Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tell me a story: Influencing educators' beliefs about student resilience in an effort to enhance student success
by Truebridge, Sara, Ed.D., Mills College, 2010, 152; 3408480
Abstract (Summary)

Resilience research focuses on healthy development and successful outcomes, especially for young people facing difficult life challenges in their homes, schools, and communities. One of the reoccurring messages in resilience research posits the relationship that beliefs have with resilience: resilience begins with beliefs.

In schools, teachers’ beliefs and perceptions about students, including students' resilience, influence classroom practices and student success. This qualitative study is based on the premise that a positive and sustainable reform and transformation in education will take place when more attention is focused on the role that beliefs have in education (De La Ossa, 2005; Fenstermacher, 1979; Love, 2000). The specific beliefs that this study addresses are educators’ beliefs about student resilience.

This year-long participatory action research study explored how educators in a continuation high school responded to a professional development program on resilience. The specific goal of the professional development program was to create a venue where educational practitioners could learn about the concept and theory of resilience and reflect upon their beliefs about student resilience to enhance their effectiveness in supporting and increasing students’ success in school. As data were analyzed the role of storytelling became a prominent theme. Findings indicated that the telling of educators' own personal resilience stories was an effective way for them to reflect upon their beliefs about student resilience and a powerful way for them to increase their understanding and appreciation of resilience, their staff, and their students. This dissertation concludes by addressing the implications of the findings for education preservice programs, professional development programs, and offers areas for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Zirkel, Sabrina
Commitee: Benard, Bonnie, Kahne, Joseph, Ketelle, Diane
School: Mills College
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 71/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Teacher education
Keywords: Beliefs, Educators, Participatory action research, Preservice education, Preservice teachers, Professional development, Resilience, Student success
Publication Number: 3408480
ISBN: 978-1-124-04678-5
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