HEARTWOOD. Program Description

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1 HEARTWOOD Heartwood, an Ethics Curriculum for Children, is a read- aloud literature- based curriculum, aims to teach elementary school students seven universal attributes of good character. Lessons and home assignments are organized around multicultural stories. The program activities are designed to connect the experiences of characters in the stories to students' own lives. Heartwood Ethics Curriculum for Children also includes integration of character education themes across curricular topics and parental notification and involvement, optional parts of the implementation of this program. Program Description Target Population Pre K-6 Distributor Heartwood Institute, Pittsburgh, PA Goals/Mission/Target outcomes To research and develop effective literature-based ethics education resources for children, teachers and families, enabling them to improve ethical understanding and behavior and build strong learning environments in classrooms and schools. Delivery Agents Classroom teachers. Intervention Strategies Developmentally appropriate stories that involve critical themes are used to teach ethical vocabulary to build character, to inspire, to motivate and to nurture hope for the future. Story characters provide role models for ethical behavior. Multicultural literature is used to foster respect for others. Story time is enhanced with lesson cards including summaries, questions, activities and writing assignments, activities, writing, home connections and on-line support. Date of origin 1986 Developer Eleanore Childs, a criminal defense attorney, and several classroom teachers. Initial Mission To promote understanding and practice of courage, loyalty, justice, respect, hope, honesty and love. Material purchases Books, curriculum, maps and posters

2 Staff development Professional development program that guides teachers in conducting their own collegial seminars using videos, internet resources, on-line consulting and shared classroom practices. Helps teachers build skills and integrate character education with curriculum and standards. Training workshops. Or, Self-training for orientation to the program and basic tools to implement the curriculum. Research Leming, J.S., Hendricks-Smith, A., Antis, J. (2000). An Evaluation of the Heartwood Institute s An Ethics Curriculum for Children. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, March 28, Study 1. Sample size Comparison group Longitudinal Change Assessment Statistical test of Significance Publication Implementation Scientific Quality Adequate Partial or unclear basis for assignment Pretest/posttest design but no delayed posttest Statistical tests and significance reported Peer reviewed Implementation assessed Acceptable Research Questions What is the effect of the program upon the student s knowledge and understanding of character as outlined in the curriculum s seven attributes of character (ethical understanding)? What is the effect of the program upon the student s emotional responsiveness and inclination toward actions consistent with the program s seven attributes of character (ethical sensibility)? How does the program impact the student s ethical conduct? How do teachers, students, parents and administrators perceive the program? Do character-related dimensions of teachers classroom account for a significant proportion of the variance in selected dependent variables?

3 Methods Conducted in two school districts Pennsylvania and Illinois -- with 965 elementary school students participating during the school year. Four schools in total were studied, with 602 students at the two Pennsylvania sites and 361 at the two Illinois sites. Curriculum administered to students in grades 1-6. In both districts, one school served as the program and one served as the comparison. Pre-test was administered to both program and comparison students at the beginning of the program at the beginning of the academic year. A post-test was administered to both groups at the end of the program, at the end of the same academic year. Instruments were designed to measure the following cognitive, affective and behavioral domains: (Due to age differences among the students, two different formats were designed to measure the following outcomes: One for grades 1-3 and one for grades 4-6) o Ethical understanding (the student s understanding of the vocabulary of the seven attributes of character) -- A questionnaire was read to students in grades 1-3 and a sentence completion writing task was used for grades 4-6. o Ethical sensibility (the student s expression of preference for actions that exemplify the seven character attributes) -- A questionnaire was read in grades1-3 and self-reported questionnaire was used in grades 4-6. o Ethical conduct (selected dimensions of the student s character-related behavior) -- Teachers completed a Behavior Rating Scale about each student pre- and post-test. An improbable achievement test was administered to measure deceit. School disciplinary reports were also used. Ethnocentrism Social-distance measure. The following were also analyzed: o Participants perceptions of program -- End-of-year interviews with teachers and students. o Classroom climate -- Classroom observers completed rating form to permit comparisons among teachers and classrooms. Analysis related classroom variables -- curricular substructure, teacher characteristics of moral character and expressiveness, curricular emphasis, and interpersonal relations to changes in student behavior. Result Ethical understanding: o Grades 1-3: scores for both program and control students went down between pre- and posttests, but the scores went down significantly less for program students than controls. o Grades 4-6: scores for both program and control students went up between pre- and post-tests, but the scores went up significantly more for program students. Ethical sensibility: o Grades 1-3: no discernable difference was seen between program and control groups. o Grades 4-6: control students had significantly higher scores at post-test than program students. Ethical conduct (reported by teachers about their students): o Grades 1-3: both teachers of program and comparison students reported higher levels of ethical conduct by post-test, but significantly lower rates of ethical conduct were reported at post-test by teachers of program students than the teachers of control students. o Grades 4-6: teachers of program and control students reported higher levels of ethical conduct, but teachers of program students reported significantly higher levels of ethical conduct at posttest than the teachers of control students. Deceit: No statistical difference between program and control students. Disciplinary reports: At the control schools, disciplinary referrals increased 10% from the year before the study. At the program school, disciplinary referrals decreased by 50% from the previous year. Ethnocentrism o Grades 1-3: program students scored significantly higher than control students on post-test.

