Last week I promised to share with you in this week’s blog proven research-based activities you can use to instill hope with your students. But, after hearing from some of my readers about their interest in also knowing how they can measure hope with their students, I decided to focus on this topic instead.
I am going to share information with you about two valid survey tools for measuring hope. This doesn’t mean there aren’t other tools available for you to use or that I am endorsing these two. It simply means that I am more familiar with these two surveys than others, and from my experience in working with schools and community organizations over the years, they seem to be the most widely used.
1. Gallup Student Poll
The 24 core items in the Gallup Survey Poll measure several dimensions of student success, including engagement with school, hope for the future, entrepreneurial aspiration and career/financial literacy.
The Gallup Student Poll measures factors with links to student success and gives educators a tool beyond test scores to engage students today and make them ready for tomorrow. The Gallup Student Poll is designed to aid educators in providing an education that builds engagement, creates hope for the future, fosters talent and prepares students to participate meaningfully in our nation’s economy by finding or creating a good job one day.
The Gallup Student Poll is provided at a nominal fee and is confidential. The poll is conducted once per year with students in grades 5 through 12, in the fall, and is available in English or Spanish. (Survey dates for this coming school year are September 23-October 25, 2019.) The survey takes the average student about 10 minutes to complete. Gallup administers the poll and aggregates and analyzes the results within two to three weeks of the close of the poll. Primary account users for the district, school or organization are provided access to their results online. You can learn more details about the Gallup survey at https://www.gallup.com/education/233537/gallup-student-poll.aspx.
2. The Hope Survey for Students
The Hope Survey for Students consists of a series of online surveys which ask students their perceptions of autonomy, belongingness, goal orientation, academic press, engagement and hope.
The survey is geared for middle school and high school students, consists of a “New Student” version for incoming students, and an “Ongoing Student” survey for students who have been in the school or district for 1+ years. Elementary schools may use the surveys for 4-6 grade students with valid results. The survey is not recommended for 3rd grade or younger students. The surveys take 20-30 minutes.
There is also a second survey you can administer. The Hope Survey for Staff is geared for the adults that have impact on students. The survey indicates the level of hope in the adults who work with students in some capacity. There is a belief that a higher level of hope among teachers has a positive effect on the hope of the students in their care. It can be given to teachers only, or to any staff member, determined by the administration of the school. The surveys measure teacher self-efficacy, collective self-efficacy, job satisfaction, teacher autonomy, outside influences and engagement. The survey takes 10-15 minutes.
There is a cost to administer the Hope Survey. For more information, go to https://www.hopesurvey.org/about/faq/.
No matter which hope measurement tool you use, obtaining results on your students’ level of hope is important. It offers you results that can lead to future actions and strategies specific for your school or organization’s needs. It can initiate much-needed conversations between your staff, parents and students. And, most importantly, it gives students a voice on topics that are very critical, but are rarely asked of them or measured.