All Students Are Talented:
Exploiting The Strengths Potential Via A New
Lens For Learning And Teaching
PGCertHE
Gary Pritc...
What Are Strengths?
‘Strengths’ in a nutshell
A strengths approach assumes that people already
have within them a group of...
Where does this originate?
 Martin Seligman critiques the pathological
tendency of psychology
(Seligman & Csikszentmihaly...
Research
* 1955 Glock - Nebraska school study of ‘rapid
reading’ project. Surprise results - students
already with a capab...
* Clifton & Buckingham (2001 Gallup) study of
“best of The best”
The Highest Achievers
• Spend most of their time in their...
Strengths and HE
* Higher education in the US - remediation
programmes dominate approach for its
undergraduate starters.
*...
Traditional learning philosophy:
1- Each person can learn to be competent in
almost anything: “If at first you don’t succe...
Strengths philosophy:
1- Each person’s talents are enduring and unique
2 - Each person’s greatest room for growth (or capa...
 Talent: ‘naturally’ recurring patterns of
thought feeling or behaviour
 Knowledge (elements you can change)
 Skills (e...
But What About Weaknesses?
• The beauty of the strengths approach is that by
developing your strengths, you have a new
app...
Methods to Identify Strengths
• Questions to ask yourself:
– What did you learn with the greatest ease in school?
– What d...
Methods to Identify Strengths
Clifton and Nelson (1992) propose that strengths can be identified by
becoming attuned to fo...
Achiever
Activator
Adaptability
Analytical
Arranger
Belief
Command
Communication
Competition
Connectedness
Consistency
Con...
Results of Intervention Study
What is the effect of a strengths-based
intervention? (Read full study by Pritchard, 2009 as...
Student Comments
“I don’t feel crazy anymore, yeah … and I kind of
brought that up over the couple of days as well. I’ve
c...
Student Comments
“When you are going through this two day course you do
feel like someone’s handing you the keys to your
s...
Student Comments
“The confidence was just oozing and I was just smiling,
and it was just really, really wonderful. Confide...
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Gary Pritchard Strengths Based Learning

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  • ‘Strengths’ in a nutshell - Set up the principle that everyone has talent - ALREADY IN THEM!
    My role as teacher then, is to: - How it relates to their study in university
  • Sets out the roots of strengths
  • Glock - Pupils were rotated between rapid learning expert teachers and non-expert teachers. Hypothesis was that pupils would do best in ’expert’ class. BUT in fact those pupils who were already strong in rapid reading did well WHICHEVER teacher they had - it was their strength.
    Other strengths application in social work
  • Don Clifton’s Gallup study establishes strengths credentials
  • This gives a context into which strengths emerged:
    Deficit models the norm in USA - problems of stigma for those labeled as deficient. UK almost no remediation at all.
    First ‘outcome’ results of strengths in university - motivation
    StrengthsQuest - customized version of StrengthsFinder for education application.
  • Important to relate to student’s own historic educational experience of “work on weaknesses” model
  • Important to juxtapose ‘weakness’ model with strengths capacity
  • Crucial to show how talent alone is not enough
    Also how Skills and Knowledge can be nurtured and added to talent to make strengths
    Give example - EG Sales person:
    Talent for knowing how to relate differently to customers
    Knowledge of products
    Skills to use this to close a deal
  • Important to show this approach is not about ignoring weaknesses BUT learning to MANAGE around them
  • This helps to establish that signs of strengths have been present throughout life - not reliant on online tests or psychometrics
  • This helps to establish that signs of strengths have been present throughout life - not reliant on online tests or psychometrics
  • This helps to establish that signs of strengths have been present throughout life - not reliant on online tests or psychometrics
  • Teacher to talk through personal strengths and how they operate together
  • Teacher to talk through personal strengths and how they operate together
  • Teacher to talk through personal strengths and how they operate together
  • Teacher to talk through personal strengths and how they operate together
  • Gary Pritchard Strengths Based Learning

    1. 1. All Students Are Talented: Exploiting The Strengths Potential Via A New Lens For Learning And Teaching PGCertHE Gary Pritchard PhD University of Wales, Newport All materials copyright Gary Pritchard 2010
    2. 2. What Are Strengths? ‘Strengths’ in a nutshell A strengths approach assumes that people already have within them a group of talents and that these are the key to reaching high levels of personal achievement. My role as teacher then, is to:  help students identify or confirm their own strengths  help students discover how they operate  help students to use them to achieve potential  help students to draw upon their strengths to assist in areas they normally would view as weaknesses
    3. 3. Where does this originate?  Martin Seligman critiques the pathological tendency of psychology (Seligman & Csikszentmihalyi (2000) Also - see Seligman reading is this pack)
    4. 4. Research * 1955 Glock - Nebraska school study of ‘rapid reading’ project. Surprise results - students already with a capability to be gifted in this area, thrived in whatever context they were taught. * Social Welfare and strengths: individuals are able to call on personal assets and resources to help in addressing issues or problems. (Weick, Rapp, Sullivan and Kishardt (1989) Cohen (1999))
