Measuring Hope

Earlier in the year, I blogged about my action research on hope. Since then, I’ve refined my research question (and Lit Review) to ‘Does systematic integration of self-regulating processes into a year 12 Software Design & Dev class impact on student wellbeing?”

After many iterations of defining my construct, I settled on what I started off with…HOPE. It is one of ACARA’s dimensions for wellbeing and aligns strongly with my school’s aspiration to inspire global hope.

I also kept the notion of ‘active hope’ where hope is found in actions and belief that such actions would lead to improvements. It’s true that a huge element of this aligns with Bandura’s self-efficacy which helped with finding literature for the review and fleshing out my project. However, I also wanted to maintain the social aspect of hope that extended beyond self-efficacy.

This ‘extension’ was partially driven by the need to find something more easily observable and measure. It was also because the classroom is ultimately a social context and each student is a contributor, not merely a recipient of social influences. I think James Arvanitakis said it well in  From Despair to Hope – The Curiosity Lecture Series (available here),

…if openly shared and freely distributed, hope can spread throughout the community.

I did not set out to measure inspiring societal (or global) hope as such but one of my action research ‘interventions’ (if you will) was to have students act as peer models. That was a bit of a stretch for ‘freely’ but there was definite sharing and distribution of active hope.

I haven’t fully analysed my research data but it is likely that it will empirically support my observation that YES, integrating self-regulation processes does impact student wellbeing (hope) positively and negatively (the 2-tailed question was intentional). I imagine many teachers suspect as much but now I’ve got data to (hopefully) prove it, notwithstanding the risk of observer-expectancy effect and other risks to the validity of my meager social research attempt.

It would be premature to state a conclusion prior to data analysis but were I to generalise my learning so far, I daresay my teaching practice even when targeting academic achievement does impact student wellbeing. While it often seemed futile to measure hope, I am glad I’ve made this attempt.


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4 thoughts on “Measuring Hope

  1. Sarah Tor says:

    I’m looking forward to reading more about your findings and especially the self-regulation processes that you have implemented with your class. I also teach a Year 12 SDD class, some of whom mentor younger students in programming and robotics skills. If they could also lead in the distribution of hope, that would be amazing. If you don’t mind sharing, what kinds of self-regulation processes have you tried with a positive impact?

    • malyn says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for stopping by. The self-regulation model I’ve adopted was from Zimmerman. I used his book but this is a good summary:

      I’ve embedded these into regular class activities so definite increase in proximal goal-setting, progress-tracking, and self-evaluation. For example, I’ve set past papers as homework but provided a scaffold for scheduling, tracking, and evaluation. Independent classwork also typically had checklists of activities for tracking purposes. I always do an end-of-topic survey which look at learning as product and process and did this more frequently during one of the A-R cycles. The action-research has made me look at the impact on how this makes them ‘feel’. Embedding S-R is the context of my action-research so the details are in the academic programs documented in OneNote; of course, I’m happy to share 🙂 Are you doing option topic 2? Maybe you’ve done it already!

      Another S-R sub-process I incorporated was focus on strategies, particularly attribution of success to strategies. This was useful when highlighting (shout outs) effective strategies during lessons and also from the exam results.

      As for mentoring, it really is a great way to learn. See if you can get mentors to be ‘coping models’ as well, i.e. students they mentor see them struggle, verbalise their strategies/processes through their struggles, and hopefully emerge triumphant at the other end…or if not, how they bounce back regardless. Through modeling of hopeful-ness, hope may then be distributed…if that makes sense. You can help in the distribution by giving shout outs to highlight aspects of such modeling.


  2. Sarah Tor says:

    Yes please! Funnily enough, I’ve just started Option 2 with my students. I’ve always taught Option 1 in the past but after much considering the current students in my class, I think they will do better with Option 2. It’s my first time teaching this option so any resources would be appreciated.

    I think it’s so important to attribute success to strategies that students are using. A lot of times, I get carried away with whether or not students are demonstrating their skill in what they are able to produce. It’s nice to see that their success is not just compounded in a mark, but if we can show them “hey, you did well here because of this strategy we have been working on” – that is priceless.

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