latch onto the concept off contact alone. While further research has evidenced the fact that reading moral stories develops moral character, there is little research which addresses the issue of moral comprehension, text comprehension and knowledge of relevant fields. The research existing with regard to the comprehension of texts proves that not everyone will understand a text in a similar manner. The differences arise because of the skill of interpretation as well as the background knowledge. For example, not every child will retain knowledge and make connecting inferences from the story they have read. Additionally, moral comprehension argues that the development of morals is understood with much reference to the development of moral representations. Therefore, what one person may construe to be morally upright, another person will construe it to be wrong. The research to answer the question of effect of reading on the established moral schemas is not sufficient. Declinists of the theory have also pushed forward the assumptions which are used by the proponents of the theory and which are not substantially proven by the research. Some of these assumptions include the fact that reading tends to be passive, that every reader will get similar information from the text, that every information intended to be received by the author will be gotten by each individual, as well as themes present in the text are easily accessible to the reader. Research asserting these assumptions are still inexistent or insufficient in augmenting the premise of the proponents of the theory that reading moral character builds morals. Significance of the Study This study will be instrumental in the development of different types of moral development stages. It is prudent to note that research has proven that while reading is one way of teaching character development, it is not efficient as it limited by the retention capabilities of the students (Almerico, 2014). Understanding theme extraction does not encompass only how themes are lifted from moral stories but also entails how they aligned with the life of the individual. This will significantly influence the relevant stakeholders to come up with stages that aim to ensure that the students achieve character development gradually. The results of this study promise to advance the scientific knowledge base demystifying theme extraction. This is matter of particular difficulty for children and strategies that will help children learn to generalize from a story need to be examined. Researchers are still unaware of what happens at the most fundamental levels. The elements that are used by a reader to generalize a lesson are still not fully known (Bebeau, Rest, & Narvaez, 1999). This study will also be instrumental in establishing the role of moral sensitivity and reasoning. Addressing these major themes will be answering the question of what can be done as well as the question of what if with regard to the question. Another area where this study will be significant will be moral motivation since this study shall focus on the personal identity of subjects and how such identities affect moral extraction. The main question with regard to this theme will be the personal conviction that led to the choice of the specific choice or action. Deductively, this study will be significant in establishing in-depth research in moral extraction, moral sensitivity and reasoning as well as moral motivation and their relationship to the research question.Research QuestionThe research question, “Does the reading of moral stories build character?” is a qualitative question. Research has shown that children do not necessarily comprehend the theme of a story as it was intended by the author. Although a large number of children can generate and even select a theme after being prompted; the choice is often wrong according to the author perspective or an adult’s. This begs the questions, “What sort of themes do children come up with/generate?”. Definition of TermsReaders are not passive adaptors or assimilators of textual data. Rather, they are actively constructing meaning through the application of their prior knowledge to the context of the text. As a result of constructive and active, reader do not leave with the same mental representation when they have read a text. There exists no good reason to suppose that children will take away the intended meaning from reading a story. Instead, it is highly likely that children will devise the meaning of story based on prior knowledge. This leads one to question whether or not moral development research has any contributions to this matter (Narvaez, 2001). Reader- A person who reads or who is fond of reading (Lewis, 2005);Passive Adaptors- A person who while reading, does not take keen notice of the writings and the deep meaning associated with the same ( Helterbran, 2009).Assimilators- A person, and especially a child, who takes up knowledge ( Helterbran, 2009).Constructive Reading- This is reading while being cognizant of the intended meaning of the author (Lewis, 2005).Morals- the intentions and decisions of a person that influences the actions of the person and which is derived from a sense that may be either good or bad ( Helterbran, 2009).Moral Development- This is the growth in the moral principles as held by an individual ( Helterbran, 2009).Research Design The research will be a qualitative research. Findings will be collected through a variety of ways or methods. Subjects of the study shall be selected from a select group of individuals with the ability to read. Content analysis will be used for analysis purposes to look at how the words and images are used. Additionally, the context in which these things are used to draw inferences concerning the underlying culture. In-depth interviews and focus groups will also be used too. All these methods will be used in accordance with the APA code of ethics. Notably, confidentiality is paramount and so is informed consent. The researcher will choose the qualitative research because it will be more elaborative of the probability of character building as a result of reading moral stories. Additionally, data from the research will be instrumental when referring to previous data on the same.The researcher while using the qualitative research will utilize the grounded theory research design. This design is chosen so as to divert away from the conventional research existing on the development of character from reading and ensure a clear understanding of the process to be able to come up with a better explanation to the same. As it has already been established, many researchers have affirmed the fact that readers do develop character from reading stories. This theory shall, therefore, use the existing knowledge on moral development to understand the concept behind moral development while trying to find logical explanations of the assumptions used by the proponents of the theory. SummaryThe purpose of this paper is to study