Positive education is about integrating flourishing –positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment – with traditionallearning of literacy and numerals. Positive education, incorporating positivepsychology along with traditional skills can help schools develop and maintainoptimal functioning of students and staff. According to Seligman, schools are thebest places to teach positive psychology as students spend a considerable timethere. Positive psychology is defined as an umbrella term combining theory andresearch in relation to what makes life worth living (Noble and McGrath, 2008).Schools from time immemorial have aimed for academic excellence by developingcritical and analytical thinking to showcase their success. However more numberof schools are now acknowledging the importance of developing children in aholistic way, strongly focussed on their well-being. This is mostly in agreementwith the growing statistics of psychological downheartedness amongst adolescents.
Studies have revealed that the increase in life satisfaction of people is notmatched with the socio- economic growth achieved by nations. Schools areexpected to play a major role in preparing young people for adulthood, educatingthem on the research and application of positive well-being, thus hopefullyreducing the incidence of depression. By introducing positive interventionslike PRP, the early signs of depression can be identified and lowered.Positive education targets the key strengths of a student toproduce positive and reliable improvements in their well- being. A positivewell- being results in improved learning, broader attention, creative andholistic thinking. It helps fostering individual strengths such as resilience,gratitude, building relationships, character strength and being reflectiveabout good things which in turn make students more successful. Understandingthe factors that help them thrive and flourish will have a long-lasting impact andchange of student behaviour.
Inducing flow in a classroom setting candefinitely improve engagement, general mood and learning experience. Teachers needto practice the skills derived from positive psychology in their lives and passon the knowledge directly or indirectly to students through role modelling ordirect teaching. Using age appropriated materials and practices, the curriculumrooted on positive psychology needs to be administered to students.I would end my thoughts by quoting McQuaid: “My vision isfor children to receive an education that teaches them how to flourishintellectually, emotionally, socially and physically. For this to happen, theyneed to be a part of an education system that is flourishing—where leadershipteams feel challenged and supported, where teachers feel engaged andappreciated, and parents feel confident and empowered”.