Strengths-based teaching and learning approaches for children: Perceptions and practices
Rod Galloway 1 * , Bronwyn Reynolds 2, John Williamson 2
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1 George Street Normal School, Dunedin, New Zealand
2 School of Education, University of Tasmania, Australia
* Corresponding Author


The development of children’s strengths is essential for their success at school. Processes that assist children to recognise and act on their strengths, collectively referred to as “strengths-based approaches” in this study, are one aspect in the relatively new field of positive education that have been adopted enthusiastically by teachers for their reported constructive purpose and focus on improving student achievement and wellbeing outcomes. In recent years, however, the use of strengths-based approaches in New Zealand schools has moved beyond that warranted by the limited research base. In this study, qualitative data were collected to report on the perceptions and practices of common strengths-based teaching and learning approaches, as described by children, parents and teachers in a New Zealand primary school. Three separate sets of data were collected using a case study approach. The first data set involved 16 ten-year-old children; the second data set involved 15 parents of the child participants; and finally, five teachers of the children involved in the research were participants in the third data set. In light of the paucity of New Zealand studies in strengths-based teaching and learning approaches for children, this study aims to contribute to the knowledge in these areas and identify topics that warrant further investigation.



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