Wednesday, 29 March, 2023

The Cool Reference Guide

Is Positive Education Another Fad?  Maybe, But It Is Supported By Good Research

positive education

Positive psychology applies a strength-based approach to mental health and wellbeing.  It focuses on a variety of aspects like resilience, overall well being, and happiness. So, is positive schooling another fad in education?  The solution is”perhaps”, as it’s static in teaching. Positive psychology study indicates long-lasting advantages for young adults.

So what is positive education?  The concept has support from a range of prominent psychologists and practising teachers.  The idea is the wellbeing of pupils enhances learning and develops them as citizens. A superior college does not just aim for its pupils to realize their academic potential.  

Dr Martin Seligman developed the PERMA model, which explains the five items necessary for health.  PERMA stands for positive emotion (P), participation (E), relationships (R), significance (M) and accomplishment (A).  Positive psychology goes away from a deficit approach to mental health (what is wrong with the person ) to a proactive wellbeing strategy. Positive schooling is based on the best teaching practices to help pupils achieve their best academic results, paired with facets from positive psychology which promote student safety and wellbeing. Positive psychology interventions comprise of decision-making, coping abilities, problem-solving abilities, comfort and creative brainstorming.  Applying these in a positive education enhances mental health and life satisfaction, reduces anxiety and depression and enhances academic achievement and creative thinking.

International research suggests positive education does work.  Researchers conducted this study through universities with great reputations. The author’s evaluation of the academic literature suggests positive psychology interventions encourage a strength-based approach for pupils.  For such interventions to be available in schools, school leadership should embrace the positive education standpoint. There’s nothing in the study to indicate the positive schooling approach has some adverse outcomes, but outcomes might vary between schools. Differences from the instruction, support for and by personnel, and resources available, along with the demographics of the student population may influence results.  Favourable education is growing in Australia, and the rise of positive schooling in Australia is evident by the establishment of this Favorable Education Schools Association (PESA). PESA began in 2011 with nine member schools and today has over 100 school members across Australia.

Internationally, groups like the International Positive Psychology Association and the International Favorable Education Network exist to promote positive education. Typically, printed research was conducted in schools in middle-to-upper-class locations.  Students are usually from middle-to-upper-class households with access to great resources, and life is not typically a daily struggle for survival. It is more often schools with many students from non-socio-economic households or with traumatic histories would benefit from favourable education.  The effects may be even more potent in those colleges, presuming the schools provided proper training and support for leadership and staff. It takes time to develop the college culture required to implement positive education efficiently. A stable school leadership with belief in positive education is necessary to make sure its practical adoption. The time and money required to present positive schooling may hinder its complete introduction to each school.  These challenges are likely to inhibit the growth of positive education throughout the government school sector. In other words, unless state education departments take the concept on board and support it with appropriate resources and training.