Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Kelly Sadlovsky

Second Reader

Professor Elisabeth Amirahmadi


character education, social and emotional learning (SEL), pre-kindergarten (PK), values education


The outcomes of teaching character education in pre-kindergarten (PK) classrooms were researched for this paper. Challenging behaviors have become commonplace in PK classrooms; Edge, Rose, Honeycutt, McKelvey, Swindle, Courson, and Forsman (2018) reported more than 40% of early educators surveyed had suspended at least one child during the previous year. With changes in family structure, the rise in violent acts, and other ethical issues in society it has become necessary for schools to teach values that will help lead children to academic success and keep children in classrooms (Heidari, Nowrozi, & Ahmadpoor, 2016). Research was analyzed to report the effectiveness of including character education in a PK classroom. Evidence showed teaching character education and/or social and emotional skills helped children be successful in kindergarten and beyond. Furthermore, research showed positive outcomes had lasting effects in decreasing aggression, increasing pro-social behaviors, and reducing criminal activities (Heckman, Pinto, and Savelyev, 2013).