Positive Education Pedagogy: Shifting Teacher Mindsets, Practice, and Language to Make Wellbeing Visible in Classrooms
Waters L. (2021) Positive Education Pedagogy: Shifting Teacher Mindsets, Practice, and Language to Make Wellbeing Visible in Classrooms. In: Kern M.L., Wehmeyer M.L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Positive Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-64537-3_6
This chapter puts forward three key ideas for expanding the field of positive education. First, I call for the field to develop evidence-based ways to implicitly deliver wellbeing practices in addition to the current delivery mode of explicit programs. Second, I suggest that the current practice of teaching the content of wellbeing would benefit from including approaches that also build the contexts for wellbeing. Third, I recommend that the field must empower teachers to utilize their own teaching expertise as compared to simply delivering a pre-designed wellbeing curriculum. The core “change lever” to incorporate implicit approaches, build contexts for wellbeing, and empower teachers is that of pedagogy. “Positive Education Pedagogy” reflects the idea that how a teacher educates, not just what is taught, is a key factor in building student wellbeing. Infusing positive education into teacher pedagogy allows wellbeing to be built in all classes and subjects across the entire school and not just in those classes that explicitly teach positive education programs. To demonstrate these ideas, a qualitative case study investigating the outcomes of a positive pedagogical intervention is presented. Results of this study found that teachers who are trained in positive education pedagogy are able to legitimize, action, and spread wellbeing. Positive education pedagogy creates change within the teacher, across classrooms, and throughout the school. These findings are explained through three key positive psychology theories: mindsets, broaden and build, and systems informed positive psychology (SIPP).