Discovering Positive Education FAQs
What is Positive Education?
Positive Education is a future-orientated system that embraces change and draws on a range of human sciences to empower schools, educators and students to be at their best.
When implemented effectively, Positive Education combines scientific research with effective educational practice to develop skills and knowledge in students and educators that enhance wellbeing, build resilience and optimise engagement and performance.
What will I learn?
Built around the six evidence-based domains of Positive Education, DPE provides an opportunity for educators to explore foundational and emerging research, progressive educational philosophy, and best-practice application. This course aims to equip you with skills and knowledge to help optimise your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your students and community. Each week we will focus on a different wellbeing domain within our model of Positive Education, with both an overview and a zoomed-in focus on a pivotal subtopic.
Why is there only one focus topic per week?
We could spend days talking about resilience. Literally. Back in 2009, when we were evolving the concept of Positive Education, we shared a 9-day learning experience with Professor Martin Seligman and Dr. Karen Reivich – dedicated to the topic of resilience. There is enough evidence and stories of practice that we could spend days talking about any of our topics. But for you, we have deliberately chosen one high-impact focus topic per domain for two main reasons:
- To give you a really tangible concept with which to experiment.
- To give you an idea of the range of themes we teach and learn and think about within that domain.
Can you tell me a little more about the specific areas of focus?
Here is an overview. Each week, we will release videos that we have recorded specifically for this course; one introduces and summarises the broader wellbeing domain and other highlights a specific focus topic within the domain.
Will I be able to teach my school’s Pos Ed curriculum after I finish this course?
Over the last 10 years, we have continued to be reminded how important the teacher is as a variable affecting the success of Positive Education. Perhaps more than in any other learning context or any other discipline, the authenticity, confidence, and competence of the teacher impacts student learning of wellbeing skills and knowledge.
Recent data has shown that, after after completing our DPE course, 90% of participants felt comfortable providing instruction on Positive Education skills to their students, compared to less than 50% before the course.
Can't I just buy your curriculum?
You can! We are very proud of our research-based K-12 PEEC curriculum, and have been excited to share it with over 200 schools around the world. We do know, however, that a Positive Education curriculum is most effective when the people delivering it are passionate and well-informed about what they’re teaching. A curriculum is just one part of a successful Positive Education program within a school, and we have seen really enthusiastic educators become despondent when the curriculum isn’t the magic fix to student wellbeing that they were hoping for. We strongly recommend you (and others from your school) complete more training in wellbeing and Positive Education so that you are better equipped to ensure a successful implementation.
How will I learn?
Each week has three main components; Discover, Participate and Experiment.
Every week we will provide you with approximately 30 minutes of pre-recorded videos from members from our team and optional links to other key resources including other videos, articles, teaching materials, and so on.
Each week you will meet with fellow educators and our facilitators to deepen your learning and engagement.
After your online session you will engage in a weekly mini ‘Experiment’ related to the focus topic and then post a reflection online for your cohort to see and comment on.
Tell me more about the weekly 'Experiment'?
You could think of it like a micro project. Each Experiment is a chance for you to try out an idea, strategy, or intervention that particularly interests you. It is your chance to directly apply wellbeing science into your own life – and to see what happens! These experiments can be integrated into your work practice or home life. For example, you might give a daily mindfulness practice a go, or rearrange your classroom furniture to optimise flow experiences for your students, or try some gratitude practices with your family. We will provide you with some ideas, but you are free to choose something meaningful (and achievable!) to explore each week.
After intentionally trying out a new strategy each week, you will have an opportunity to reflect on what you discovered and to share your learning with your cohort.
Why do I need to post and comment on other's work?
We are strong believers in the power of a learning community, and in the sharing of wisdom within it. In fact, in research we have conducted on our DPE courses, the opportunity to unpack, discuss and dive more deeply into topics in breakout groups with other professionals was a highlight for many participants. When we open our hearts and minds to our peers, our own learning is enhanced through connections to the learning and ideas of others.
How much time will this course take me?
