Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jason Berman

Second Supervisor

Ruth Harris


The purpose of the study was to explore the moral reasoning of a small group of chronically disruptive pre-adolescent African-American male students in an elementary school involved in an intensive, interactive intervention intended to stimulate in moral reasoning. The participants for this study exhibited challenging behaviors in the school setting. The researcher was interested in obtaining the participants’ perception of their lived world related to self, school, and home. The study explored whether there were significant changes in the moral reasoning of the participants after participating in an intervention, and if so, what were those changes? The study also explored what themes were prevalent in the participants’ lives as described in their own words during the intervention. This case study explored an understanding of social phenomena from the individuals’ own perspectives and describing the world as experienced by the subjects, with the assumption that the important reality is what the students perceive it to be (Kvale & Brinkman, 2009). The students were engaged in semi-structured interviews for the purpose of obtaining descriptions of the interviewees’ lived world with respect to interpretation of the meaning of the described phenomena. The interviews come close to an everyday conversation, but as a professional interview, it has a purpose and involves a specific approach and techniques. The interview sessions were recorded, scripted, and coded for subsequent analysis of meaning, and information was gleaned to identify emergent themes.

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