As her Engaged Learning Project, Maria Cole will develop a life-skills training program for adults focusing on positive parenting and child-rearing success.
Getting started on my new project, Motivation is the Key. I will be writing the curriculum that I will use to go over crucial life lessons in establishing a framework to build upon.
My goal is to organize a curriculum-based training program using motivational techniques that will encourage adults to lead more productive lifestyles so that they become more positive role models for their children.
I believe that poverty is a state of mind often coupled with economic depravity. Studies have shown that people given a feeling of control over their situation perform better than others in the same situation. Unmotivated parents given tools to help overcome their situations and free themselves from hopelessness will set wonderful examples for their children. Children in turn will circulate a prosperous cycle instead of revolving in a world void of aspirations, goals and successes.
I plan to see a tangible product of success through improved grades attained by the children of the participants, their increased self-efficacy demonstrated through non-verbal communication skills and more positive affect displayed. I will use reading attitude assessments to determine their attitude and proficiency in reading.
I plan to provide my service to low-income adults in Collin County. I will host an outreach program in McKinney, TX through the community center at RedBud Trail Apartments, sponsored by Atlantic Housing.
I will journal the experiences through the classes held. I will also provide the participants with journals to catalog their thoughts and feelings weekly so that we can note any significant attitude changes at the conclusion of the project. I will also measure the children’s grades on center-generated homework assignments and tests of knowledge at the initiation and completion of the project. I will compile the analyses into a detailed research paper describing the events. I will use many self-reports and analysis of reflections to asses attitudes, intent to change behavior and actual change.
I hope to gain the experience of working to help people and significantly improve the lives of children. I hope to discover that this motivational view on the effects of the down-trodden in Collin County will generalize as a program that can help many become more effective parents and happier people. I hope that this pilot-study will lead to the eventual development of an intervention that will help state-aid recipients break their cycle of poverty. I will gain the exposure and first-hand knowledge of working with adults from a complex web of difficulties. I will have to navigate their issues in order to positively impact the child. This practice will prove useful in my future anticipated career as a child psychologist.
Principally, I will do some activities (i.e. reading together, playing games) with the children during the weeks prior to the start of classes. I will journal the children’s behavior patterns, listen to any overtly expressed needs and develop a bond with them in order to assess what their general needs are. Also, I will monitor the adults’ behavior and talk with the program heads in order to determine the most prevalent needs at that time. Wherever there is an overlap between the children’s needs and the adult’s needs we will construct a curriculum to focus on those issues first. If we do not have enough identified key material for eight sessions we will cover general topics like morals and values, the importance of education, keeping your brain healthy and active, how to effectively resolve disputes, key factors in intrinsic motivation, and the importance of utilizing effective communication skills.
A large component of my project will be to develop a curriculum that will significantly impact my target community. I will use techniques from the school of thought surrounding motivational interviewing which will permit a deeper understanding of the adults. It will also allow for each adults facilitated change without prodding, boasting or coercion. Despite my careful calculations, I may encounter some adults who do not want to participate because they are complacent or severely unmotivated. I will combat this by having small refreshments at the meetings and providing a comfortable, amiable environment. I will also assure each potential participant that the meetings are confidential and informal, an opportunity to express their concerns or fears relating to parenting or any other issues.
As of now, I have scheduled an observational meeting with the mothers of the children at the center on May 31st. At the conclusion of their meeting I will introduce myself and my project and schedule our first group session for Saturday, June 8th. I plan to s hold approximately 7 additional sessions on consecutive Saturday mid-mornings until July 27th, not including a holiday off for July 4th observed July 6th. The classes will be about one hour in duration and will follow a curriculum loosely outlined in the methodology above and solidified with the help of my mentor as we continue to ascertain and analyze the information necessary in order to formulate a custom-fit model.Share on Facebook