Strengths in action: A pilot study of a strengths development programme within tertiary education utilising the Clifton StrengthsQuest™ & narratives of strengths interviews


  • K. Ingamells Unitec Institute of Technology
  • K. Napan Massey University
  • S. Gasquoine Unitec Institute of Technology



StrengthsQuest, social work education, nursing education, strengths-based approach,


This paper focuses on the experience of two sub-sets of students who took part in a pilot study which explored the effectiveness of StrengthsQuest® (Clifton and Anderson, 2004), together with StrengthsQuest coaching and Narrative of Strengths interviews within the Bachelor of Social Practice and the Bachelor of Nursing at Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. The pilot study was primarily focused on whether or not identification and appreciation of strengths could contribute to students’ education as social workers and nurses, and aid them in making choices about career direction. We also enquired into whether the programme we devised could be a starting point for the development of a strengths-based approach within social work and nursing education.

Students reported that by becoming aware of their talents their confidence increased and they became more appreciative of what they had to offer in their personal and professional lives. They also reported improvements in study, shaping their career choices and personal breakthroughs. The strength of student feedback indicates that there is value in the integration of a strengths-based approach into social work and nursing education.


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How to Cite

Ingamells, K., Napan, K., & Gasquoine, S. (2016). Strengths in action: A pilot study of a strengths development programme within tertiary education utilising the Clifton StrengthsQuest™ & narratives of strengths interviews. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(4), 71–84.