Positive Education - International Network on Personal Meaning

Positive Education - International Network on Personal Meaning

Positive Education: An Alternative Vision Paul T. P. Wong, PhD Presented at the School of Education, University of Melbourne on March 27, 2012 Traditional approach to education One size for all the same curriculum for all students Catering to the common denominator boring the bright ones and leaving behind the weakest ones Not enough attention to the unique needs and

challenges of individual schools and students Depending on testing to ensure standards Too much emphasis on deficiencies and remediation and not enough on tapping into underutilized talents Teacher qualifications primarily based on academic degrees Domination by secular humanism and political correctness Breakdown of traditional

Judeo-Christian values, the foundation of Western Civilization and civil society An Alternative Vision of Positive Education Well-being & Sustainable Growth for Self and Others MEANING & PURPOSE: PURE & ABCDE Achievement Motivation: Weiner, Feather, Dweck, Wong, & Gallup Adlers 3 Rs: Responsibility, Respect & Resourcefulness (Persistence &

Creativity) Foundations: Parents, Teachers, School Environment & Curriculum Caring and competent teachers Parker J Palmer (1998): The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life Good teaching comes from the personal identity and the integrity of the teacher Teachers need to develop a deeper understanding of what it means to fulfill the spiritual calling of teaching The inner life of the dedicated teachers shapes their teaching and learning Good teachers are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students and students learn from this web

Four important questions for good teaching: What What is the content of the subject matter? How What methods are required to best teach the content? Why What is the justification for the content and methods used? Who Who is the teacher as an individual? A Sense of Calling: Who Teaches and Why. A Report from Public Agenda (2000) Beginning teachers were motivated, committed, and doing what they wanted to do. Incentives other than salaries actually attracted people to the teaching profession. Main worry was that they could not make a difference. Teachers believed that good teaching comes from what happens daily in the classroom.

Some of the findings: Teaching is the work I love to do -- 96% I would choose teaching again -- 80% Teaching is a life-long choice -- 75% I get a lot of satisfaction out of teaching -- 68% Getting into teaching by chance --12% The need for personal growth in teachers Setting an example If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. - John Quincy Adams Constructive personality change (Rogers)

Promoting self-discipline Encouraging self-motivation Facilitating academic engagement Genuineness Understanding (empathy) Positive regards and warm acceptance What the Administrators can do to build positive schools

Engaging the students & teachers Spreading the love of learning Building relationships

Clearly communicating what is expected Welcoming everyones input Deciding on what matters most Creating a positive climate Meeting the basic needs for meaning and spirituality Building a caring, cooperative community Valuing each ones talent and uniqueness Building on each ones strengths and interests Validating and empowering each others Creating an engaged learning environment Adlers 3 Rs of Good Citizenship Responsibilit y

Respect Resourcefuln ess Please visit: http://www.education.gov.za/LinkClick.aspx? fileticket=n76lN9ho8Ks %3D&tabid=93&mid=1130 Adler on Responsibility Provide an encouraging and democratic environment Encourage social interests & cooperation. Discipline thru natural & logical consequences. Avoid putting children in a position of

inferiority. Dont do for children what they can do themselves. Both pampering and neglect can undermine the development of responsibility. Enhancing academic motivation What is success? Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be. - George Sheehan The importance of values Values are important in deciding on the choice of goals and influencing our motivation in different domains of

life. Values are based on our needs, wants, desires, our past experiences and our beliefs regarding what really matters in life. Values are clearly related to cultural and social norms. There are different conceptions of values Rokeach (1973) Terminal values Instrumental values Academic values (Ames, 1987) Intrinsic mastery or learning values Extrinsic social approval values

Task values (Eccles et al, 1983) Attainment value Doing a good job Intrinsic values Enjoying an activity Utility values Serving a future goal Costs The negative aspects of engaging in an activity Weiners Attribution Theory of Achievement (Weiner, 1979, 1985) Low High Internal Effort

Ability External Locus of Causality Stability Luck The more attribution to stable factors, the greater the expectation that the same outcome will occur.