    5. 5. * Clifton & Buckingham (2001 Gallup) study of “best of The best” The Highest Achievers • Spend most of their time in their areas of strength • Have learned to delegate or partner with someone to tackle areas that are not strengths • Use their strengths to overcome obstacles • Invent ways of capitalising on their strengths in new situations
    6. 6. Strengths and HE * Higher education in the US - remediation programmes dominate approach for its undergraduate starters. * Buckingham and Clifton (2001) (develop psychometric test ‘StrengthsFinder’ for Gallup) * Clifton and Anderson (2002) make a strategic link between student motivation and the “awareness, development and application of …strengths”
    7. 7. Traditional learning philosophy: 1- Each person can learn to be competent in almost anything: “If at first you don’t succeed …” 2 - Each person’s greatest room for growth is his or her areas of greatest weakness
    8. 8. Strengths philosophy: 1- Each person’s talents are enduring and unique 2 - Each person’s greatest room for growth (or capacity) Is his or her areas of greatest strength
    9. 9.  Talent: ‘naturally’ recurring patterns of thought feeling or behaviour  Knowledge (elements you can change)  Skills (elements you can change) Combine to become: A Strength Talent + Knowledge + Skills = a Strength (Clifton & Harter, 2003) Anatomy of a Strength:
    10. 10. But What About Weaknesses? • The beauty of the strengths approach is that by developing your strengths, you have a new approach for managing your weaknesses • Apply your strengths to challenging tasks or areas in need of improvement • “Managing your weaknesses” includes: – Partnering with others – Delegating to others
    11. 11. Methods to Identify Strengths • Questions to ask yourself: – What did you learn with the greatest ease in school? – What did your teachers compliment you about? – What do your friends say they like best about you? – What was your favorite assignment? – What subjects do you enjoy studying the most? – What fascinates you? – Talk about a time in your life when you accomplished something you were proud of. • Previous successes, things that seem to come naturally, learning that occurs with little effort • Instruments specifically designed to measure strengths (EG StrengthsFinder)
    12. 12. Methods to Identify Strengths Clifton and Nelson (1992) propose that strengths can be identified by becoming attuned to four clues that confirm their existence. 1 - Specifically, these authors note that individuals are instinctively drawn to activities that will facilitate strengths utilisation, and so they advocate for people to cultivate an awareness of these types of “yearnings” (instinctive deep sense of desire to get involved) 2 - When an individual derives great satisfaction and energy from investment in an activity, experiencing a sense of engagement and timelessness called ‘flow’ (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). 3 - ‘Rapid learning’ is another sign that a strength may be at work (recall events where one learned with ease and quickly) 4 - That ‘glimpses of excellence’ (Clifton & Anderson, 1992, p. 52) are demonstrated when an individual attempts an activity that requires the use of a particular strength
    13. 13. Achiever Activator Adaptability Analytical Arranger Belief Command Communication Competition Connectedness Consistency Context Deliberative Developer Discipline Empathy Focus Futuristic Clifton StrengthsFinder 34 Themes Harmony Ideation Includer Individualization Input Intellection Learner Maximizer Positivity Relator Responsibility Restorative Self-Assurance Significance Strategic Woo
    14. 14. Results of Intervention Study What is the effect of a strengths-based intervention? (Read full study by Pritchard, 2009 as part of this pack) Self awareness -Confidence -Self concept -Self efficacy Other awareness -Perspective taking -Tolerance “Learning epiphany”
    15. 15. Student Comments “I don’t feel crazy anymore, yeah … and I kind of brought that up over the couple of days as well. I’ve considered (these attributes) very much to be weaknesses ... (in the past). I think out of all of them that (Intellection) is the one that is going to have the most impact on me, because it is quite personal. It sounds really dramatic actually this does, but it is kind of like life changing in a sense, because it has been like a burden, I feel like a burden has been lifted from my shoulders” (Olivia).
    16. 16. Student Comments “When you are going through this two day course you do feel like someone’s handing you the keys to your superpowers … And I kept thinking to myself at the time, they should rename this - it shouldn’t be now find your strengths it should be something like ‘we are all superheroes who just need to find out what your powers are’ … It is like having X ray vision because you can see things in people that perhaps they can’t see in themselves.” (Andy)
    17. 17. Student Comments “The confidence was just oozing and I was just smiling, and it was just really, really wonderful. Confidence, I have got even more confidence about my strengths and I have started to push myself even more with regards to what I can achieve …” “The (me) that has gone through the strengths class is more aware of what she is about and wanting to achieve, with a formation, with a definite chance to achievement.” (Issey)
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