Tel: 2919 1436 | Fax: 2904 7479 | E-mail: clt@vtc.edu.hk |
default logo

Bring Positive Education to Your Classroom
讓正向教育走進你的課堂

positiveEdu

English中文
Teachers play a key role in the education of students by adding life and colours to promote learning. Apparently teachers would endeavour to explore new learning and teaching strategies to enhance student learning. While positive education is gaining more interest and attention in local education, would you give it a thought?

What is Positive Education?

Positive education is the integration of positive psychology in the realm of education. It is a holistic approach that promotes the training of heart and mind in education, in addition to the traditional one that emphases on subject content delivery. The goal of positive education is to help students reveal and develop their abilities as well as perform with their character strengths. Professor Martin Seligman, the pioneer of positive education, has been advocating this approach to decrease depression and enhance the well-being and happiness in younger people (Seligman, 2013a).

PERMA Model and its Application in the Classroom

To make happiness more obtainable, Seligman has developed the PERMA model (Seligman, 2013b) with five essential elements for a solid foundation of building a happy and flourishing life. These five elements and their corresponding suggested practices are briefly listed below for your reference. Surely you could think of more ideas to apply PERMA in your classroom!

PERMA
Five Elements of PERMA Model
(Image Courtesy of CLT, 2016)

Positive Emotion

Positive emotions have a positive influence on thinking patterns, work and study, physical health and social behaviours. Creativity and courage to take chances are also stemmed from positive emotions. People with positive emotions are inclined to look into the future with optimism and hope.

There is a tendency for people to think adversely, and teachers are of no exception in the classroom. To cultivate positive feelings in class, teachers may try to focus on students’ personal strengths rather than weaknesses, and work with their strengths to enhance learning effectiveness.

Engagement

Energy comes from momentum and focus, for example engaging in work and play. We get unmotivated and feel unenergetic when we are doing nothing. To engage our students in productive tasks in the classroom, knowing their character strengths is one of the keys.

Teachers are encouraged to help students explore and identify their strengths and interests. The design of learning and teaching activities should allow students to reveal and employ their strengths that make them feel confident, productive and valuable.

Relationships

A strong network of support is a source for happiness, as the idiom goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved; happiness shared is happiness squared”. However, a wide circle of friends does not guarantee happiness. It very much depends on the frequency we cooperate in activities and share our personal feelings and support with each other.

Teacher-student connections do not come by itself in the classroom. Teachers play a significant role in fostering and maintaining connections in the classroom. A teacher with a friendly and sincere attitude and ready to listen and share is always welcomed by students. Besides teacher-student relationship, teachers could also encourage closer peer connections by arranging more learning activities that require collaboration among peers and provide opportunity for them to share in order to strengthen those connections.

Meaning

Consistence between one’s work and one’s personal values and beliefs could enhance their happiness and confidence, particularly if they have shared goals with the community they belong to. Riding on that, sacrificing oneself for a greater purpose could also bring a satisfying and fulfilling feeling.

So what do our students value most in life? What are their goals in study? Teachers could first have a discussion with the class on these questions to help them identify what matters most to them, and follow up with helping them find some like-minded people and begin working together for the things they care about.

Accomplishment

Accomplishment is indispensable from goal setting. Goal setting helps us determine our priorities, make big decisions, and realise our dreams. Teachers could encourage students to identify their ambitions and cultivate the strengths they need in order to reach them. After all, don’t forget to connect their goals to the ultimate currency – happiness!

To apply the above, the SMART goal setting model is one of the most popular and effective tools for creating realistic and achievable goals that you could recommend to your students.

SMART Goal Setting Model

S – Make your goal Specific
M – Make your goal Measurable
A – Make sure your goal is Attainable
R – Make your goal Relevant
T – Make your goal Time-bound

SMART
(Image Courtesy of CLT, 2016)

Positive education is defined as “education for both traditional skills and for happiness” (Seligman, Gillham, Reivich & Linkins, 2009). In addition to academic achievement, equipping our students for the challenges in life is the aspiration of most teachers. In view of this, incorporating some good practices, if not all, of positive education in our learning and teaching may be a happy solution to both teachers and students.

References:

Seligman, M. E. (2013a). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. (2013b). Flourish: A Visionary new understanding of happiness and well-Being. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford review of education, 35(3), 293-311.

