Date of Award

2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Adam Kosnitzky

Second Advisor

Carole Warshaw

Third Advisor

William Leary

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the benefits of a peace curriculum and the social interactive behavior of preschool children as measured by the Devereux Early Childhood Assessment Program (DECA) and societal factors. The ultimate goal of this study was to determine under what societal conditions would a preschool child, who is exposed to a peace curriculum, display less aggressive behavior. Furthermore, this research investigation explored which personal structure factors were impacted by this type of intervention.

Methodology: The study's sample included two preschools in SE Florida. All participants came from families of moderately high to high socioeconomic status (SES). On alternating days, the researcher spent eight consecutive weeks at each school and used the Kaplan DECA as the tool that assessed each student during the last four weeks. The researcher did not implement the Lessons in Living Curriculum but merely assessed the effects of the intervention in the form of a survey observation study.

The information gathered from the DECA was analyzed using a Hostelling T Multiple Analysis of Variance (MANOVA). This study addressed which pre-school children that displayed more aggressive behavior when exposed to a peace curriculum and which pre-school children that displayed more aggressive behavior when not exposed to a peace curriculum and analyzed the findings using a Multiple Regression Model.

Major Findings: Based on the findings in this study, birth order proved to be a predictor of aggressive behavior in preschool children. The relationship of behavior concerns and total protective factors to aggressive behavior proved to be significant issues for researchers to address in the development of preschool children.

The researcher found, based on the findings of this study, the Lessons in Living curriculum to be effective at this age level, at this particular site. The social aggressive interaction behavior, based on the DECA scores, were lower at site A where the intervention took place.

The researcher concluded that the results of this study suggested when a peace curriculum is initiated and implemented at the inception of a preschool program, it has a high success rate of lowering aggressive behavior resulting in desired behavior.

 
 

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