The purpose of this study was to gain a rich narrative description of students' experiences when exposed for the first time to an intervention that focuses on an individual's strengths. Strengths-based approaches attempt to help students identify their own unique talents, and then use them to develop a strategy for utilising such gifts in negotiating their academic progression and careers. It used a grounded theory methodological approach to ascertain a theory or identifiable construct of experience that relates to a particular context grounded in the experience and perceptions of the participants (Creswell 2002; Strauss & Corbin, 1998). The results reveal that students experienced a range of positive emotional and developmental resonance as a result of the intervention. One of the substantive findings of this study is that students encounter a highly personalized “strengths journey” when exposed to a strengths-based educational intervention. How that journey begins is dependent on the level of resonance they experience with their strengths profiles, which is also dependent on a number of mediating factors including the ability to cognitively reframe long held beliefs about their talent and abilities. Some students experienced what the author has termed a ‘Learning Epiphany’ and in some cases this manifestation was dramatic and highly positive. These components form the basis of the key themes that emerged from the data: (a) short-term psychosocial effects of a strengths intervention, positive initial mediators of intervention effect, (b) negative initial mediators of intervention effect, (c) psychosocial effects of a strengths intervention after four months, (d) positive four-month mediators of intervention effect, and (e) negative four-month mediators of intervention effect. This research has meaningful implications for curriculum design and delivery, and offers much potential for supporting students in achieving excellence in their academics.
|Advisor:||Sheridan, Dennis A.|
|School:||Azusa Pacific University|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational psychology, Developmental psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Educational intervention, Higher education, Intervention, Strengths, Strengths-based, Strengths-based education, Talent development|
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