Delivering ‘Positive Education’ to children of the Upper Hunter is the primary goal of Where there’s a Will.

We talk about it A LOT so we thought we’d provide our supporters with an overview of what it’s all about.

Before we can ever begin to understand Positive Education we must understand our natural negative bias.

People are programmed to notice the bad first. It’s how our earliest ancestors survived, always on the alert for signs of danger. Even though we no longer have to be on the constant lookout for trouble, we still lean heavily toward negativity in our lives.

You know the feeling , you received overwhelmingly positive feedback for something and some criticism,  more than likely you’ll find yourself fixating on the one or two criticisms rather than the overwhelming positives.

Recent research actually suggest that we require 5 positive emotions to negate one negative emotion in our lives.

Confronting the Negativity Bias

Positive education is the combination of traditional education with the study of happiness and well being.

The fundamental goal of positive education is to promote flourishing or positive mental health within the school community. Students celebrate their strengths and learn how to master skills that do not come naturally.

They will practice the ability to bounce back from adversity and keep going when things get tough, these traits are more commonly known as grit and resilience.

A school curriculum that incorporates wellbeing will ideally prevent depression, increase life satisfaction, encourage social responsibility, promote creativity, foster learning and even enhance academic achievement.

Positive Education is based on Dr Martin Seligman’s 5 pillars for wellbeing,
Positive Emotions: Feeling positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, interest, hope.

Engagement: Being fully absorbed in activities that use your skills yet challenge you.

Relationships: Having positive relationships.

Meaning: Belonging to and serving something you believe is bigger than yourself.

Accomplishment: Pursuing success, winning achievement and mastery.

Positive education isn’t about pretending that you don’t have problems, nor is it about being happy 100% of the time.

It’s about having a realistic view of life and extra skills and tools to navigate the tough times and challenges.

It is about practising good behaviours that promote wellbeing and a glass half full attitude to life.