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ERIC Number: EJ1069317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0816-5122
Positive Education for School Leaders: Exploring the Effects of Emotion-Gratitude and Action-Gratitude
Waters, Lea; Stokes, Helen
Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, v32 n1 p1-22 Jul 2015
This qualitative study describes the effect of two gratitude interventions designed to trigger emotion-gratitude (gratitude diary) and action-gratitude (gratitude letter) in school leaders. Case study methodology was applied to analyse reflective journals of 27 school leaders. The gratitude diary served to foster a more balanced view of the positive and negative events that occur at school, to engage in more appreciative problem solving (with respect to their role as mediators), to see the value in relationships, and to experience positive emotions such as hope, happiness and optimism. However, the gratitude diary also triggered a frustration in school leaders who were dealing with the paradox of having to look for things to feel grateful for at school when their role required an emphasis on fixing problems. The gratitude letter prompted emotional catharsis, a desire to invest in professional relationships, greater use of gratitude in leadership roles, and sparked reciprocated gratitude from staff and students (as reported by the school leaders). On the downside, the gratitude letter created feelings of vulnerability and concern for the potential ill-ease that the letter might cause for the recipient. Gratitude was not only used during the "good times" of leadership but was also drawn upon to deal effectively with the difficult aspects, such as conflict. The results suggest that both types of gratitude interventions have value for school leaders and that leaders need to mutually attend to the emotional element of gratitude and the action element of gratitude.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A