Positive education is about integrating flourishing –
positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment – with traditional
learning of literacy and numerals. Positive education, incorporating positive
psychology along with traditional skills can help schools develop and maintain
optimal functioning of students and staff. According to Seligman, schools are the
best places to teach positive psychology as students spend a considerable time
there. Positive psychology is defined as an umbrella term combining theory and
research in relation to what makes life worth living (Noble and McGrath, 2008).
Schools from time immemorial have aimed for academic excellence by developing
critical and analytical thinking to showcase their success. However more number
of schools are now acknowledging the importance of developing children in a
holistic way, strongly focussed on their well-being. This is mostly in agreement
with the growing statistics of psychological downheartedness amongst adolescents.
Studies have revealed that the increase in life satisfaction of people is not
matched with the socio- economic growth achieved by nations. Schools are
expected to play a major role in preparing young people for adulthood, educating
them on the research and application of positive well-being, thus hopefully
reducing the incidence of depression. By introducing positive interventions
like PRP, the early signs of depression can be identified and lowered.
Positive education targets the key strengths of a student to
produce positive and reliable improvements in their well- being. A positive
well- being results in improved learning, broader attention, creative and
holistic thinking. It helps fostering individual strengths such as resilience,
gratitude, building relationships, character strength and being reflective
about good things which in turn make students more successful. Understanding
the factors that help them thrive and flourish will have a long-lasting impact and
change of student behaviour. Inducing flow in a classroom setting can
definitely improve engagement, general mood and learning experience. Teachers need
to practice the skills derived from positive psychology in their lives and pass
on the knowledge directly or indirectly to students through role modelling or
direct teaching. Using age appropriated materials and practices, the curriculum
rooted on positive psychology needs to be administered to students.
I would end my thoughts by quoting McQuaid: “My vision is
for children to receive an education that teaches them how to flourish
intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. For this to happen, they
need to be a part of an education system that is flourishing—where leadership
teams feel challenged and supported, where teachers feel engaged and
appreciated, and parents feel confident and empowered”.