• What nourishes the spirit of adolescents in the classroom? : a qualitative study into the gateways of adolescents' souls /

      Brown, Hilary.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2002-05-21)
      This thesis investigated the question, "What nourishes the adolescent spirit in the classroom?" Action research was conducted by the teacher of 16 grade 8 participants. By undergoing Kessler's (2000) "Passages Program," the students participated in 6 sessions which exposed them to a holistic intrapersonal curriculum. Student journal responses were documented after each session. The action researcher also kept journal reflections after each session. Upon completion of the 6 sessions, a postinterview was conducted which posed the research question. The research found that the adolescent spirit gets nourished through encouragement by the teacher, peers, and parents. This increases their competency, which increases their confidence, and ultimately their self-esteem goes up, which affects their selfconcept. In addition, the role of the teacher permeates every aspect of what nourishes the adolescent spirit in the classroom. In addition to the encouragement of the student, how a teacher teaches plays a vital role. A holistic approach to teaching provided the best atmosphere for the adolescent. It promoted creativity and choice, which stimulated the spirit of the adolescent. By working from a holistic philosophy, the teacher/action researcher created an environment conducive to teaching the whole person, which ultimately nourished the participants' spirit. The research highlighted that in order for this type of environment to exist the teacher needs to make a conscious and deliberate effort to look within and develop their inner self before they can begin to promote this type of classroom for the adolescents they teach. When teachers and students develop an inner life together, they can begin to work in harmony to achieve an atmosphere where the teaching and learning environment becomes one seamless transaction. Only then can one's whole potential be realized.