Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly Through Narrative Film-making: A Qualitative Study
The current qualitative study examined an adapted version of the psychoeducational program, Teaching Adolescents to Think and Act Responsibly: The EQUIP Approach (DiBiase, Gibbs, Potter, & Blount, 2012). The adapted version, referred to as the EQUIP – Narrative Filmmaking Program, was implemented as a means of character education. The purpose of this study was three-fold: 1) to examine how the EQUIP – Narrative Film-making Program influenced student’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviours; 2) to explore the students’ and the teacher’s perception of their experience with the program; and 3) to assess whether or not the integrated EQUIP – Narrative Film-making Program addressed the goals of Ontario’s character education initiative. Purposive sampling was used to select one typical Grade 9 Exploring Technologies class, consisting of 15 boys from a Catholic board of education in the southern Ontario region. The EQUIP – Narrative Film-making Program required students to create moral narrative films that first portrayed a set of self-centered cognitive distortions, with follow-up portrayals of behavioural modifications. Before, during, and after intervention questionnaires were administered to the students and teacher. The student questionnaires invited responses to a set of cognitive distortion vignettes. In addition, data was collected through student and teacher interviews, and researcher observation protocol reports. Initially the data was coded according to an a priori set of themes that were further analyzed according to emotion and values coding methods. The results indicated that while each student was unique in his thoughts, feelings, and behavioural responses to the cognitive distortion vignettes after completing the EQUIP program, the overall trends showed students had a more positive attitude, with a decreased proclivity for antisocial behaviour and self-serving cognitive distortion portrayed in the vignettes. Overall, the teacher and students’ learning experiences were mainly positive and the program met the learning expectations of Ontario’s character education initiative. Based on these results of the present study, it is recommended that the EQUIP – Narrative Film-making Program be further evaluated through quantitative research and longitudinal study.