Raising awareness of positive education is important – few schools are likely to invest time and money in curricula they have no experience of. Exploring the links below will give you a deeper understanding of what positive education is.
It’s my hope that they’ll also provide ideas and resources to add to your teaching toolkit and encourage discussion. They may even inspire you to supplement existing well-being/pastoral practices within your school or introduce new initiatives.
Here are some central networks you might want to explore further. They act to increase awareness of and access to positive education, linking educators across the globe. If you choose to become a member, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with others who are actively involved in positive education. In my experience, the community is generous with their time/resources and encourage a collaborative approach.
IPEN: free access. Initial lesson ideas and activities, ‘learning library’ of shared member resources. Useful world map displays number of community members in specific locations across the world. Users can search for their area and connect with others.
IPPAed: paid membership of the International Positive Psychology Association required. Non-members can access parts of a blog with some links and information about PosEd events as well as limited videos/past webinars. Most content is restricted to members. Access to monthly webinars via the ‘Leader Series’, virtual learning library with videos and presentations on PP.
PESA: paid membership. Access and information about upcoming Pos Ed events as well as research articles. Available resources include: curriculum ideas, staff well-being workshops, further reading, videos and apps. Contact details of lead staff in Pos Ed schools willing to assist others are also offered.
There are many schools around the world who call themselves ‘positive education schools’ – as well as schools that incorporate elements of practice to complement and add to their existing resource bank.
One example of a well-known school leading the way in positive education is Geelong Grammar School, Victoria, Australia. They opened the Institute of Positive Education which is a great source of information/inspiration for educators.
Research on best practice has been undertaken by numerous independent centres – three I find particularly useful are below:
VIA Institute on Character: range of informative and practical resources on character strengths. Survey to identify personal strengths, explanations of each strength, ideas to enhance them, blog articles and podcast. Paid courses available.
Character Lab: offers ‘Playbooks’ – resources that provide information on character strengths, how to build them and the theory/research behind them. ‘Thought of the Week’ highlights current scientific news, relating this to real life topics and making links to the relevant Playbook.
Mindset Kit: Excellent range of content on how to develop mindsets, with examples of activities, printable lesson plan and suggested assessments. Structured professional development sessions for introducing a growth mindset into schools with interactive resources and discussion points for staff. (PERTS & Teaching Channel). Plenty of links to further reading and access to a collaborative resource library.
I hope you’ll find these links of use and enjoy exploring them to gain a deeper insight into how positive education can enhance student engagement, enjoyment and attainment.
The current educational climate has too much of a focus on academic achievement and exam preparation – contributing to stress for students, parents and teachers alike. Valuing character development and well-being as well as academic learning will provide children with a more holistic education and core skills for life.
Thanks for reading!