Over the past 10 years, the research company Gallup have surveyed over a million US students with regard to their strengths, levels of hope and engagement and their wellbeing.


Gallup recently published their Student Success Model in which they described some of the wellbeing factors that impact on success.


1. Strengths identification remains as simple as completing an inventory whereas strengths development requires considerable time and effort.


I see a lot of schools undertaking strengths tests with their students, but I am concerned that they believe that identifying students by their strengths, and then pigeonholing them – so to speak – is enough. The research would indicate that doing this has little benefit, and could actually be detrimental to one’s wellbeing as it can develop a fixed mindset.


2. Strengths development leads to hope and engagement.


Students who’s strengths are recognized, and who are then given avenues to pursue and develop their strengths have increased levels of hope and engagement.


3. Hope and engagement work independently and interdependently to produce the positive outcomes of wellbeing and academic success.


Hopeful students see the future as better than the present, and believe they have the power to make it so. Engaged students are actively involved in and enthusiastic about school. It is possible to have one without the other, but the optimum is to have both a sense of hope and a sense of engagement – although these alone are not sufficient for wellbeing.


4. People with high wellbeing have more success than people with low wellbeing.


Common sense isn’t it? But if you do need research to convince your peers: (taken from The Gallup Student Success Model)


“Sonja Lyubomirsky (Boehm & Lyubomirsky, 2008; Lyubomirsky et al., 2005) reviewed cross-sectional, experimental, and longitudinal evidence and found that reports of feeling joyful, excited, or pleasant among other positive emotions are predictors of success and numerous behaviors associated with success. In an exploratory study of the experienced wellbeing of high school freshmen, those students who reported they experienced joy and interest yesterday (versus those who had not) had better academic records (Gallup, 2009).”


Author: Dan Haesler, he is a teacher, consultant, and speaker at the Mental Health & Wellbeing of Young People seminars. He is the co-developer of Happy Schools and blogs at http://danhaesler.com/ and tweets at@danhaesler