Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management

First Advisor

Cheryl O. Hausafus


If we are to agree that teaching is a moral endeavor, exploring the moral dimension of teacher candidates, as future moral agents, should be considered indispensable. Assessing someone's moral development based on the hypothetico-deductive method is valuable, yet learning how an individual views him/herself as a moral agent is also important.;This research describes family and consumer sciences teacher candidates' (FCSTCs') sense of their moral agency, that is their understanding of what is "good or bad" and "right or wrong." Based on FCSTCs' constructed meaning developed through semi-structured interviews, this research disclosed factors that shape FCSTCs' moral agency. To gain insight into the FCSTCs' understanding of themselves as moral agents, I used grounded theory, as an inductive research method, to avoid the influence of preconceived notions and existing theories that might skew the horizon of my research. Data were obtained from 13 female FCSTCs at Iowa State University (I.S.U.) via focus groups and individual semi-structured interviews. Following grounded theory procedures, a Moral Agency Framework with communicative and socio-psychological dimensions emerged to conceptualize key factors in FCSTCs' moral agency.;The descriptive nature of this research acknowledges the complexity of individuals' moral agency. This framework accounts for the multidimensional aspects that influence participants' sense of moral agency. Communication, mainly through sharing perspectives and experiences, and less frequently through definitions and strategies, showed the participants' understanding of their moral agency as they brought the past into the present and drew conclusions for the future. The interaction between the self and the world is recognized in the socio-psychological dimension and highlights the concept of moral understanding, in which the individual's value commitment to the good and right is triggered by her perception of social cues and influences. This dimension also brings to light the concept of consequentiality, in which the consequences to self and others of what is "good or bad" and "right or wrong" are considered.;This Moral Agency Framework emerged from and was grounded in the data. Credibility, transferability, and confirmability were three criteria that were used to evaluate the trustworthiness of this research.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Enas O. Sarour



Proquest ID


OCLC Number




File Format


File Size

260 pages