Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Huey, J. Frances||Sheriff, Marion

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Education


Child psychology; Moral education; Child development; Education; Preschool


The purpose of this study was to investigate what moral and spiritual values parents consider important to teach preschool children and the various methods employed to instill these values. Fifty mothers were interviewed in regard to the values they teach their children. Twenty-five mothers had children in tuition-based nursery schools and twenty-five had children attending Project Head Start classes. Both groups considered actions and feeling relating to others as the most important things to teach their children. This included such things as respect for others' rights and property, getting along with others, and consideration of others. Second in importance was in regard to oneself. This differed for each group and also brought forth some similarities. In referring to other values which are important, the Nursery School group used terms such as independence and responsibility, whereas the Project Head Start group used terms such as cleanliness and good manners. From the responses of the Nursery School group one would assume that personal habits are taken for granted, whereas these were the things that the Project Head Start group actually stated. The values that were stressed were the consideration of others, respect for others' rights and property, honesty, truthfulness, development of one's own talents, happiness, and a religious outlook on life. The various methods employed were parental example, actual explanation of the required act of behavior, and the religious approach to obtain the desired action. Other methods included different types of rewards and punishments. The rewards incorporated praise, affection, and money. The punishments used were spankings, reprimands, and some form of deprivation. The findings seem to indicate that the same ideals and aspirations for children tended to be similar for both groups. Further, this study found that moral and spiritual values are of significance in the training of these preschool children.


Includes bibliographical references.


72 pages




Northern Illinois University

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