Making Hope Happen

Making_Hope_Happen_cover_art_cropped2I’m beginning to read “Making Hope Happen” by Shane Lopez with a small group of Worthington administrators.  We’re committed to our own learning and connecting with one another in this process.  There is a growing body of academic research that shows that student hope scores are more robust predictors of college success than are high school GPA, SAT, and ACT scores.  With that in mind we believe that hope is malleable. Through a focused effort from people who care about the future of youth, Lopez believes we can double hope in America’s youth.  Our goal would be to scale these efforts to make certain every child in Worthington is hopeful.  Along with resiliency or “grit” hope is something I want desperately for my own children.

To learn more about the power of hope and why we think this is so important the following article was written by Shane Lopez for a published paper titled:  Hope, Academic Success and the Gallup Student Poll

400000000000000948121_s4In this article Lopez writes: “Hope is not significantly related to native intelligence (Snyder, McDermott, Cook, & Rapoff, 2002) or income (Gallup, 2009a), but instead is linked consistently to attendance and credits earned (Gallup, 2009b) and academic achievement. Specifically, hopeful middle school students have better grades in core subjects (Marques, Pais-Ribeiro & Lopez, in press) and scores on achievement tests (Snyder et al., 1997). Hopeful high school students (Gallup, 2009a; Snyder, Harris, et al., 1991; Worrell & Hale, 2001) and beginning college students (Gallagher & Lopez, 2008; Snyder et al., 2002) have higher overall grade point averages. In these studies, the predictive power of hope remained significant even when controlling for intelligence (Snyder et al., 1997), prior grades (Gallagher & Lopez, 2008; Snyder, Harris, et al., 1991; Snyder et al., 2002), self-esteem (Snyder et al., 2002), and entrance examination scores (Gallagher & Lopez, 2008; Snyder et al., 2002).

Hopeful students see the future as better than the present, and believe they have the power to make it so. These students are energetic and full of life. They are able to develop many strategies to reach goals and plan contingencies in the event that they are faced with problems along the way. As such, obstacles are viewed as challenges to overcome and are bypassed by garnering support and/or implementing alternative pathways. Perceiving the likelihood of good outcomes, these students focus on success and, therefore, experience greater positive affect and less distress. Generally, high-hope people experience less anxiety and less stress specific to test-taking situations.

Stuck or discouraged students may lack the energy to get things done. These students may give up when encountering barriers to goals simply because they cannot think of other pathways around the obstacles or cannot get the support they need. This often results in frustration, a loss of confidence, and lower self-esteem (see Snyder, 1994). Students with low hope experience high anxiety, especially in test-taking situations. Stuck or discouraged students do not use feedback from failure experiences in an adaptive manner so as to improve performances in the future (Onwuegbuzie, 1998).”

We want every child in Worthington to have hope.  It’s up to all of us together to help make certain that happens!

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