For the 2015-2016 school year, I have implemented the first phase of explicitly integrating Positive Education throughout the curriculum. Character education, health education, and holistic mindfulness are areas in our curriculum identified for development. Key faculty will undergo in-depth training in the Positive Education model used by Geelong Grammar School in Australia. Geelong has a dedicated research and teaching team at their on-site Institute for Positive Education. According to Geelong's website:
Positive Education brings together the science of Positive Psychology with best practice teaching to encourage and support individuals, schools and communities to flourish. We refer to flourishing as a combination of ‘feeling good and doing good.’ Positive Education focuses on specific skills that assist students to strengthen their relationships, build positive emotions, enhance personal resilience, promote mindfulness, and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
We also aim to foster engagement amongst our students, encourage them to achieve and, ultimately, equip them with the qualities to enable them to fulfill their life purpose.
By securing professional development funds for this training and building up a section of our faculty library in the area of Positive Education, I hope to set the stage for using this model to support and encourage our school community. One thing that excites me about the work at Geelong is that their initiatives are data driven and use current research practices to show the short and long-term effects of Positive Education.
I also successfully lobbied for an additional full-time employee to teach Health & Wellness and was able to hire a highly-qualified and experienced teacher who will chair the Positive Education Committee.