This research explores God’s call to gratitude, summarizes current research on the benefits of gratitude, identifies key gratitude disciplines/practices, and utilizes a conceptual framework to study gratitude in the context of educational settings. In contribution to the relatively recent discussion on gratitude, especially in the education field, the researchers explored the effects when pre-service teachers practice an inner attitude of gratitude and intentionally express gratitude in the classroom setting. This study expands the current educational research of gratitude by incorporating three primary gratitude practices – the State of Preparedness, gratitude language, and gratitude journaling – and examining both personal benefits and flow-on effect toward the teaching-learning process. Fourteen pre-service elementary school teachers were invited to practice gratitude during nine weeks of their full-time fieldwork placements. Participants experienced personal benefits such as enhanced well-being, strengthened relationships, and heightened cognitive skills. Ripples of gratitude were observed as positive flow-on effects in their classrooms: a more positive and calmer classroom atmosphere, better behaved students, and students more willing to focus effort towards learning. Pre-service teachers also experienced a flow-on effect towards themselves through increased resiliency when facing adversity and greater satisfaction in teaching. These findings are significant for the field of education as the power of gratitude can foster positive transformation through promoting engaged environments and strengthened relationships for both teacher and student.
Wilson, J., & Harris, P. (2015). Ripples of Gratitude: The Flow-on Effects of Practicing Gratitude in the Classroom Environment. International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal, 10(1). Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/icctej/vol10/iss1/3