• An exploration of gifted and highly able adolescents' experiences with stress and coping /

      Barber-Marsh, Kerry A.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      This narrative case study explored gifted and highly able adolescents' experiences with stress and coping. Nine students, ages 13-18, at 2 independent schools in southern Ontario, participated. They completed the Adolescent Coping Scale (Frydenberg & Lewis, 1993), and I generated individualized graphs of coping strategies. Participants talked about experiences they perceived as stressful in their academic, personal, social, and familial settings during a 60-90 minute one-on-one audiotaped interview. During the interview, each participant made observations about their own coping strategies profile. The interview was analyzed to identify stressor and coping themes. Participants completed a writing or art task to record perceptions of stress and coping. The 3 data sources were used to craft 9 individual story portraits, from which 5 main stressor themes emerged: issues of time; relationships, emotions, and communication; ethical, moral, and spiritual issues; global issues; and silences, or stressors not talked about in depth. Coping themes were: seeking relaxing activities; having positive attitudes and making wise choices; maintaining relationships with peers and family; understanding the role of faith and moral beliefs; having a supportive environment; knowing your own personality type; being aware of negative coping strategies; and keeping busy and avoiding stressfiil issues. The narratives are important because they present teenagers talking about their socioemotional worlds. The present findings provide empirical groundwork for curriculum development in affective education and highlight the importance of socioemotional development for future research in the area of giftedness and adolescence.
    • Paradigms and prisons: a narrative of translation and transformation : my hero's journey from "at-risk" youth to teacher/learner in a jail setting /

      Trimble, Warren Albert.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2007-06-29)
      All life is suffering. Life is the pursuit ofhappiness. These are two foundational Buddhist dictums that, in their simplicity, I have entirely misunderstood regarding their depth, misreading them as contradictory. Indeed, my superficial interpretations led me to Thoreau's life ofquiet desperation and deep depression. We come to know and bring understanding to our lives by storying them. My own Hero's Journey, the path from my egoic selftoward the universal Self, can be understood as the resultant translations and transformations. Inevitably each of us is involved in such a story, though most are unaware of the stages along our own Hero's journey. ' Narrative honours writing as a means of knowing. The contemplative reflection allows insight into our imprisoning paradigms, beliefs, behaviours, and blind spots. My research revisits and explores nodal experiences along my Hero's Journey through 4 categories: self, society, soil, and Self. While the value of this process of narrative inquiry lay in its ability to come to know and understand one's self, perhaps its greater value is of a more universal nature. My inquiry, while adding to the body of academic educational narrative literature, may also illuminate a path to educators, students, and all interested, encouraging a response to the call of their own Hero's journey. I am a teacher/learner in a jail setting, working with youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who have committed crimes such as armed robbery, assault, rape, and murder. As this thesis follows my continual development from egoic self/teacher/learner to universal Self/Teacher/Learner, it also enables me to both consciously and unconsciously open the ways in which I expand my care, compassion, and love to work with at-risk youth.