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Title: Addressing the emotional well-being of secondary school students : a reality or an illusion?
Authors: Galea, Charmaine
Keywords: School children -- Mental health -- Malta
Education, Secondary -- Malta
Emotional problems of teenagers -- Malta
Mental health promotion -- Malta
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: Galea, C. (2019). Addressing the emotional well-being of secondary school students: a reality or an illusion? (Bachelor's dissertation).
Abstract: This research study shows that local secondary schools are doing their utmost in providing professional assistance for the emotional difficulties that their students face but doing little to prevent them. The semi-structured interviews done with eight 14-year-old secondary school students and two Heads of school reveal that the root of most emotional difficulties presented in schools originate with unstable family environments. Another contributing factor is the abundance of academic demands that a number of students fail to cope with. This exacerbates the rise in challenging behaviour issues in schools where alternative programmes are being set up to address these students’ needs. As indicated by the eight interviewed students, their schooling years are a struggle where present happiness relies on their academic achievements as their performance is believed to determine their future contentment. Their present happiness is therefore put on hold for future gratification. This research study demonstrates that the interviewed students lacked learning enthusiasm, self-awareness, and self-worth. It also reveals that only those who had been exposed to emotional literacy skills, either at home or from school professionals, were able to make use of their emotions in a more constructive way when compared to their fellow correspondents, whose sense of self-worth was found to be greater and their general outlook on life more hopeful. This study also shows that the guidance service is the service mainly associated with emotional well-being by both the students and their respective Heads, even if non-formal services that target lifelong learning skills are present in their schools. Teachers that use appropriate pedagogy were also found to effectively contribute to the students’ emotional well-being more than the subject they actually teach. In conclusion, this research is an eye-opener for policy makers in its emphasis on the need to invest in the emotional literacy of students and to encourage educators to make use of effective pedagogy to promote more successfully developed individuals, emotionally as much as academically.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacSoW - 2019
Dissertations - FacSoWYCS - 2019

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