A Better Place To Learn: School and Student Well-being
A Better Place to Learn: School and Student Wellbeing project originated from the field of positive psychology and psychosocial education. Living under the enormous pressure provoked by academic stress and the strong emphasis on personal achievements, students often lack the ability to cope with these problems and their consequences. Thus, we started this project to introduce students to information that promotes positive psychology, character strengths, life skills, mental health, and adaptive functioning.
The theoretical foundation of the project adopts the “Aware-Explore-Apply” framework initiated by psychologist Ryan Niemiec, and is inspired by Martin Seligman’s PERMA Model.
The positive psychosocial education program primarily focuses on:
1. Elevating secondary school students’ abilities by cultivating their character strengths, enhancing life skills and social values, and aiding them to cope with both academic and nonacademic challenges that they may encounter now and in the future;
2. Training pre-service and in-service teachers to effectively implement the positive psychosocial educational-based program on campus;
3. Developing a positive learning environment in secondary schools in Hong Kong.
We aim to establish a positive psychological education project that is sustainable, cost-effective, and beneficial to a large number of people for widespread impact. In addition to face-to-face training resources, the project also consists of an online mobile application and a designated webpage to provide a multitude of user-friendly tools to cater to different audiences.
CAST Mobile App and Website
The online training program named CAST: CharActer Strengths Training surrounds the theme of virtues and character strengths, which strives to promote this positive psychology approach to the public. Users can explore and develop their own positive traits through the program and apply their potential in different aspects of life.
Within the online program, a series of training tasks can be performed according to users' progress, including browsing relevant learning materials, completing scenario-based exercises, and conducting assessments.
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Seminars & Workshops
Happiness is All Around
ONLINE SEMINAR SERIES
Positive Psychology In Educational Settings
Positive psychology is a field of study promoted by American psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman. His theories have captured the attention of the scientific community throughout the past 20 years, leading positive psychology to become a newly established domain in the field.
To begin the series, in Seminar 1 we first introduced the development and foundation of positive psychology. In Seminar 2 and Seminar 3, we dissected some of its main theories and findings, including topics about character strength, flow, mindfulness, gratitude, and hope. In Seminar 4, we investigated how we can apply these theories into educational settings to create a learning environment which assists students in fulfilling self-actualization and progressing towards a fruitful life. Throughout the series of seminars, we included interactive activities to help pre-service and in-service teachers establish a positive attitude towards life, enhancing happiness, and applying the concept of positivity to their careers.
Seminar 1: Why Positivity Matters?
What is positive psychology? What is its role in the scientific field of psychology? How do we define a happy and positive life? In this session, we first introduced the origin of positive psychology and provided some demographic data regarding psychological health among modern Hong Kong citizens. Then, we thoroughly evaluated this field of study by closely examining its theoretical framework and foundation. We also tried to address some common misconceptions of positive psychology to relieve doubts about this newly developed domain. Lastly, we briefly introduced the topic of positive education by explaining how positivity and education are closely connected. This provided a better understanding of what was to come in future seminars which mainly focused on positive education.
Seminar 2: Dissecting Positivity: The Theoretical Puzzle Pieces (Part 1)
In Seminar 2 and 3, we dissected positive psychology with different theoretical explanations to understand its multiple aspects. In part 1, we focused on topics related to character strength, hope, and gratitude, and explained how we can incorporate these positivity concepts into educational settings. The theory of character strength attempts to highlight the range of positive personality traits that humans possess. All 24 of the character strengths and their organization into six major categories of virtues were discussed. The second half of the session focused on hope and gratitude. The theory of hope suggests two thinking processes required to accomplish a goal. Additionally, the theory of gratitude is the positive response towards others, oneself, or even specific objects when receiving satisfying outcomes. We discussed why these theories are important to students’ development and their potential in cultivating positive values in schools. The seminar also brought forth some practical resources and activities to assist pre-service and in-service teachers in attending to their emotional changes and increasing positivity.
Seminar 3: Dissecting Positivity: The Theoretical Puzzle Piece (Part 2)
This session continued to explain theories related to positive psychology. Specifically, we focused on the theory of flow and mindfulness. Flow is an optimal mental state when an individual is fully immersed in an activity that one enjoys. Such experience can help one to achieve and understand their deepest inner feelings and meaning. We introduced methods to promote flow experience among individual and group settings and explained its implementation into the learning environment. On the other hand, mindfulness is a state that can be achieved through constant training, which assists one to maintain a present-focused awareness with a non-judgmental attitude. We thoroughly evaluated the foundation and benefits of mindfulness and explained methods to administer mindfulness techniques into schools. We further explained how these theories are of significant importance to a student’s development, and provided ways to enhance students’ positive experiences. We provided participants with a brief mindfulness practice towards the end of the seminar.
Seminar 4: Positive Education Starts Young
This seminar focused on the application of positive education. First, we theoretically explained three possible directions of such application and introduce the fundamental framework of positive education. Then, from the perspective of teacher-student and parent-child relationships, we demonstrated how positive interpersonal relationships play a significant role in positive education. The seminar also thoroughly explained the practical guidelines and standards of positive psychology, such as specific teaching plans and the vital role played by teachers. To end, we studied some practical examples of applying positive psychology on campus and the effectiveness of these experiences.
Well-being GPS is a Facebook & Instagram(@wellbeing.gps) page developed by us. The purpose of the webpage is to share information to promote the application of positive psychology so that everyone can navigate life in a way that enhances their happiness and well-being. If you are interested in learning more about positive psychology, please feel free to like and follow this page so you can receive the most up-to-date content in the future.
Our students create most of the posts we publish, including text, diagrams, and other artwork. We hope that this platform will be an effective method to communicate with you as we deliver accurate information, conceptualization, and practices of positive psychology to the public. Through the sharing of this knowledge, we hope to improve everyone’s life quality, level of happiness, and ability to live in the moment. Each of your likes, comments, and shares are especially valuable to the research team. We look forward to sharing and communicating more with you!
With the aim of enhancing the well-being of teachers and students, our research team conducts various activities to instill knowledge and theories of positive psychology in them. We developed a systematic training program for participants to learn about different character strengths, providing them with opportunities to reflect on the acquired knowledge and apply it to their lives. We also organize regular talks and workshops for students to learn about general topics in positive psychology and how they may connect to their daily lives and studies. Furthermore, we have organized a series of seminars on applying positive psychology in educational settings, aiming to provide pre-service and in-service teachers with basic knowledge of positive psychology and practical suggestions for implementing these theories at school. This series also provides educators with interaction opportunities to share and collaboratively formulate a positive lifestyle which can be incorporated into their workplace.