Facilitating self-actualization in high school youth: Faculty strategies

Elizabeth Johnnie, Marquette University


Contemporary researches propose the idea of schools playing more significant roles in the lives of youth by focusing on their personal growth. Consequently, schools engage in developing a variety of strategies to promote positive growth in youth. Positive growth, according to Abraham Maslow, happens when people move in the direction of self-actualization. My study focused on a verity of different ways schools promote self-actualization in high school youth. Specifically, I explored teacher perceptions on how they conceptualize, use and modify four schoolwide strategies to facilitate self-actualization in their students: these strategies are Freshman Orientation, Multiple Intelligence Curriculum, Options and Cultures Week. An interpretive field study was undertaken. Three teachers from one Catholic school served as informants for the study. Interviews were the primary tool for data collection. Observation and document analysis provided additional data. The constant comparative method was used to analyze the data. I sought to identify and explore the four schoolwide strategies from the perspective of each teacher. Analysis suggests that (1) teachers perceive four schoolwide strategies to be instrumental in facilitating the self-actualization in their students, (2) teachers believe that students who responded in a positive way to these strategies are enroute to self-actualization, (3) teachers conceptualize the effectiveness of these strategies by noting the pattern of positive growth in their students, and (4) teachers engage in the process of refining these schoolwide strategies on an ongoing basis. I conclude the study by exploring how this work extends our current understanding of the development of self-actualization in high school youth.

Recommended Citation

Johnnie, Elizabeth, "Facilitating self-actualization in high school youth: Faculty strategies" (2001). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3049929.