‘Positive Education’, a topical subject of late, is a term coined by renowned US psychologist, Dr. Martin Seligman. While the approach upholds the teaching of traditional skills, it does so with an emphasis on fostering positive emotions and character traits in students.
Many who read the major papers will be familiar with the term; it’s generated much hype after Geelong Grammar revealed it advocates, and has implemented, the approach over the past few years. The article, ‘If they’re happy and they know it…’, from The Australian, is just one example.
The exposure is fantastic, too. There’s no doubt in my mind as to how effective Positive Education is. But while you’d be excused for thinking it’s an academic revolution, in reality, Edworks has driven the philosophy for the past 20 years.
As our members will attest, Edworks’ learning environment promotes positivity, encouragement and support. Within it, not only do we arm children with skills for the classroom, but for life, too. We implore students to take risks, rise above adversity, learn from mistakes and continually challenge themselves. This directly assists students to develop a more realistic and robust sense of themselves and prepare them for the unknown challenges that lay ahead.
Given the global uncertainty that we all currently face, parents should certainly see the benefits of fostering confidence in their children while preparing them for the adult world. A former Edworks’ student, now in his mid twenties, popped in to see me and remarked that the best skill he gained from his time with us was his ability to think critically and believe in himself. He commented that it was also one of the key aspects that his employer appreciated.
So, it’s no surprise to us that Positive Education has garnered support from prominent psychologists and educators across the globe. Over 20 years, we’ve seen the evidence to confirm its value.
And while South Australia is investigating the prospect of rolling out Positive Education across the whole state system, independent schools in Victoria continue to acknowledge its worth.
Principal of Altona College, Nathan Chisholm, explains the transformation he’s observed in both students and staff at his public school: “We have shifted the culture from one of welfare to one of wellbeing, and that’s a really important thing.”