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ACTION RESEARCH PROPOSAL

I am one of two counselors working full time at a suburban middle school that facilitates
students ranging from 7th to 8th grade. I work with about 500 students during a given academic
year, roughly 20 students a day five days a week. My duties include monitoring after-school
detention, lunch duty, bus duty, individual and group counseling, crisis management (fights),
career prep, and occasional counseling related classroom presentations. As a middle school
counselor I focus less attention on identifying behavioral problems, and more on helping students
achieve their academic, personal, and career-related goals. I help students evaluate options that
they might be interested in as they relate to career preparation, as well as aiding in the resolution
of difficult social situations students encounter.
As a middle school counselor I believe that I may encounter several problems and
difficulties throughout my career ranging from social pressures of acceptance to preparation for
career choices and readiness. One of the problems that I believe I will have a great deal of impact
on under my current job position is students self-esteem.
Self-esteem is a major issue in middle school and can have a lasting effect on students
and influence poor academic achievement and other social issues. When dealing with self-esteem
issues with students, best practice is to provide a non-judgmental environment as well as
providing positive reinforcement and positive self-talk. Self-talk allows verbal to become mental
and translate into physical perception. Counselors should be encouraging and model the desired
outcome for students.
The purpose of this study is to determine how effective positive self-talk is on a student
with low self-esteem. Self-talk is a technique that requires a person to constantly say positive
things about themselves in the attempt to reshape their overall perception of themselves. So, the
question that I ask is: through the constant use of self-talk, can one improve their self-esteem at

the middle school level? Through constant use of positive self-talk, I believe that students will
increase their sense of self-worth and also improve their self-esteem which will not only aid
them socially but also aid them in other aspects of school like their academic achievement.
For this study to verify the effectiveness of the intervention I will require students to take
a pre-intervention survey assessing their individual levels of self-esteem as well as rating their
level of self-esteem on a scale ranging from 1 to 10. I will then require these students to meet
with me individually at specific times during the school day three times a week for six weeks.
Concluding the six weeks I will then assess their individual levels of self-esteem following the
completion of the intervention program with a post-intervention survey and rescaling of their
self-esteem. I will then analyze the data collected and attempt to find patterns and correlations
between the initial levels and final levels of self-esteem as they relate to the intervention as well
as variations in the responses in the survey.
Participants of this study will be randomly selected from the middle school I will be
working at ranging from grades 7th through 8th. These students will vary in gender, race, religion,
and socioeconomic backgrounds. The randomness of the sample will be assured by the assigning
of numbers to each student and the use of a random number generator.
This will be both a qualitative and quantitative study in regards to the quantitative aspects
of the study, I will evaluate the effectiveness of this intervention by studying the numerical
scores of the group as they relate to their level of self-esteem. Qualitative data will come from
the results from the self-esteem survey given both before and after the intervention. The results
of the intervention will be determined by the variation in responses from the pre-test and posttest.
Student or client-generated: standardized tests, teacher-designed tests, student work, formal
assessments, self-assessments

This research will require the use of student-generated data. More specifically, self-assessment
surveys which will be administered both before and after the intervention. The pre-intervention
self-assessment survey will ask questions related to their understanding of self-esteem, amount
of friends they have, value of peer acceptance and judgment, involvement in after-school
activities, etc. The post-intervention self-assessment survey will address these same questions in
a different format focusing on if the intervention changed their perception of these questions.
Archived: school records (discipline, attendance, achievement), client records, other documents
Archived data will be used as a reference to better understand the individuals involved in the
study. Archived data to be used will mainly focus on school records of achievement, academic
performance, attendance and behavioral problems.
Inquiry data: interviews, focus groups, surveys, attitude scales
Inquiry data will be used in relation to student-generated data as it relates to self-assessments.
These self-assessments will include survey type questions and will follow with a scale to be used
by participants to rate their self-esteem scale.