The more attribution to internal factors following success, the greater the pride and Values are defined in termsself-esteem. of affective response to attribution. Task Difficulty Feathers Interactionist Approach to Values Feather (1975) found that academic persistence and satisfaction with school are related to congruence between students

personal values and perceived institutional values. Feather (1995): Values have their source in basic human needs and in societal demands . (p. 1135) Values are tied to a normative base involving a dimension of goodness and badness. (p. 1136) Dweck on Mastery Values Dweck (1986): Mastery values are associated with attribution of success to effort more than ability. Dweck & Elliott (1983): In test situations, children will value performance goals, whereas, in mastery-oriented learning situations, children will value learning goals. Goals need to be challenging in order to stretch

students ability and engender productive learning. Wongs (1998) Academic Attitude Scale Positive factors Negative Factors Intrinsic Value Instrumental Value Personal Development External Pressure No Better Option

Social Interest The positive factors are positively correlated with academic achievement and persistence. The negative factors are negatively correlated with academic achievement and persistence. Focusing on student strengths rather than weaknesses

Three steps of The StrengthsQuest Program: 1. Complete the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment 2. Complete the workbook: StrengthsQuest: Discover and develop your strengths in academics, careers, and beyond. 3. Take more in-depth training in their areas of signature strengths The very best students have these characteristics: They clearly recognize and develop their talents and strengths They apply their signature strengths to areas that match their natural talents Apply their strengths to pursue desired goals PURE as a definition of meaning in life Meaning in life can be operationally defined in terms

of PURE, which stands for: Purpose Understanding Responsibility Enjoyment Purpose Involves: Clarifying our life direction and core values. Organizing our activities. Deliberating your daily plans. Pursuing ones calling and mission in life with passion and commitment.

Understanding Involves: Full awareness of the situation and the consequences of one`s actions. Knowing right from wrong. Understanding the legal/ethical principles in decision making. Self-knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses. Understanding/knowing the world we live in. Achieving a sense of coherence. Responsibility Involves:

Taking full responsibility of our own life. Assuming responsibility for our decisions and actions. Holding ourselves accountable. Being a moral agent. Enjoyment/Evaluation The natural outcome of leading a purposeful and responsible life. But a positive outcome is not inevitable. Sometimes, the personal costs of being

responsible can be too high. This stage involves reflection and sometimes reevaluation of PURE. The PURE Test The PURE test provides an operational definition of meaning in life. P, U, R, E are interdependent components but their interdependence is only partial. Interestingly, it is possible to score high on PERMA but low on PURE. The happy rioter vs. the sad hero. The PURE Test 1. Is your decision or commitment consistent with your overall life goal? 2. Is it consistent with your core values?

3. Is it something you feel passionately about? 4. Are you primarily motivated by something greater than self-interest? 5. Do you fully understand the consequences and implications of your decision or commitment? 6. Is your decision or commitment consistent with your sense of self identity? 7. Do you understand your own motives behind it? The PURE Test (continued) 8. Do you know how you really feel about it? 9. Are you sure you are doing the right thing? 10. Are you willing to be held accountable for your decision? 11. Can others depend on you to carry out your commitment? 12. Are you responding to what life demands of you? 13. Do you feel good about your decision or commitment?

14. Are you fully satisfied with the situation? 15. Do you think you will be happy with the consequences? 16. Given the opportunity, would you enjoy doing this again? Advantages of PURE Not achieving happiness at the expense of others Developing your full potential without harming others Leading a life that is good emotionally, intellectually, relationally, morally, and spiritually ABCDE Model of Resilience & Resourcefulness Acceptance: Accept what cannot be changed

Belief: Affirm ones ideal, calling, competency, potential to grow, faith in others and in God Commitment: Determined to move forward, explore possible solutions, dig deeper, and carry out ones responsibility in spite of obstacles, setbacks and a bleak future Discovery: Discover greater inner strength, a broader horizon, the power of belief & faith, and learn something new about self, others, life, and the human condition. Enjoyment/Evaluation: Enjoy the struggle and progress, and constantly evaluate the process to improve the

Conclusion The PURE model offers principles of personal growth and meaningful living. The ABCDE model offers principles of resilience and resourcefulness. The Deep and Wide hypothesis of the positive potentials of adversities is based on the ABCDE model. Students trained in PURE and ABCDE will be well equipped to live a fulfilling, responsible and productive life in the midst of uncertainties and challenges.

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