“Some of the most important questions and challenges which have the greatest significance for the well-being of individuals and the good of society relate to the quality of school education and training” (Education and Culture DG, Schools Policy). Quality School Education is of capital relevance to developed societies were the positive values of cooperation, innovation, love of learning and vitality need to be promoted and appreciated.
“... and some of the most important challenges which have greatest significance for the quality of education is the well-being of students and teachers and the welfare of the school community...”. Students and teacher wellbeing, understood as enjoying experiences of life, functioning well from the psychological point of view, and developing positive social relationships, is a pre-condition for quality education, and constitute the core basis of the PositivitiES proposal. This project is addressing the need to cultivate healthy psychological and social skills in both students and teachers in order to support quality learning methods and processes. “Learning is more effective when learning is a joyful experience in itself” (Hans Henrik Knoop -Aspects of Good Learning and Good_Work).
Bringing Applied Positive Psychology to the schools
Positive Psychology is the scientific study of the human resources that contribute to the wellbeing and quality of life, of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. Positive Psychology studies ranges from the individual perspective (positive emotions, positive individual traits) to the collective perspective of institutions, communities and nations. Understanding positive individual traits consists of the study of the strengths and virtues, such as the capacity for love and work, courage, compassion, resilience, creativity, curiosity, integrity, self-knowledge, moderation, self-control, and wisdom. Understanding positive institutions entails the study of the strengths that foster better communities, such as justice, responsibility, civility, parenting, nurturance, work ethic, leadership, teamwork, purpose, and tolerance.
Need for European reference course of Positive Psychology for schools
PositivitiES aims to become a European level bridge between well-established and well-researched areas of positive psychology, and the practical teaching methods and resources that can be adopted for successful child development and education.
Despite their proved benefits and results, Positive Psychology methods and applications in education are not well known by the European teachers and schools. The partners of this project have been pioneers in offering courses of Positive Psychology to teachers and schools. The number of schools and organisations in Europe starting training activities in positive psychology is clearly increasing, but there is a risk of fragmentation and lack of common criteria and quality. The need of harmonization of contents, criteria and quality level is a crucial issue, to be achieved by the development of a common European reference training course and related activities. This effort will finally contribute to facilitate cooperation, mobility of individuals, and promotion of European common skills and values.