Date of Award



© 2016 Debra Gardner-Baasch

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Ella Benson

Second Advisor

Peter Harrison

Third Advisor

Monica McEnerny


Preparing students for life after high school requires more than a focus on building content knowledge. With the goal of overall well-being for adolescents, education must expand beyond the traditional focus on academic excellence to develop the noncognitive factors that promote academic mindsets and build relationships, develop responsibility, foster resilience, and provide relevance for students. This research study investigates how reflective narratives can be utilized as universal interventions within personalized learning plans to foster the noncognitive factors of academic mindsets. Combining the research of social science about resilience, connectedness, and hopefulness with the research of social neuroscience, this study explores the role of story and reflective narratives in optimizing self-efficacy and enhancing overall well-being through the development of relationships, responsibility, resilience, and relevance.


Ed.D. Dissertation