“Positive Education brings together the science of positive psychology with best practice teaching and learning to encourage and support schools and individuals within their communities to flourish.” (Geelong Grammar School, 2011) Also view, ‘What is Positive Psychology’
Why Positive Education?
Mental Health Statistics (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2009)
▪ 1 in 5 Australians suffer from a mental illness (depression, anxiety, substance abuse)
▪ Youths (aged 18-24) have the highest prevalence of mental health disorders
▪ Suicide is the leading cause of death for young people (aged 18-24) in Australia
▪ Australians are more likely to die by suicide than skin cancer
We have a responsibility as educators, school leaders and parents to equip students with the scientifically proven strategies and habits that directly target the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Positive psychology also reinforces the fact that the strategies used to prepare students for optimum academic performance are often the same or similar to those used to promote wellbeing; they are not mutually exclusive.
At our school we’re committed to ensuring that all students develop a positive sense of their own identity, are emotionally resilient and experience high levels of wellbeing. Martin Seligman (2011) identified 5 measureable elements of wellbeing that comprised Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishment (PERMA). Geelong Grammar School built on this model for wellbeing by including a positive focus on developing student health (+H). Seligman notes that communities and individuals flourish when there are high levels of PERMA.
At Auburn South Primary School, the PERMA +H model enables us to ensure that we are strategic and thorough in the ways in which we foster wellbeing, develop resilience and promote positive health.These are the conditions for learning that enable our students to flourish and reach their true academic potential.
In working with our training partners, The Geelong Grammar Institute of Positive Education and the Resilience Project we have already taken significant steps towards embedding the principles of positive psychology into all aspects of our school.
Each week, we will provide parents and community members with readings and information that relates to positive education and how as a community we can ensure that our students are flourishing – academically and emotionally.