This research study was a phenomenological account of the lived experiences of 12 seventh-grade adolescents in a middle-level public school in the United States. The researcher in this 6-month study also observed the executive function (EF) skills used by participants. The EF subskills were based on the Dawson and Guare (2018) EF skills model. Positive psychology was used to frame the work, as participants were the experts. Youth participatory action research (YPAR) was a tool to create a low-stakes, ungraded environment with adolescents as the leaders. Participants’ EF skills were observed while they conducted the YPAR study. The data analysis overlaid the stories shared and the EF subskills observed. Three themes emerged from the stories: Adult-Student Relationships, Preconceived Notions, and Student Choice. In each theme, different EF subskills were unlocked. A new model was created connecting the three themes and the 11 EF subskills. Positive Adult-Student Relationships unlocked access to the EF subskills of planning, organization, flexibility, and working memory. Assumptions unlocked access to the EF subskills of emotional control, metacognition, response inhibition. The third lock, Student Choice, unlocked access to the EF subskills of task initiation, goal-directed persistence, time management and sustained attention. Negative relationships, assumptions, or no student choice locked EF access.
|Commitee:||Fitzgerald, Carlton, Dawson, Peg|
|School:||New England College|
|Department:||Doctorate of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- New Hampshire|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Middle School education, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Adolescents, Executive function, Phenomenology, Positive psychology, Youth participatory action research|
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