Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In-Service Teachers’ Understanding and Teaching of Humane Education Before and After a Standards-Based Intervention

Stephanie Itle-Clark, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

The purpose of this study was to examine the ways in which credentialed educators conceptualized, understood, and perceived humane education, as well as their intent to include humane education in personal practice and their knowledge of strategies for integrating humane education concepts into their classroom work. The group of 25 educators participated in an online eight-week professional development course and completed pre- and post-surveys. The participants consisted of educators from the United States, British Columbia, and Vietnam. Participants were 11 secondary educators, 10 primary educators, 2 substitute teachers, 1 administrator, and 1 librarian. Results indicate that after an eight-week professional development intervention, participants had a greater understanding of humane education and an increased intent to include humane concepts in their practice, as well as increased knowledge of strategies for integrating humane concepts into their personal work. Results show that while the educators did not have an understanding of humane education at the beginning of the study, the humane themes resonated with their desire to engage students and to teach prosocial behaviors. A recommendation is for educators to receive humane education professional development that aligns with reform models and standards-based education in order to increase their knowledge of strategies and to infuse humane education into traditional pedagogy. (Contains 15 tables.)

Keywords: humane education, prosocial education, professional development, moral development, character development

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