Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication


Date of this Version



Published in The Journal of Agricultural Education, volume 45 (2004), pages 21-37. Used by permission.
The Journal of Agricultural Education (JAE) is a publication of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE). Its back issues are available online at


The purpose of this study was to determine degrees of internalization of character traits across two groups (K-12 teachers and Extension staff) with varying years of participation in character education professional and program development activities. An online survey was developed to collect data describing the 109 respondents, the extent of their character education professional and program development activities, and their degrees of internalization and behavioral change. Post-then-pre data comparisons revealed significant levels of change in behaviors, including considering other peoples’ feelings and resolving conflict in a peaceful manner. All post-then-pre data demonstrated that respondents at least frequently lived their lives in accordance with the post-then-pre statements. Recommendations for future research included: marketing character education professional development opportunities to a broader audience; and increasing ongoing and intensive multicultural training of Cooperative Extension staff.