This is my latest Generation Next blog post…
I read with interest this week an opinion piece in the Sydney Morning Herald by John Weekes, the headmaster of Knox Grammar.
He was discussing the concept of Positive Education. Essentially, Positive Education embeds the tenets of Positive Psychology into the curriculum, both explicitly and implicitly.*
Weekes says, “Our focus on academic outcomes such as the Higher School Certificate and NAPLAN results threatens to make us factories for one-dimensional students.” He continues, “Our goal should be to produce resilient young people with broad talents and life skills.”
Positive Education activities focus on building relationships, identifying one’s strengths, goal setting, mentoring, teamwork, overcoming challenges, perseverance and how to deal with success and disappointment with the aim of increasing mental resilience and wellbeing.
And it’s not only for the students. According to Weekes, teachers at Knox are also benefitting from the program being run by Dr Suzy Green and Paula Robinson from the Positive Psychology Institute and the program’s efficacy is being studied by the University of Wollongong.
Geelong Grammar in VIC and St Pauls in SA are also leading the way in Positive Education in Australia, with the former hosting Martin Seligman a couple of years ago in order to train the Geelong staff in the philosophies of Positive Education. Many other schools and even childcare centres are following suit in and around Australia. Is yours?
*Full Disclaimer: I presented a workshop at Knox early this year as part of their staff training in Positive Education.
Would love to attend a Positive psychology course. I have heard about Geelong Grammar’s involvement in PP and it sounds brilliant! In a fast paced, 24/7 world I really believe we need to place an increasing emphasis on student and adult well being. Especially due to the fact that our sense of community and support of each other seems to be diminishing. The whole concept of “it takes a village to raise a child” needs to be embraced. Sharing resources and “stepping up” if one has an expertise in the community is equally important. One cannot underestimate the value of positive mindset and resilience skills.
Couldn’t agree more! I’m a huge advocate of pos psych, and I do believe many teachers do this without thinking…
What sets Knox and other schools apart is the systemic approach to it, they aren’t leaving it to chance… I believe that in order for kids to flourish, they need flourishing adults in their lives… teachers, parents etc…
Thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂
OMG I SOOOOOOOOOO AGREE WITH YOUR SENTIMENT AND IDEAS REGARDING POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY, IN MY VIEW THIS IS THE ANSWER FOR OUR KIDS OF TODAY…IT WILL PREVENT THEM FROM MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES WE DID DURING OUR YOUNG ADULTHOOD. I AM LIVING PROOF THAT IT WORKS AND HONESTLY BELIEVE IF I HAD BEEN LUCKY ENOUGH TO RECEIVE THIS KIND OF POSITIVE EDUCATION BACK IN MY SCHOOL DAYS, I DEFINITELY WOULD NOT HAVE BECOME INVOLVED IN A DOMINEERING, VIOLENT CO-DEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP WHICH I CONTINUED IN FOR 11 1/2 YEARS. THEN WHEN I FINALLY HAD THE COURAGE TO LEAVE REBOUNDED ON TO THE NEXT GUY DUE TO MY ‘FEAR’ OF BEING ALONE. THIS MEANT THAT I DID NOT FIND INDEPENDENCE OR A SENSE OF SELF UNTIL I WAS WELL AND TRULY INTO MY THIRTIES…THE REASON I AM GOING INTO SO MUCH DETAIL IS BECAUSE I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT EDUCATION IN POSITIVE PSYCHOLOGY COULD PREVENT THE KIDS OF TODAY GROWING UP FEELING ALONE, INSECURE AND UNWORTHY OF LOVE INSTEAD IT COULD BE THE TOOL BOX THEY NEED TO LIVE CONFIDENT, HAPPY AND FULFILLING LIVES!!!
LISA (40 YEAR OLD MOTHER OF TWO YOUNG BOYS & STUDENT OF APPLIED SOCIAL SCIENCE MAJORING IN COACHING)
Dan. Loved your presentation at the posed conference last weekend. Looking into the beginnings of introducing posed into our school, cottage to year 12. A a primary school educator I am investigating ways to incorporate PERMA into our culture with kids aged 4-12. Any ideas who would be good to network with?
Hi can you email me through the Connect page and I’ll give you some contacts.