A character strength intervention in 11 inclusive Finnish classrooms to promote social participation of students with special educational needs

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Sammanfattning

Positive education aims at making strengths visible in every learner. This paper presents one of the few structured positive education interventions in Finnish inclusive classrooms. Our controlled 16‐week intervention in 11 inclusive classes (from 4th to 6th graders, age 10–13 years, Ninterv = 175 including 17 students with SEN having a variety of learning challenges, Ncontr = 78) focused on explicit teaching of strengths in character and their usage in order to promote social skills, well‐being and learning skills. Seven quantitative self‐report measures, Social competence (Empathy and Anti‐Aggression subscales), Strength usage, Grit (Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort subscales), Global happiness, School‐related happiness, Schoolwork Engagement Inventory (EDA, energy, dedication, absorption) and Mindset comprised the students’ pre‐test–post‐test battery. In addition, seven teachers were interviewed. The intervention group of students with SEN advanced over the other groups in Grit Consistency of interest subscale and in EDA. In teacher interviews, increased group cohesion and classroom spirit were documented. Interviews revealed six dominant discourses, praise, well‐being, good interaction, the significance of encounters, the need for additional education and the discourse of doubt and challenges. In particular, being able to name strengths in others and support one another had grown during the intervention.
Originalspråkengelska
TidskriftJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Volym19
Utgåva1
Sidor (från-till)45-57
Antal sidor13
ISSN1471-3802
DOI
StatusPublicerad - jan 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

Vetenskapsgrenar

  • 516 Pedagogik

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title = "A character strength intervention in 11 inclusive Finnish classrooms to promote social participation of students with special educational needs",
abstract = "Positive education aims at making strengths visible in every learner. This paper presents one of the few structured positive education interventions in Finnish inclusive classrooms. Our controlled 16‐week intervention in 11 inclusive classes (from 4th to 6th graders, age 10–13 years, Ninterv = 175 including 17 students with SEN having a variety of learning challenges, Ncontr = 78) focused on explicit teaching of strengths in character and their usage in order to promote social skills, well‐being and learning skills. Seven quantitative self‐report measures, Social competence (Empathy and Anti‐Aggression subscales), Strength usage, Grit (Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort subscales), Global happiness, School‐related happiness, Schoolwork Engagement Inventory (EDA, energy, dedication, absorption) and Mindset comprised the students’ pre‐test–post‐test battery. In addition, seven teachers were interviewed. The intervention group of students with SEN advanced over the other groups in Grit Consistency of interest subscale and in EDA. In teacher interviews, increased group cohesion and classroom spirit were documented. Interviews revealed six dominant discourses, praise, well‐being, good interaction, the significance of encounters, the need for additional education and the discourse of doubt and challenges. In particular, being able to name strengths in others and support one another had grown during the intervention.",
keywords = "516 Educational sciences, social participation, character strengths, positive education, students with SEN",
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AB - Positive education aims at making strengths visible in every learner. This paper presents one of the few structured positive education interventions in Finnish inclusive classrooms. Our controlled 16‐week intervention in 11 inclusive classes (from 4th to 6th graders, age 10–13 years, Ninterv = 175 including 17 students with SEN having a variety of learning challenges, Ncontr = 78) focused on explicit teaching of strengths in character and their usage in order to promote social skills, well‐being and learning skills. Seven quantitative self‐report measures, Social competence (Empathy and Anti‐Aggression subscales), Strength usage, Grit (Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort subscales), Global happiness, School‐related happiness, Schoolwork Engagement Inventory (EDA, energy, dedication, absorption) and Mindset comprised the students’ pre‐test–post‐test battery. In addition, seven teachers were interviewed. The intervention group of students with SEN advanced over the other groups in Grit Consistency of interest subscale and in EDA. In teacher interviews, increased group cohesion and classroom spirit were documented. Interviews revealed six dominant discourses, praise, well‐being, good interaction, the significance of encounters, the need for additional education and the discourse of doubt and challenges. In particular, being able to name strengths in others and support one another had grown during the intervention.

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