In 2020, the Northbrooks Secondary School Physical Education (PE) department collaborated with The Positive Movement on a yearlong project to study on the effects of Positive Psychology Interventions (PPI) on students’ levels of emotional awareness and ability to work with their emotions.
6 classes of Secondary 3 students were chosen to be part of the study due to the age appropriateness for the scope of the project. Volleyball was also chosen as the common sport across all Secondary 3 classes as it was a new sport to most of the students in the school. 3 classes (2 Express classes and 1 Normal Academic class) were assigned as control classes and 3 classes were assigned as targeted classes. (1 Express class, 1 Normal Academic class and 1 Normal Technical class)
The project was broken into 3 phases.
As part of the PE department’s professional development, PE teachers went through 3 customized workshop sessions that leveled up the department’s capacity in the area of Positive Psychology. The content of the 3 workshops were designed to suit the department’s needs.
10 sessions of Positive Psychology strategies were crafted and then infused into the Volleyball curriculum to be carried out by the PE teachers of the 3 targeted classes as shown in the table below.
3 chosen PPI (Emotional Thermometer and Palette, Positive Emotion Diet and Strength Spotting) were selected and gradually introduced across the 10 sessions. The other 3 control classes carried out their Volleyball curriculum as they normally would.
A self-perception survey consisting of 6 questions was designed by The Positive Movement and administered to all the Secondary 3 students during the pre-intervention and post-intervention stage. Students rated their quantitative responses to their questions on a Likert Scale of 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree).
Although the research was intended to be of a quantitative nature, the team thought that it would be meaningful to get some qualitative data to deepen the understanding of what happened during the intervention. As a result of this, a focused group discussion was designed and carried out as well.
A paired-sampled t-test was conducted on both targeted and control groups pre and post intervention. The significance level used was 0.05.
A paired-sampled t-test was conducted to a target group of students with 76 observations to compare their perceived emotional awareness before and after intervention. There was a significant difference in responses for before (M=14.2, SD=9.14) and after (M=15.7, SD=6.84) with p = 0.00157. These results suggest that the intervention had a positive effect on the students’ emotional awareness.
A paired-sampled t-test was conducted to a target group of students with 76 observations to compare their ability to work with emotions before and after intervention. There was a significant difference in responses for before (M=6.57.2, SD=2.73) and after (M=7.43, SD=2.92) with p < 0.0001. These results suggest that the intervention had a positive effect on the students’ ability to work with emotions.
A paired-sampled t-test was conducted to a target group of 76 students to compare their ability to identify, regulate and shift emotions before and after intervention. There was a significant difference in responses for before (M=20.8, SD=15.5) and after (M=23.2, SD=15.7) with p < 0.0001. These
results suggest that the intervention had a positive effect on the students’ ability to identify, regulate and shift emotions.
The above data generated suggests, with reasonable confidence that the interventions the
department took proved to have a positive impact on students’ ability to identify, regulate and shift their emotions to a large extent.
Aside from the quantitative data gathered, it was also meaningful to learn about the following points gathered from the focused group discussions.
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