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This study examined the effectiveness of social learning (SL) or structural developmental (SD) teaching strategies on the moral development of elementary-age students. Participants were 204 physical education students in Grades 4,5, and 6; three classrooms in each grade were randomly assigned to control, SL, or SD groups. Self-report measures assessed moral judgment, reason, and intention; teachers rated prosocial behavior. By mid- and postintervention class-level analyses, the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher than the control on moral judgment and/or intention; by postintervention, the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. Mid- and postintervention student-level analyses showed that the SL and SD groups scored significantly higher on moral judgment, intention, and behavior; the SD group was significantly higher on moral reason. These results provide support for the effectiveness of both social learning and structural-developmental teaching strategies on the moral development of children in physical education.
Sandra L. Gibbons is with the School of Physical Education at the University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3015, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3P1. Vicki Ebbeck is with the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at Oregon State University, Langton Hall 214, Corvallis, OR 97331-3302.