4 o Grades 4-6: no statistical significance was found between program and control students on posttest. Participants perceptions of program o Teachers reported spontaneous use of the program s vocabulary by students. o Teachers reported that students demonstrated an ability to identify and relate program attributes to daily practices in the school. o Teachers reported that students frequently demonstrated character-related behavior. o When asked about a random selection of books included in the curriculum, students recalled details of the story and were able to name the character attributes described in the story. o Student comments about the program were positive, though older students in grades 5 and 6 were less positive. Classroom climate o Teacher characteristics of moral character and expressiveness and curricular emphasis made statistically significant contributions to changes in student behavior above the other variables. o The largest proportion of this variance was due to teacher characteristics of moral character and expressiveness. Study 2. Leming, J.S., Silva, D.Y., (2001) A Five Year Follow-Up Evaluation of the Effects of the Heartwood Ethics Curriculum on the Development of Children s Character. Unpublished manuscript. Sample size Comparison group Longitudinal Change Assessment Statistical test of Significance Publication Implementation Scientific Quality Marginal Partial or unclear basis for assignment Pretest/posttest design but no delayed posttest Statistical tests and significance reported Unpublished but with complete methodological report Implementation unconfirmed Acceptable Notes: 1. Follow-up study of An Evaluation of the Heartwood Institute s An Ethics Curriculum for Children (Leming et al. 2000). 2. Because the school district implemented the program in all schools between the time of the early study and the current study, the control students in the current study had received one year of program instruction at the time of the current study. 3. There are two parts to this study: Qualitative and Quantitative.

5 Research questions for Quantitative Study: (Using data from only the panel group) Among program students who received five years of training in the program and comparison students who received only one year of training in the program, were there any statistically significant differences among cognitive, affective and behavioral variables? (Using data from only the panel group) Among program and comparison students, were there any statistically significant patterns of change on selected variables over five years? (Using data from the cohort group) Among 5 th grade cohorts were there statistically significant differences on selected variables at the two times the questionnaire was administrated? Methods Data were collected at the end of the academic year from 5 th grade students at two schools in Pennsylvania one school where program students had completed five years of program training and the other where control students had received only one year of program training. The Illinois schools from the earlier study were not included in the current study. In the original study, 603 students in grades 1-6 from two Pennsylvania schools were studied of which 86 were 1 st graders 42 in the program school and 44 in the control school. In the current study, there were 43 5 th grade students in the program school and 80 5 th graders in the control school who filled out questionnaires at the end of the academic year. Two sets of students participated in the current study: The cohort group consisting of all students completing questionnaires in the current and in the earlier study; and the panel group consisting of only those students completing questionnaires in the 1 st grade in the early study and in the 5 th grade in the current study. o There were 23 students in the panel sample. Following the earlier study s same general hypothesis, character-related data was collected on cognitive, affective and behavioral variables. The following instruments represent a mix of measures used in the original study as well as new ones. o Cognitive: Student s understanding of character attributes measured by sentence-completion task. o Affective: Student s trust and respect for teachers measured by scale that assess students feelings about whether teachers are trustworthy, supportive, fair and consistent. Sense of school as community measured by scale that assessed whether students felt their school was supportive, welcoming and safe. Concern for others measured by scale that assessed student s desire to help other people and their concern for other people Ethnocentrism measured by variation of social distance measure. o Behavioral: Deceit tested using an improbable achievement test Altruistic behavior tested using self-report of their own behavior that helped others. Results First Research Question (Panel group only) o Understanding of character attributes: No significant differences between program and control students. o Trust and respect for teachers: Program students demonstrated significantly higher levels than control students.

