ORCID

http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4725-3799

Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Second Advisor

Richard Bernato

Third Advisor

Barbara Cozza

Abstract

Today’s adolescents have a tremendous number of stressors in their lives and need various resources to navigate through their problems. Providing middle school students with access to books may help them find ways to cope with various Adverse Childhood Experiences that potentially stand in the way of learning. Bibliotherapy is a practice used to foster healing through the use of books. School professionals can bridge the gap between students and a resolution to their problems. Providing students with books, along with guidance, may help youngsters come to terms with issues and lessen their adolescent burdens and put them in a better position for learning.

The purpose of this study was to assess middle school professionals’ knowledge, views, and comfort level of bibliotherapy. There is a wealth of appropriate books for adolescents to read, both fiction and non-fiction, to help to overcome problems, to better themselves as individuals, or to help them realize that they are not alone in a given situation. Using a mixed- method, explanatory sequential, singular case study format, this study examined 44 suburban middle school professionals and their views of bibliotherapy. It measured perceptions, nature of appropriateness, and the extent to which teachers are comfortable utilizing this intervention for various purposes. Quantitative data were collected electronically using a Likert Scale survey. Qualitative data were gathered through researcher-conducted semi-structured, staff interview questions.

Findings of this study indicate that educators at the middle school level recognize the prevalence of student Adverse Childhood Experiences that are potential blockades in the way of learning. Teachers believe that students must feel safe and secure before learning can occur. Based on existing research along with the data collected in this study, educators feel that bibliotherapy is an acceptable approach to help adolescents navigate problematic issues. School professionals have a comfort level with this method of intervention; as school seems a natural place to enhance social and emotional well-being. Addressing the needs of the ‘whole child’ is important, as indicated through the research. Systemic change within schools would allow educators to be equipped with the tools and training to properly infuse the practice of using books for healing purposes into school setting.

Available for download on Monday, September 02, 2024

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