Why Positive Education?

Students at the planning meeting for The World Positive Education Accelerator 2018

WHAT IS POSITIVE EDUCATION?

Positive Education unites the science of positive psychology and related disciplines with the study of education's most promising innovations to enable academic excellence and human flourishing as complementary aims of education. Its goal is to equip people—students, teachers, school systems, and community partners—with the well-being skills and tools to flourish, and contribute to the flourishing of others, in ways that support and strengthen traditional learning. Research has shown that character and well-being are malleable, or skill-like, and can be improved with good teaching and practice. Positive Education believes we can give children and adolescents the tools and skills to learn how to live what has perennially and universally been deemed as the good life—a life infused with meaning, purpose, love, virtue, character, connectedness, health, and a sense of self-efficacy, autonomy, and mastery. The skills and tools we can help students discover and cultivate include: resiliency, a growth mindset, learned optimism, positive emotions, mindfulness, gratitude, their signature strengths and positive relationships.

Numerous studies confirm that youth well-being:

  • Contributes to academic achievement, fewer risky adolescent behaviors, and better physical health during adolescence and adulthood
  • Is a protective factor against youth depression and promotes creativity, social cohesion, and civic citizenship
  • Leads to adults who, 15 years later in life, make more money, are more successful, and have higher academic attainment than less happy teenagers

Recently, one large-scale study proved that well-being can be taught at a large scale, and that, rather than being detrimental to academic learning, teaching well-being lastingly improved academic performance! To learn more see our Suggested Reading page.


WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM POSITIVE EDUCATION PRACTICES?

Definition of Positive EducationAround the world—Australia, U.K., U.S., Mexico, India, UAE—schools from K-12 to higher education, as well as entire government systems, are incorporating positive educational approaches into their instructional practices.

They are seeing profound positive impacts on learning outcomes, including:

  • Positive peer relationships
  • Wellbeing
  • Career potential
  • The capacity of students to not just function, but to flourish

Moreover, an increasing number of business and non-profit organizations are developing tools and programs in education spaces that help foster concepts like character, resilience, and mindset. These pioneers have much to teach us about positive education curricula, assessment tools, and how to successfully help students become the best version of themselves.


EXAMPLES OF CURRENT POSITIVE EDUCATION PRACTICES

Positive Education is emerging in many different ways. Below please find a few examples that inspired us:


Reserve your place at The World Positive Education Accelerator: 2nd Festival of Positive Education & Appreciative Inquiry Summit

June 25-28, 2018 | Fort Worth Convention Center | Texas

Register to Attend