Thesis Title

Unity in the Elementatry School Classroom: Building Community Through Increasing Positive Social Interactions Between and Among Students

Graduation Date

Spring 2011

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form

Print

Degree Name

Master of Science

Program Name

Education

Program Director

Madeliene Peters, EdD

Abstract

Children’s sense of a community is essential in elementary schools. This helps gives students a sense of belonging and control over their environment.

The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of several strategies from the Toolbox Project and their effect on building community in the classroom. Collin (2003b) discusses his Toolbox Project curriculum and defines it as a social and emotional learning curriculum for kindergarten through sixth grade students.

Grade six students at a faith based elementary school served as participants in this project. The teacher, as researcher, implemented select strategies from this program and monitored results. The researcher collected data from the students through focus group discussions, writing samples, and informal observations.

Findings and analysis indicate highly positive results overall, and demonstrate that unity and community within schools and classrooms can be attained effectively and efficiently with the assistance of the Toolbox Project program skill set. The twelve Toolbox Project tools are indeed tools for learning—tools for life (Collin, 2003a). They not only enhance creating and sustaining unity and community among individuals and groups, they also prepare our youth for successful futures embracing equality.

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