School is the training ground that helps shape individuals into the people they will become. Our children’s and youth’s experiences in school dictate the pathway they take to facilitate future growth. If positive psychology studies optimal functioning, positive learning is applied in the school setting. Positive learning combines traditional education principles with studying happiness and well-being, using Martin Seligman’s PERMA model and the Values in Action (VIA) classification. Positive learning focuses on providing a school environment that encompasses everyone’s strengths and positive qualities. Our guide will give you an understanding of positive learning and the theoretical concepts that make up this movement, as well as the best School ERP System to support the process of this activity.
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How to Apply Positive Education
Every course at the institution emphasizes positive learning for students. In an art class, for instance, students may experiment with the idea of flourishing by making a piece of artwork that symbolizes it. Similarly to how they would learn about topics like algebra or geography, students participate in consistent positive psychology instruction.
Teacher-student bonds are another main focus of these interventions. When a teacher gives feedback, they are told to be specific about what the student did well rather than just saying, “Good job!” Alterations to these seemingly inconsequential interactions can have a significant impact, and the language of reinforcement can make all the difference. The results of a study show that it was more beneficial than punishment in the classroom for students of all ages and skill levels.
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The PERMA Model represents the five core elements of happiness and well-being. PERMA stands for Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments. This model was designed by an American educator and psychologist, Martin Seligman.
P – Positive emotions
Positive emotion is about feeling good, and it is clear that feeling good is the best way to be happy. When you feel good, you have a positive attitude. But this kind of happiness is not just someone flashing a great smile, which anyone can do and, unfortunately, can be faked. Positive emotion goes further than that. It can include accepting the past, no matter how bad it was, and looking forward to the future with hope.
Such emotion doesn’t mean a person should be happy 100% of the time because that is impossible. Positive emotions affect many other aspects of life, including the PERMA model. Mistakenly, pleasure and enjoyment are equated with happiness. The model defines pleasure as meeting physical necessities such as food, shelter, drink, clothing, and safety. Enjoyment comes from painting, cross-stitching, or exploring a car’s engine. Happiness follows enjoyment.
E – Engagement
The second part of the PERMA Model is “Engagement,” which stands for everything a person can become thoroughly interested in. Almost everyone can relate to the feeling of being entirely absorbed by a book or other form of entertainment. It is suitable for a person’s intelligence, emotions, and skills, which is why a child who is busy putting together different Lego components or piling blocks should be allowed to do so.
Doing something that keeps a student interested makes them happy, even if it has nothing to do with their course or other people think it is silly. There are many ways to improve “Flow” in the classroom, such as tying the lesson into something your students like to do, giving them a challenge that is neither too hard nor too easy, and having a nice place to work.
R – Relationship
The PERMA model says relationships are the third part of happiness and well-being. As human beings, we want to connect with others and be a part of a group, like a clique, a school club, or a circle. We were made in a way that makes us want and need love, affection, attention, and interaction.
How we respond to others, connect with others, and show gratitude to those who help us or are a part of our lives can all make a difference in how well we get along with them. People need to build relationships with family, coworkers, friends, and peers to get emotional support from these groups when things get complicated. Girls in high school usually go to the bathroom together, even if only one must go—this simple but straightforward example of the need to belong and interact.
M – Meaning
The fourth part of the PERMA Model is meaning, which we could define as finding significant value in something we believe in or more excellent than ourselves. For some people, it comes from helping the community, doing religious or charitable work, spending time with family, or working toward a professional or creative goal. There is so much more to life than just money and material possessions.
These things are more valuable than any money, giving people a reason to be happy and keep going. What makes a person want to live, above all else, is finding meaning in their lives. Connecting school programs with class activities important to students and the community is a great way to help students develop a deeper understanding of life and themselves.
A – Accomplishment
Accomplishments are the fifth and final component of the PERMA model. Having accomplished something special is a source of pride for every person. It is these accomplishments that strengthen our self-esteem and our confidence that we are worth something. Our desire to improve and advance grows whenever we experience success. It can be seen even in very young children.
For example, a little girl learns how to use a spoon and fork to eat, and when she sees how proud her mother is, she keeps using her spoon and fork. She also wants to learn new things that are harder than what she already knows, like filling her glass with water or putting her toys back in the cupboard. In short, these accomplishments make people want to do more and feel good about themselves.
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Positive Learning Integration Into Educational Programs
Simple, consistent, and fun activities are the best ways to get your students excited about learning. Since being able to understand and be aware of individual strengths is a big part of positive learning, students need to be able to see their own and others’ strengths. The key to positive learning is making the classroom where people focus on being positive and thinking. Here are some ideas and activities for incorporating positive learning in your classroom.
1. Pleasant activity scheduling worksheet
According to the PERMA model, positive emotion is the first important part of happiness and well-being, so the pleasant activity scheduling worksheet might be a good idea. This worksheet helps students think about things that make them happy so they can feel better all day. Teachers can tell their students to use this to keep track of things that make them happy in class.
2. Daily mood tracker
This daily mood chart helps students track how they feel throughout the day. This simple chart for self-reporting will help students figure out how they feel at different times of the day and week. Teachers can also use it as a mood chart to monitor the class’s level of involvement.
3. Understanding empathy
This lesson plan explores the principles of empathy and the manifestations of those qualities in real scenarios. As part of the lesson, students will watch a short video describing empathy and its importance for relating to others. In pairs, they will fill out a worksheet asking them to think about the likely outcomes and emotional effects of showing empathy or not showing empathy in several situations. Then, the students will act out these different situations with their classmates.
Positive learning is a growing movement in today’s schooling system. Encouraging students to celebrate, develop their strengths, and increase their self-concept is key to positive learning. Emphasizing components of positive psychology, such as gratitude, forgiveness, and resilience, can help equip students with coping strategies to deal with stressful situations throughout their life. Focusing on positive learning can also help teachers and other staff members promote a more positive environment.
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