the claims made by traditional educators concerning this matter. The assumption that children grow their moral literacy through the reading of moral stories is highly questionable in light of what is already known concerning all of the relevant fields plus text and moral comprehension. CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEWNote, this is typically the entry point for beginning the project. It is important to understand that the project is iterative. You will work on, change and refine all elements of the project. You will begin by understanding and synthesizing what is known so far in the Literature Review, (Chapter 2). Theoretical Orientation for the StudyThe Literature Review provides detailed information about theory that applies to the research topic, theory that applies to the research method, population(s) studied and key concepts under review. Seminal and current sources are analyzed and evaluated thematically. The research problem is identified. Review of the LiteratureIt is essential that the literature review be organized with reference to themes identified in articles that you have read. It is not acceptable to organize the literature review article by article or one article at a time. You need to include 5 or more current research articles for your literature review and review the research design, the research question, the research hypothesis, the sample demographics, the methodology and what instruments were given and how, the data collection and process, the data analysis procedures and the findings, the best practices and guidelines related to diversity and ethical issues. This is not an annotated bibliography. Synthesis of the Research FindingsSynthesize the research reviewed in the review of the literature section. Critique of Previous Research MethodsCritique the research reviewed in the review of the literature section. SummaryAdd a brief summaryCHAPTER 3. METHODOLOGYPurpose of the StudyThe introductory paragraph addresses the research problem or proposes to fill the gap in the literature. It includes the purpose of the proposed research and presents formally the Research Question.  The purpose is to answer the research question.  State your Research Question in the form of a question in the introductory paragraph for Chapter 3.  As you prepare this section of this chapter review the characteristics of Qualitative Research Questions: Qualitative Research questions ask for description and interpretation of phenomena through the identification of socially constructed themes and categories. Qualitative questions address concepts associated with thoughts, feelings, and actions that are not necessarily accessible with empirical methods of measurement. Qualitative data take the form of stories, narratives and observations. Qualitative questions identify the target population and phenomena under consideration. Qualitative questions do not test empirically measured data.Research Question Conclude the introductory paragraph to Chapter 3, by writing out the Research Question. Add your constructs. Target PopulationAs you describe the target population you will include:Information about the number of participants.Information about inclusion and exclusion criteria; describe how you decide who can participate in the study and who cannot.Recruitment strategySampling design (purposive for qualitative)ProcedureAs you describe the procedures you will include:Information about materials used for data collection.Information about the location where data collection takes placeInformation about the time required for data collectionInformation about the instruments used to collect data. Instruments used vary widely and can include audio and video recording equipment, pen and paper, interventions, observation journals, member-checking documents and so on, depending on the requirements indicated in the research question.Information about the order of steps taken to obtain data.Information about how data will be recorded and transferred into a transcript or documents, audio or video, ready for analysis.When using an interview guide or observation check sheet that is also included.AnalysisAnalysis describes strategies for analyzing the narratives offered by participants. Once the data has been transcribed into a format for interpretation, typically “words on the page”, and then it can be interpreted. Analysis uses strategies that interpret meaning components from words, phrases and narratives into interpreted conceptual descriptions across transcripts.Ethical ConsiderationsThe APA Code of Ethics that apply to your study and research design should be addressed, including both APA standard and principles. CHAPTER 4. EXPECTED FINDINGS/RESULTSFor the expected findings/results, use the literature reviewed in Chapter 2 To anticipate findings that are likely to result from the collection and interpretation of data. Note: that some results that are not expected are possible and should be addressed in this chapter.CHAPTER 5. DISCUSSIONImplicationsImplications of the potential results are discussed, implications for wide range of potential stakeholders is addressed, significance to the scientific community and the potential to address the research problem is discussed, limitations of the study are addressed, and suggestions for future research are offered.Methodological Strengths and WeaknessesSuggestions for Future ResearchThe suggestions for future research should close the gap on the methodological limitations. ReferencesAlmerico, G. M. (2014). Building Character through Literacy with Children’s Literature. Research in Higher Education Journal, 26.Bebeau, M. J., Rest, J. R., & Narvaez, D. (1999). Beyond the Promise: A Perspective on Research in Moral Education. Educational Researcher.Bellous, J. E. (2009). J. Russell, how children become moral selves: Building character and promoting citizenship in education. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 28(2), 189-192.Bohlin, K. (2005). Teaching character education through literature: Awakening the moral imagination in secondary classrooms. Routledge.Froh, J., & Bono, G. (2014). Making grateful kids: The science of building character. Templeton Foundation Press.Gill, D. W. (2009). Becoming Good: Building Moral Character. Intervarsity Press.Helterbran, V. R. (2009). Linking character education and global understanding through children’s picture books. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 45(2), 69-73.Lewis, B. A. (2005). What do you stand for? For teens: A guide to building character. Free Spirit Publishing.Lickona, T. (2004). Character Matters: How to Help Our Children Develop Good Judgement, Integrity and Other Essential Virtues. Simon and Schuster.Narvaez, D. (2001). Individual Differences That Influence Reading Comprehension. Reading Comprehension Instruction, 158-175.Nash, R. (1997). Answering the Virtuecrats: A Moral Conversation on Character Education. Teachers College Press.Seefeldt, A. (2013). Books Building Character.