Teaching Kids to Care: A Needs-Based Intervention to Increase Ethical Sensitivity in Schools
Abstract: Character education programming is gaining popularity in America's schools as one possible way to raise an intelligent and caring generation of students. However, many schools fail to allocate time, money, and resources to such initiatives. The present study examined the impact of an ethical sensitivity intervention in a religiously affiliated independent school. A self-report Likert scale and analytic rubric were used to measure development of different sub-skills of ethical sensitivity in fourth and fifth grade students (N = 25) before and after the intervention over a two-month period. Results suggest that degree of ethical sensitivity increased over the course of the intervention. More specifically, significant growth was noted in students' abilities to read and express emotion and control social bias, while not as much growth was detected in perspective-taking skills. Implications of these findings are discussed.