Design the Positive: Positive Thinking, Positive Communication and Positive School Spaces

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Table of Contents

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Concept by: Marta Mandolini


The course has been designed to fulfill the increasing need and interest in the topic, which was shown by teachers attending our other courses. Here, the necessity of a practical course, designed in a workshop-formula, where, besides theoretical introductions, teachers will experiment in first person exercises and create projects to enhance a positive approach to school and education in general.

We will learn how to enhance positive thinking, reducing negative self-talk, personalizing and catastrophizing, practicing gratitude, humor, and mindfulness, and learning the importance of praising ourselves. We will learn how to practice positive communication with ourselves, our students, and colleagues, learning how to convert a negative, disruptive, un-effective communication in a virtuous circle of positive relationships, referring also to graphic design as a positive visual communication tool. We will then expand to the surrounding environment, the school, to learn about the importance of positive design, architecture, decoration in and outside the classroom, inspired by design psychology principles and driven by the peculiarity of each country and case.

Participants will be involved in an active learning process, also focusing on personal experience and self-reflection, combining cognitive and emotional elements to make the learning process easier and ensure long-lasting retention of new knowledge.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to understand how to:

  • Practice and enhance positive thinking, reduce negative self-criticism, practice gratitude, humor, and mindfulness;
  • Practice positive communication with themselves, students and colleagues, and share it concretely once back to school;
  • Create a positive, pleasant environment in and outside the classroom through sustainable design and decoration principles;
  • Create a project for themselves and for the school based on positive design possibly applicable once to school.

Tentative schedule

The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.

Day 1 – Course introduction & positive education

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities.
  • Icebreaker activities.

Positive education

  • Foundation in Positive education. 
  • History, Pioneers, Theories and methods. 
  • Slides presentation, case histories and individual practical activities.

Day 2 – Importance of positive psychology

  • The roots of negative self-assessment. 
  • Practicing mindfulness and humor.
  • Practical activities.

Day 3 – Positive communication

How to convert your communication into positive communication, both visually and verbally.

Day 4 – Positivity: from dream to reality

  • Positive design: “dreaming” a positive school. Is it just a dream? 
  • Design psychology principles for schools. 
  • Group or personal project: hands on work.

Day 5 – Design thinking

  • Design Thinking for schools. 
  • Personal project implementation.

Day 6 – Excursion & course closure

  • Course evaluation: round-up of acquired competencies, feedback, and discussion;
  • Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
  • Excursion and other external cultural activities.


  • Teachers (primary, secondary, vocational, adult, special needs);
  • Teacher trainers;
  • Headteachers;
  • Principals;
  • Managers of schools.


  • Activities: All courses include at least one guided city tour and one full-day excursion (usually on Saturday).
  • Certificate: Certificate of Attendance guaranteed for participants who attend at least 80% of the course.
  • Lessons: Classes take place in the Morning (9:00 – 14:00) or in the Afternoon (14:00 – 19:00).
  • Price: 480 €

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Reviews about this course

Thanks to Davide Bassano, this was an unforgettable experience where fun and professionalism were integrated so that it would certainly help transform a teacher into an invaluable player who inspires learning. I highly recommend this course.

Richard Mallia

The course was one of the best courses I’ve attended in my 20-years of working as a teacher. The group was really colourful, full of interesting and intelligent people and they offered me a lot of useful feedback and lots of laughs. I can’t find the words to praise the mentor enough: Susan Gagliano was awesome, leading the group with example, generously sharing her immense knowledge, skills and experiences. I recommend the course to everybody who’s interested in making his teaching and life more positive and inspired.

Petra Skrjanc

Interesting and inspiring, definitely recommended.

Damaris C Valentine

The course was very good and empowering. I strongly recommend!

Hanna Sipola

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