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By Patricia Hughes, School Psychologist
Martin Seligman is well known for his work on Positive Psychology. He has recently published “The Hope Circuit” (Random House 2018). His recent seminar held in Perth, was entitled Positive Psychology, Positive Instructions and Positive Education.
He spoke about the changes in psychology this century. In the past psychology used to be devoted to eliminating misery but is now focused on what makes life worth living.
Seligman believes that positive thinking can be measured and can be taught. Similarly, personal well-being can be measured and taught.
He presented some very interesting numbers regarding the effects of optimistic thinking on such things as cardio-vascular disease, work output and longevity. His website authentichappiness.org is free and extremely popular.
He believes that the budget for a country’s education system should allocate at least 50% for the teaching of wellbeing and positive mental health. There is proof that improving students’ well-being improves their academic progress.
He presented many amazing facts and figures to show that the world is a much better place than it was two hundred years ago. For example, the number of people living in real poverty has decreased from 90% to 10%. These facts are free to download from The Global Happiness and Well-being Policy Report 2019.However, despite these global improvements there is an increase in anxiety and depression amongst very young people. Seligman sees that the challenge for the future is to improve the well-being of all young people by the teaching of positive psychology. He believes that the brains of young people are evolving to be more globally oriented and to have improved reasoning skills.
Many of Seligman’s views, particularly those around optimism and resilience resonate with the intentionality of care, optimism, respect and trust (ICORT)
and the understandings which underpin Invitational Learning Theory.
By Tom Jones, English & HaSS Head of Learning Area.
During a recent General Staff Meeting, Physical Education Teacher In Charge Liam Mooney, Upper School Coordinator Carys Hurcom and Arts Teacher In Charge Ryan Thornicroft, shared their peer observation stories and discussed the rationale behind their team’s processes as part of Clarkson CHS’s 2019 De-Privatising Our Teaching Practice project. When teacher teams design their own peer observation processes, the ownership and agency increase engagement and our collective efficacy. We look forward to evaluating the project's impact in Semester Two.
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