Our Living Library of Positive Education in Action

Dr Georgiana Cameron

“Positive psychology is not a spectator sport.”
- Chris Peterson

At this year’s Positive Schools conference, we decided to take a growth mindset to developing new training experiences and tried something new. With the encouragement of Positive Schools conference organisers, Dr Helen Street and Neil Porter, we launched the world’s first Living Library of Positive Education in Action. Our library workshop experience included six different Living Books of students and teachers across the topics of Teaching Mindfulness, Expressing Gratitude, Resilient Thinking, Spotting Character Strengths, Parent Information Evening and Help-seeking.

In designing each of our Living Books we wanted the experience to be as hands-on as possible. We understand that teachers want to walk away from a professional learning experience with their heads, hands and hearts full of ideas and energy.

In the Teaching Mindfulness Book, teachers were led through a meditation and given time to ask questions and reflect on this.

The Expressing Gratitude Book involved contributing to a wall of ‘What Went Wells’ and writing a gratitude postcard to someone.

Year 8 student, Jack, looking rightly proud of his wall of What Went Wells.

In the Resilient Thinking Book we asked participants to unpack common scenarios like our students do in terms of the Antecedents Thoughts and Behaviours.

Our Spotting Character Strengths Book involved conversations for parents about their child at their best, complete with character strength stickers to add extra fun and colour.

Teachers were put into another point of view when they attended The Parent Information Evening Book and asked questions to our Vice Principal, Charlie Scudamore, about why Positive Education is worth doing.

In our Help-seeking Book, teachers experienced the same Positive Education Training our Geelong Grammar School staff enjoy through exploring how we seek help in different situations and being introduced to the Reciprocity Ring.

We would like to express our gratitude and pride for the students who took on the roles of Living Books. In each state we travelled to, two new Geelong Grammar School students hosted our Gratitude and Resilient Thinking Books, and each time workshop participants spoke to us about how impressed they were and how much of a highlight it had been to learn from the students. We hope that this trend continues, and that we keep learning about how students experience Positive Education and provide opportunities for students to teach others about what they have learnt.

Student participants celebrating their many Character Strengths

Dr Georgiana Cameron
Dr Georgiana Cameron is a Trainer and Content Developer for the Institute of Positive Education. She has completed a Doctorate of Educational Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Georgiana has strong experience working directly with students, teachers and families in her work as an educational psychologist. Her time working on large-scale mental health initiatives in schools has given her a sound understanding of mental health prevention and promotion.

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