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IES Grant

Title: Love in a Big World
Center: NCER Year: 2003
Principal Investigator: Bickman, Leonard Awardee: Vanderbilt University
Program: Social and Character Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years Award Amount: $1,824,960
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R305L030173

Co-Principal Investigator: Katie Smith

The purpose of this project is to evaluate Love in a Big World (LBW), a character education program that is designed to promote children's positive relationships with their teachers and peers, and enhance the classroom and school environment. The LBW program includes a curriculum that uses stories to teach students about positive character traits and their use, staff and principal training, a peer recognition program, school assemblies, service projects, motivational morning announcements, and newsletters. The effects of the program are being tested in suburban and rural schools in the mid-South. Children in these schools are predominantly Caucasian and African American and are from low-income to middle-class families.

In the complementary study, the research team is testing not only the impact of the LBW program on student outcomes, but also the effect of the program on teachers. Specifically, the researchers are testing whether teacher training affects teachers' character education knowledge, self-efficacy, and positive attitudes toward character education, and whether these outcomes influence the fidelity of program implementation. The researchers are also testing the program theory behind LBW. That is, they are examining how the program affects antisocial and prosocial behavior, and classroom and school climate, through changes in teacher/student interaction, acquisition of character education knowledge and social-emotional competence, and students' positive attitudes and beliefs about their control over their own actions.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Vuchinich, S., Flay, B.R., Aber, L., and Bickman, L. (2012). Person Mobility in the Design and Analysis of Cluster-Randomized Cohort Prevention Trials. Prevention Science, 13(3): 300–313.