That really depends on how much time you want to put into it. In each week you will see we have CORE resources – these are our videos and maybe one or two things to read. For most people, these will require around 30-40 minutes of engagement per week. In addition, you will see BOOST IT resources – these are provided because we totally understand that sometimes you want a little bit more, or you’ve got the time to keep exploring something you’re passionate about. These might take an hour or two to work through. You might have that time every week and enjoy immersing yourself in deep exploration, or maybe there’s just one or two weeks’ focus topics that particularly excite you – it’s completely up to you.
Do I need to watch everything?
In order to be able to actively participate in the weekly Participate cohort collaboration sessions, you will need to watch the 30 minutes of core content we have provided.
What is the Impact Project?
Our goal for this course is to instil competence and confidence in you so that you can see how Pos Ed can elevate your home and work life, and the best way to do that is to actively try some strategies and interventions for yourself. At the end of the course, you will submit an Impact Project, which is an opportunity for you reflect on the impact that this course has had on you and/or your community. This deeper reflection and the experience of designing an intentional activity will help you move forward with confidence in applying strategies in your school and other communities.
There is plenty of room for creative presentation formats for your Impact Project, but we expect that it will require the equivalent of around 800 written words or a 5-7 minute video.
What happens if I miss a week?
We understand that life gets busy and sometimes you might not be able to make it to your Participate session. You are welcome to join the other weekly timeslot, but if that’s just not possible for you that’s okay. You will still be able to watch the video content and work on your Experiment for the week.
We really believe in the power of learning through discourse and reflection (that’s why our course is designed with that as the largest time commitment!), so we encourage you to clear this time in your schedule.
Who is this course for?
Whilst most of our participants are educators from around the world, we would love for anyone associated with a school community to join us. We believe in the importance of the whole-school approach - because it is not just teachers who impact the wellbeing of students. We have trained and consulted with over 15,000 educators, school administrators, government employees, educational support staff, school receptionists, cleaners, maintenance people, business managers, tertiary educators, early learning specialists, people in retirement villages...the list is endless. This course is for anyone who believes that wellbeing should be at the heart of a learning community.
I am a parent, not a teacher. Can I do this course?
Parents are absolutely welcome! We know that, often, the people who are most instrumental in the life of a child are the parents. We also know that if what is taught at school is not supported or reflected at home, the program is less effective.
All our Experiments can be conducted at home; around the kitchen table, driving to tennis practice, or walking the dog, just as easily as in the classroom.
Should I still do this course if I have already done the original Discovering Positive Education course in person?
We feel you will still get additional learning and value out of our DPE course. With the possibility of connecting with a global cohort, greater opportunities for experiential learning and reflection, and guidance and support as you design and implement an Impact Project, we would love to welcome you onto our course.
I am not in Australia. Can I still attend?
Absolutely. We are global educators and have worked with schools and organisations around the world. We have chosen our Participate collaboration times to be as inclusive as possible for our global audience.
English is not my first language. Can I still attend?
If you have fluency in conversational English, we would love to have you join us. Our videos have closed captions in English available.
There are five of us from my school who want to do this course. Can we get a discount?
Please get in touch with our office to discuss group pricing or training for your whole school community.
I am in charge of wellbeing at my school – can you train all of my colleagues?
Absolutely. We love delivering training within just one school community. Please get in touch with our office to discuss options.
What do I get for completing this course?
After completing the course and submitting your Impact Project, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.
Who are you?
The Institute of Positive Education is based at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia. Our School is proud to be a pioneer in the field of Positive Education, an evidence-based, proactive approach to wellbeing centred on the cultivation of competencies, knowledge and skills to flourish.
From 2006 to 2009, we worked with Professor Martin Seligman and his team from The University of Pennsylvania to bring the science of Positive Psychology to an educational context and indeed into the Geelong Grammar School way of life.
We have spent the last decade focusing on implementing whole-school approaches to wellbeing in schools around the world.
What is the GGS Institute of Positive Education Model for Positive Education?
Watch this video to learn more about our model, which is based on Martin Seligman’s PERMA model.
Do you have any other resources?
We do! We have a range of free resources, two podcasts, a blog, a 500-lesson K-12 curriculum, a Community of Practice and a range of training and consultancy services, – all dedicated to placing wellbeing at the heart of a learning community.
I have more questions. Can I talk to someone?
Of course. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on +61 3 5227 6222.