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    Creating Positive Opportunities in the Classroom.


    Brannock, Lucy (2019) Creating Positive Opportunities in the Classroom. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This project details an action research journey, a classroom-based study that sought to create positive opportunities for students with the intent of enhancing wellbeing. Wellbeing is a prominent focus in current educational circles (Fitzgearld & Dooley, 2012; NCCA, 2017). In July 2018, Minister Bruton introduced a new Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Practice for schools (DES, 2018) to enhance purposeful support to children. This project acknowledged the aims of the framework and worked out a number of strategies to help children overcome obstacles and to develop an individual’s mental and emotional state. The participants have been selected from an area where social deprivation is prevalent. The school is identified as a DEIS 1 primary school. DEIS is an acronym for Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools, it was established by the Department of Education in 2005 (DES, 2005) to identify, support and target schools in challenging circumstances. The site for this research is a mixed gender school with 228 children on role including the fourteen participants in this study. Heeding the statistics derived from the Growing up in Ireland Study (2017), it is pertinent that the children in DEIS 1 schools are given tools to cope in challenging situations. This study aimed to alter the common perception of a ‘mistake’, it offered coping mechanisms such as useful ways to emotionally regulate and it provided children with a moment of relaxation/reflection each day. Drawing on the work of Carol Dweck (2016) and Michael Sigleman (2007) a new classroom ethos was created, which cultivated an environment of growth and positivity. Growth mindset interventions were established in tandem with a course of six yoga classes and multiple mindfulness sessions. The data corpus was analysed through thematic data analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2013) and voice centred relational methods of data analysis (Byrne et al, 2009). This study found that the practice of yoga and meditation in a disadvantaged classroom context reduced stresses, enhanced self-awareness and helped children to emotionally regulate. The mindset interventions instilled the joy of discovery, offering children new perspectives towards challenges and cultivated a new perception of failure. It was found that the interventions spurred collaborative learning and better social relations between classmates. The results demonstrate that the implemented strategies hold academic and personal benefit to students.

    Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
    Keywords: Creating; positive; opportunities; classroom; Froebel; Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Froebel Department of Primary and Early Childhood Education
    Item ID: 13712
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 09:53
    URI:

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