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Academic Leadership Journal

Abstract

Educational leaders are responsible for the academic success of all students. As greater numbers of students exhibit disruptive behaviors, educational leaders are challenged with the task of maintaining high academic standards while simultaneously managing problem behaviors that interrupt the learning environment. Many schools have implemented character development programs aimed to decrease student disruptive behavior by increasing student prosocial skills. Character can be defined as “the emotional, intellectual and moral qualities of a person or group as well as the demonstration of these qualities in prosocial behavior” (United States Department of Education, 2008, p.1). Character education is “an inclusive term encompassing all aspects of how schools, related social institutions and parents can support the positive character development of children and adults” (United States Department of Education, 2008, p.1). The central goal of character education is to promote the development of prosocial behaviors among students and effective character education has been demonstrated to reduce student as absenteeism, disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and substance use (Berkowitz & Bier, 2004).

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