Ioe 11 17 2012

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  • 1.Dr. Kate Hefferon, PhDLondon Festival of EducationNovember 17th, 2012

2. Positive psychology is the scientific study of optimalhuman functioning [that] aims to discover and promotethe factors that allow individuals and communities tothrive.(Seligman, 1999) Positive psychology focuses on well-being, happiness,flow, personal strengths, resilience, wisdom,creativity etc. as well as characteristics of positivegroups and institutions 3. Unprecedented increase in childhoodand adolescent depression 2% of children aged 1115 and 11%of youth aged 1624 in the UK suffera major depressive disorder Childhood and adolescent depressionlinked to higher rates of academicand interpersonal difficulties,smoking, use of drugs and alcoholand attempted suicide(Green, McGinnity, Meltzer, Ford, & Goodman, 2005;Covey, Glassman, & Stetner, 1998; Garrison,Jackson, Addy, McKeown, & Waller, 1989). 4. Subjective well being (Deiner, 2009) Psychological well being (Ryff, 2012) Positive emotions (Fredrickson, 2003; 2004; 2009) Character strengths (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) Resilience and flourishing (Reivich & Shatte,Seligman, 2011) 5. In one or two words, what do you most want for your children? In one or two words, what do schools teach? (Seligman, 2011) 6. aims to develop the skills of well-being, flourishingand optimal functioning in children, teenagers andstudents, as well as parents and educationalinstitutions. Preventative and enabling developmental approaches Underpinned by empirical validation and evidencebased practice 7. Time limited approaches(3 months- 1 year) Stand alone programmes Curriculum embedment School ethos Primary and secondary University (Gokcen, Hefferon & Aitree, 2012) 8. Penn Resiliency Programme (USA; UK)(Gillham, Reivich, Seligman & Silver,1995) Bounce Back! (Australia) (McGrath &Noble, 2003) Making Hope Happen (Lopez et al,2004) Wisdom Curriculum (Reznitskaya & Sternberg, 2004) Focus on social competence, emotionalcompetence, resilience, optimism,moral and intellectual development 9. 16 years ; 13 RCTs, 1000s ofparticipants (Seligman, 2002, 2007;Reivich & Shatt, 2002; Reivich etal, 2007) Reductions in depressivesymptoms, anxiety and behaviouralproblems Reduce the incidence of depressionand anxiety by 50% at the three-year follow-up period (Gillham,Reivich & Freres, 2007) 10. Embed in ethos School-wide programmes (involving all staff andpupils) to promote psychological well-being are morelikely to be effective than class-based interventions(Wells, Barlow & Stewart-Brown, 2003; Waters, 2011) A positive climate in the school as a whole isassociated with teacher and student satisfaction,lower stress levels, and better academic results(Sangsue & Vorpe, 2000) 11. Increased levels of well-being Fewer conduct problems and emotional issues Enhanced pro-social behaviors Higher academic performance School personnel best to implement rather than outsider Must be well executed and accordingly Need more follow up studies (beyond 6 months) (Durlak et al. 2011) 12. Relatively new area of psychology Costly to schools Need to be careful not to prescribe Only use evidence based interventions Research further into:a) Ageb) Culturec) Special needs 13. Positive psychology is the science of optimal humanfunctioning Significant amounts of research supportingimportance of SWB, positive emotions and strengths Positive psychology is being used in education forstand alone and/or ongoing interventions These are showing positive results in reducingdepression and enhancing well being More research needed in areas of secondary school,university and special needs education 14. University of East London Action for happiness The Well-Being Institute CAPP The YoungFoundation New Economics Foundation Centre for Confidence and Well-Being 15. Hefferon, K. & Boniwell, I. (2011). PositivePsychology: Theory, research and applications.London: Open University Press. Waters, L. (2011). A Review of School-BasedPositive Psychology Interventions. The AustralianEducational and Developmental Psychologist, 28,2, 75-90. Gokcen, N., Hefferon, K., & Attree, E.A. (2012).University students constructions of flourishing inBritish higher education: an inductive contentanalysis. International Journal of Wellbeing, 2(1),1-21. 16.