Investigating strength-based practices within a dual-dimensional model of inclusionary student learning

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University of New Brunswick


The central area of inquiry for this research was the exploration of educators’ perspectives and experiences related to specific strength-based concepts and practices essential for supporting a dual-dimensional approach to inclusionary education. Using an Appreciative Inquiry (AI) research design and methods, a purposeful sample of leaders and key influencers involved in the application of inclusive educational practices were engaged in individual interviews and subsequent focus group discussions via Zoom. Data collection activities encompassed a three-phase AI process: Describe, Dream and Design. Inductive thematic analyses revealed a range of themes including the need for a greater integration of strengths into current educational applications, the envisioning of new learning experiences for students encompassing shifts in educational roles, more flexible learning formats, and the emergence of a potential model for elaboration of strength-based methods into inclusionary educational settings. In the discussion (Destiny phase), potential frameworks for promoting readiness for integrating strength-based methods is discussed and a preliminary description of the Strength and Support Response Model (SSRM) is presented. This research effort illuminates specific directions for promoting, building, and embedding strengths within a dual-dimensional view of inclusionary education; however, such directions will ultimately require further introspection, research, and elaboration.



SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education