老師在學生的學習過程中發揮關鍵作用,他們為學習注入生氣和色彩,從而促進學習。老師不時探索新的學與教策略,以促進學生學習。當本地教育界對正向教育越來越感興趣和關注時,你會否考慮把它帶進你的課堂?

甚麼是正向教育?

正向教育就是在教育領域中加入正向心理學的元素。正向教育除了著重傳統學科知識的傳遞外,同時積極提倡身心健康發展,是一個較為全面的教育方案。正向教育的目的是協助學生展現他們的長處及技能,並加以發展。除此之外,正向教育的先驅者塞利格曼教授致力倡導這個教育方案以減輕年輕人的抑鬱情緒,並提升他們的幸福感及快樂感(Seligman, 2013a)。

PERMA模式及其在課堂的應用

為了使人們更容易獲得快樂,塞利格曼教授研發了以五大元素作支柱的PERMA模式,為發展快樂和豐盛的人生奠下鞏固的基礎。我們嘗試把這五個元素及其在課堂應用的例子簡述出來,希望老師能舉一反三,想出更多於課堂應用PERMA模式的好點子。

PERMA
PERMA模式的五大元素
(圖像由教學中心提供,2016)

P:積極情緒(Positive Emotion)

積極情緒對我們的思考模式、工作與學習、心理健康及社交行為均有正面的影響。它能誘發創造力及掌握機會的勇氣;擁有積極情緒的人亦較傾向以樂觀及期盼的心情來面對未來。

人們的思想不時都傾向負面,老師在課堂中亦不例外。要在課室中培養積極思想的氛圍,老師不妨多聚焦在學生的個人長處而少看他們的弱點,並讓他們透過發展其長處來提升學習效能。

E:全程投入(Engagement)

當人們全程投入工作和遊戲時,他們往往感到活力充沛。相反,遊手好閑的時候,人們便失去動力,變得沒精打采。要使學生在課堂中積極參與有益的活動,掌握他們性格的強項是其中一個關鍵。

老師不妨協助學生發掘及認清他們的長處和興趣。在設計教學活動時,老師應盡量讓學生展現及發揮他們的長處,令他們感到自信、有貢獻及被重視。

R:正向關係(Relationships)

人與人彼此之間的支持是快樂的泉源。俗語有云:「眾人拾柴火焰高」,然而高朋滿座並不一定代表快樂,重要的是人們能經常互相合作,互相表達支持,並彼此分享自己的感受。

課室中的師生關係並非俯拾即是。老師在促進及維繫班中關係的事情上扮演着舉足輕重的角色。一位誠懇、友善、又願意聆聽及分享的老師,往往備受學生擁戴。除了師生關係外,老師亦可透過安排一些同儕合作及分享的活動去增加學生彼此的連繫。

M:意義(Meaning)

從事與自己個人價值觀及信念一致的工作,有利提升人們的快樂和自信,尤其當他們與所屬的社羣有共同的目標。另外,「犧牲小我,完成大我」亦能為人們帶來更大的滿足感及成就感。

那麼,甚麼是學生生命中最重要的呢?他們學習的目標又是甚麼?老師可以先在班中就以上的問題進行討論,以幫助學生了解甚麼對他們最為重要,然後協助他們尋找志同道合的朋友,鼓勵他們為自己的目標奮發。

A:正向成就感(Accomplishment)

目標的設定是決定能否達到成就必不可少的一環。訂立清晰的目標有助我們決定優先次序,從而作出重要的決定,達成夢想。老師應鼓勵學生確立他們的志向,培養他們達成目標所需的能力。最後千萬別忘記他們的目標應該與他們的最終目標─快樂連上關係。

如此,各位不妨向學生介紹現時其中一個最為流行及有效的目標設定工具─SMART目標設定模式,讓他們訂立設實可行的目標。

SMART目標設定模式

S – 具體明確
M – 可以衡量
A – 可以實現
R – 成果導向
T – 有明確的時間表

SMART
(圖像由教學中心提供,2016)

正向教育被喻為結合傳統技能和快樂的教育(Seligman, Gillham, Reivich & Linkins, 2009)。除了為學生爭取學業成就外,裝備學生以應付生命中的挑戰亦是大部份老師的抱負。有見及此,引入正向教育或是採納其中一些合適的教學策略,對老師及學生來說,都應該是一個快樂的教學方案。

參考文獻:

Seligman, M. E. (2013a). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E. (2013b). Flourish: A Visionary new understanding of happiness and well-Being. New York: Free Press.

Seligman, M. E., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford review of education, 35(3), 293-311.