Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Patricia A. Heiselberg

Committee Member

Carolyn S. Buckenmaier

Committee Member

Ronald J. Chenail


This program evaluation, which used the context-input-process-product program evaluation model (Stufflebeam, 2003, 2010), was implemented within a suburban elementary school. The problem addressed through the evaluation was that the Habits of Mind program (Costa & Kallick, 2000a, 2000b, 2009b), which was implemented as the character education program at the study site in the 2008-2009 academic year, had not been evaluated. By conducting the study, the researcher evaluated the program to determine its effectiveness in promoting academic achievement and appropriate school behaviors. By conducting the evaluation, the researcher identified 4 findings suggesting that the (a) need exists to ensure the fidelity with which the intervention is implemented, (b) academic performance of students in Grades 3 and 4 improved while the intervention was ongoing, (c) behavioral performance of students in kindergarten through Grade 3 improved during program implementation, and (d) viability of sustaining and implementing a character development program with integrity will require the concerted effort of all staff members. Recommendations for educational practice are to (a) continue implementing the Habits of Mind program (Costa & Kallick, 2000a, 2000b, 2009b), (b) include members of the support team and parents in a training event during the present school year, and (c) provide ongoing training to teachers as well as recognition of related practices noted through supervisory observations. It is further recommended that the school principal identify a viable approach for assisting members of the school leadership team in the development of skills for recognizing and managing the conflict presently occurring among teachers. It is also recommended that members of the leadership team address the stated concerns of teachers in their questionnaire responses. Two recommendations for future research were identified. First, it is recommended that additional research on Habits of Mind at nearby elementary schools be conducted to determine the integral processes through which the program is implemented within other settings. Second, it is recommended that the level of student understanding involving the 16 components of Habits of Mind be identified and then the findings be used to guide future program development.