6 o Sense of school as community: No significant differences between program and control students. o Concern for others: No significant difference between program students and controls. o Ethnocentrism: No significant difference between program students and controls. o Deceit test: Comparison students displayed lower level of deceit than program students. Second research question (Panel group only, compares changes over time in ethnocentrism and deceit only, because only the instruments used for ethnocentrism and deceit were the same in both studies). o Forty percent drop in ethnocentrism in both program and control groups. o No statistical drop in deceit rate in program or control students. Third research question (Cohort groups, compares changes over time in ethnocentrism and deceit). o When ethnocentrism scores of all 5 th graders in the original study are compared with the scores of all 5 th graders in the current study, program students in current study scored 53.7% lower than program students in earlier study. Control students in current study scored 3.9% lower than control students in earlier study. o Program students (64%) and control students (46%) in current study cheated at a higher level than the program (44%) and control (10%) students in the earlier study. Research questions for Qualitative Study: In what ways do teachers of the program conceive of and experience character education? How do students in the program conceive of and experience character education? How are the conceptions and experiences of students in the program different from or similar to comparison students? Methods The unit of analysis was teachers who facilitated the program for five years, 5 th grade students who participated in the program for five years and 5 th grade students who participated in the program for one year. Teachers were interviewed about the following: o Teacher s professional beliefs. o Teacher s experiences with the program. o Teacher s professional understanding of character education. Program and control students were each divided into two groups: o Group One students with high behavior problems and low academic success. o Group Two students with low behavior problems and high academic success. Students were asked the following: o To describe the program. o To explain their impressions of its implementation. o To discuss the program s relevance to their own lives. o To identify strengths and weaknesses in the program s delivery. Results Teachers who participated in the program identified multiple reasons for embracing character education. The program was easily integrated into the classroom. The program allows teachers to include character attributes in their classroom work, helps students and teachers know each other better and engages teachers in professional self-reflection.

7 Students who participated in the program for five years were more strongly committed to the program than students who participated for one year. Students in the program for five years understood the difference between developing an understanding of the attributes in earlier years and analyzing and applying their understanding of the attributes as 5 th grade students. Students believe the program is more important to other students rather than to themselves. Students were limited in their ability to demonstrate character-related behavior, because there was a disconnect between understanding and actions. Students believe that the program would be more powerful if students had a hand in its design and implementation. Program students had a stronger understanding of the complexity of character education. Additional Information Awards and Recognition Variations Contact Information References The program is a key component in the character education programs of the National Schools of Character Awardee Achievable Dream Academy, Newport News, VA (1999) and national District of Character Awardee Mt. Lebanon School District, Pittsburgh, PA (2000). The original edition included three curriculum kits for use in grades 1 and 4, 2 and 5, 3 and 6. Current versions include seven kits spanning pre-k through 6 th grade. Heartwood Institute 220 Harmony Lane Garberville, CA Welcome Center : Education Office : Education Office Leming, J.S., Hendricks-Smith, A., Antis, J. (2000). An Evaluation of the Heartwood Institute s An Ethics Curriculum for Children. Presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, March 28, Leming, J.S., Silva, D.Y., (2001) A Five Year Follow-Up Evaluation of the Effects of the Heartwood Ethics Curriculum on the Development of Children s Character. Unpublished manuscript.

8 Outcomes Heartwood 2001 Sense of school as No impact community Heartwood 2001 Trust and respect Positive impact for teachers School- based Outcomes School- based outcomes Attachment to school Attitudes toward teachers Heartwood 2001 Deceit Negative impact Risk behavior General misbehavior Heartwood Ethical sensibility Negative impact Personal morality Heartwood Ethical sensibility - - student s expression of preference for actions that exemplify the seven character attributes No impact Personal morality Heartwood Ethical conduct - - selected Negative impact dimensions of the student s character- related behavior Heartwood Ethnocentrism No impact Heartwood Positive impact Ethnocentrism - - lowering levels of Heartwood Ethical conduct Positive impact Heartwood 2001 Concern for others No impact

9 Heartwood 2001 Ethnocentrism No impact Heartwood Ethical understanding - - student s understanding of the vocabulary of the seven attributes of character taught by program No impact Socio- moral cognition Heartwood Ethical understanding Positive impact Socio- moral cognition Heartwood 2001 Understanding of No impact character attributes Socio- moral cognition

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