Examining the influence of a neuroeducational buoyancy program on student buoyancy: An action research approach
Adolescent buoyancy is essential for student wellbeing. It enables students to successfully deal with difficulties, challenges and setbacks typical of the ordinary course of student life (Martin et al., 2013; Martin & Marsh, 2008, 2009). This study was motivated by the perceived deterioration in student buoyancy in Australian schools; its aim to determine the extent to which a Neuroeducation Buoyancy Program (NBP) developed from Psychology, Education and Neuroscience (PEN) principles could influence student buoyancy. The NBP teaches students about the power of their brain, thoughts and choices to manage their emotions and responses to problems at school and highlights the benefits of merging neuroeducation and buoyancy disciplines in a practical multidisciplinary approach. The representative study groups in two metropolitan schools included three classes (71 students) of Year 7 students (12-13 years) (Metro College) from a sizeable coeducational college and two classes (20 students) (International College) of mixed ages (12-17 years) from a small ELICOS International college. Due to the educational context of the study, an Action Research approach was used with mixed methods of data collection and analysis. It included teachers, counsellors and students as participants within three distinct cycles to ascertain the value of the hypothesis. Cycle one affirmed the problem and developed the NBP. Cycle two ran the program with the Year 7 students. After appropriate modifications to the NBP for two international classes, Cycle three was taught using different teachers to ascertain its influence and transferability within another schooling environment. Data collection came from various modalities, including pre-and-post surveys, interviews, Action Research meetings/discussions, journal entries and participant correspondence. Results from the study supported the need for buoyancy interventions in the two metropolitan schools and potentially Australia wide. During the study, the NBP development process initiated the creation of an Analogical Buoyancy Model (ABM) and a common buoyancy language that assisted students to articulate their school difficulties and challenges. After the delivery of the NBP, results revealed the following;
• improvement in students’ awareness of their brain’s functionality
• improved skills and the ability to use strategies that circumvent anxiety, negative thinking and fear of new assessments, and
• promoted quality relationships, sleep, and most importantly, buoyancy.
Further research in other settings is recommended to understand and improve the adaptability of NBP and its long-term influence on student buoyancy. The additional research will also continue to bridge the gap between neuroeducation and buoyancy research.
LocationCentral Queeensland University
SupervisorProfessor Ken Purnell ; Professor Bobby Harreveld ; Professor Kate Ames ; Professor Bruce Knight
- Doctoral Thesis