Conference Lecture

The Sessions

Positively Transforming Education: Building on Resilience and Well-Being

Speaker: Professor Ilona Boniwell

 

How do we implement positive education in school contexts to achieve tangible culture and behavior change? The first, most demanding, way would be using the whole-school approach governed by models such as PERMAH, PROSPER, LeAF, SEARCH, etc. Yet, even if the rationale behind these frameworks is rather solid, many schools are not necessarily ready to immediately adopt such an approach, as it requires systemic changes. The second approach is easier to implement, as it relies on explicitly teaching wellbeing and resilience skills through dedicated lessons and pedagogical material. Literature depicts many universal or targeted positive education programmes. However, these programmes often require money, teacher training and involvement of external professionals. Furthermore, the limitations of a school week can make it difficult to liberate curricula time for such programmes. The third way to implement wellbeing skills is through a so-called toolbox approach, i.e. using brief positive psychology interventions flexibly integrated into lessons in accordance to situational demands and time availability. Giving the extensive evidence behind positive psychology interventions, such an approach functions well within existing operational constraints and is much appreciated by students and teachers alike. In this workshop, we will explore examples of the three abovementioned approaches to the enhancement of well-being and resilience in the classroom.

The Positive Humanities in Education: Enhancing Human Flourishing Through Arts and Culture

Speaker: Professor James Pawelski

 

The arts and humanities are critical for human flourishing. Music, art, literature, theatre, film, philosophy, history, religion, and similar cultural pursuits play central roles in the education of children, the leisure time of adults, and the cohesion of communities, nations, and society at large. The Positive Humanities are a new, interdisciplinary field bringing together the humanities (including the arts) and the sciences to understand, assess, and advance the role of culture in human flourishing. This presentation will introduce conference attendees to the Positive Humanities and explore ways this new field can support well-being in education—in arts and humanities courses as well as in STEM classes.

Integrating Wellbeing Science into the School Classroom and the School Curriculum

Speaker: Mr Justion Robinson

 

Positive Education is informed by the burgeoning field of wellbeing science, however, a key to the sustainable implementation of Positive Education is the successful integration of practices into the classroom and the curriculum.

 

This integration is championed by school leaders but is actioned by all classroom teachers. It starts by providing a ‘Why’ for teachers, so they understand the purpose of adapting and progressing their practices. The next step is the ongoing drip-feed of practical, evidence-based ideas that teachers can consider and experiment with. As teacher buy-in and confidence increases, the goal is to have teachers co-create and share ongoing ideas and activities that enhance the engagement, wellbeing, and resilience of their learners.

 

During this workshop, Justin will discuss a selection of possible ‘Whys’ for teachers, he will then share a range of practical ways Positive Education principles can be implemented in the classroom and the curriculum. Justin will also explore a framework for the co-creation of creative wellbeing activities. The goal is that all participants will leave the workshop with a new, concrete, and tangible idea they wish to implement back in their school to nurture the wellbeing of their community.

Meaning and Purpose in the Future of Education and Work

Speakers: Assoc Professor Mark Baildon, Assoc Professor Mary Anne Heng and Dr Johannis Auri Abdul Aziz

The arts and humanities are critical for human flourishing. Music, art, literature, theatre, film, philosophy, history, religion, and similar cultural pursuits play central roles in the education of children, the leisure time of adults, and the cohesion of communities, nations, and society at large. The Positive Humanities are a new, interdisciplinary field bringing together the humanities (including the arts) and the sciences to understand, assess, and advance the role of culture in human flourishing. This presentation will introduce conference attendees to the Positive Humanities and explore ways this new field can support well-being in education—in arts and humanities courses as well as in STEM classes.

Best Practices: Practitioner Panel 1

Implementing Positive Education in a Time of Change and Volatility

Panelists: Ms Claire Ong, Mrs Joyce Ang, Mr Charles Low, Mr Rami Madani and Mr Murray Thomas

It is almost a cliché to say that we live in a time of change and volatility. Yet, educational theories and frameworks have indeed come and gone, and it is a constant challenge for education to remain relevant in the 21st century.  

 

How can the application of positive psychology address the pertinent issues in education, especially in such volatile times? In this session, school leaders will share their schools’ journeys on implementing Positive Education interventions to improve their students’ learning and growth while ensuring the wellbeing of everyone during these difficult times. They will also share personal anecdotes on the challenges they face and how they manage these challenges.

Best Practices: Practitioner Panel 2

Leading and Thriving with Technology in Challenging Times

Panelists: Mr Chen Jingkai, Mr Nick Chan, Mr Ng Yeow Ling, Mr Matthew Scott and Ms Nada Salha

Against the backdrop of the COVID pandemic and rapid technological advancement, our societies, workforces and classrooms now face novel challenges and opportunities. In this session, panelists will discuss best practices in the use of technology to enable Positive Education’s key imperatives. Further, the panel will also explore how Positive Education’s value proposition is becoming clearer in an increasingly tech-enabled future. Finally, in their capacity as organizational leaders, panelists will share their perspectives on the elements of Positive Leadership needed to steer their organizations in challenging times.