Tuesday, March 21, 2023 | Sha'ban 28, 1444 H
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Finding Hope at the Examination Times: Hopeful Thinking

“I hope I get an ‘A’ on this test!” How many times have teachers heard these exact words from their students? Goodness knows, most teachers would certainly love for their students to get an A, too!” (Zakrzewski, 2016). Several research results show that hope can be cultivated as a measurable, learnable skill — and to feel hopeful, students and teachers need to work at it (Fleming, 2021). In addition, hope research has consistently shown a positive correlation between hope and student success with a 12% increase in academic outcomes (Lopez, 2014). Hope has been defined by Snyder (2002) as “refers to one’s belief in the ability to pursue goals”. Individuals with high levels of hope establish further goals and develop many effective pathways for reaching desired goals. Researchers have also identified hope as a coping strategy associated with resilience, less tendency to procrastinate, and higher chances of achieving favourable outcomes in competitive or stressful situations (Drysdale& Mcbeath, 2014).

Despite hope seems like a simple skill, Fleming (2021) suggests methods that might support and develop hope in students fall into four topics: visioning the future, developing goals, building agency, and learning pathways. On the other hand, (Zakrzewski, 2016) presents five guidelines for educators who need to build hopeful thinking in their students as follows: 1. Identify and prioritise students’ top goals, from macro to micro. Start by having students create a major picture list of what’s important to them, such as friends, family, sports, or career. considering goals that students want, not what their parents or schools want. Otherwise, they will quickly lose their interest and/or motivation, especially as they come up against obstacles. Next, using this list, teach students how to create goals that are both specific and positive, for instance, “I want to play on the basketball team” is a quite motivating goal than “I will stop eating too much chocolate”.

2. Part out the goals, especially long-term ones into small steps. Research has suggested that students with low hope frequently think goals should be accomplished all at once. Teaching them how to visualise and accomplish their goals as a series of steps keeps students motivated and maintains their hope. 3. Teach students that there’s more than one way to reach a goal. Studies show that one of the greatest challenges for students with low hope is their inability to move obstacles, causing them to abandon their quest for achieving goals. So, teaching them different paths to reach goals will help them beyond insurmountable barriers. Importantly, teachers need to ensure that students need to be reminded that under any circumstances they’ll face obstacles. 4. Tell stories of success. Scientists have found that hopeful students draw on memories of other successes when they face an obstacle; however, students with low hope often don’t have these kinds of memories. That’s why it’s vital for teachers to read books or share stories of other people who have overcome adversity to reach their goals. 5. It’s important to teach students to enjoy the process of attaining their goals, even to laugh at themselves when they make mistakes. Research has found that students who use positive self-talk, rather than beating themselves up for mistakes, are more likely to reach their goals.

In summary, at certain times students lose hope in specific circumstances for instance, a difficult economy, or family circumstances which require should help students get more hope. Research revealed a positive relationship between hopeful thinking and students’ academic success, suggesting the need to consider improving their performance of hopeful thinking at hard times.

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