Happy Schools: Positive Education for Well-Being and Life-Skills Development

Concept by
Marta Mandolini

Table of Contents


Positive education is challenging the traditional educational paradigm worldwide; it aims to promote well-being and happiness in a holistic perspective in the classroom and beyond, providing young people with knowledge and life skills to flourish in their present and future life.

This contemporary educational approach is based on Positive Psychology, which is the scientific study of human flourishing and optimal functioning and focuses on strengths and virtues that enable individuals, communities, and organizations to succeed.

The course will introduce participants both to Positive Psychology fundamentals, presenting the most relevant international theories and references, and to Positive Education theories and techniques.

During the course, participants will also be introduced to mindfulness as an opportunity to train their minds, drive attention to present moments, relax, achieve goals, and boost a certain level of self-awareness.

They will be invited to design a personal project based on positive education to share with their colleagues once they go back to school. Finally, 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 the new knowledge.

By the end of the course, participants will have learned how to design programs that combine academics with the development of character strengthening and well-being, such as the experience of positive emotions, engagement with activities, the establishment of meaningful practices and relationships, etc.

Learning outcomes

The course will help the participants to:

  • Design programs based on Positive Education that combine academia with the development of character strengths and well-being;
  • Use mindfulness as an opportunity to train your mind, focus your attention on the present, relax, achieve goals, and reach a certain level of self-awareness;
  • Gain positive knowledge and life skills based on a holistic perspective of the classroom (in order to flourish in life and beyond!);
  • Secure an understanding of Positive Psychology fundamentals through relevant international theories and references.

Tentative schedule

Day 1 – Course introduction & setting goals

Course introduction

  • Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
  • Icebreaker activities using drama for trust and ensemble building.

Setting goals

  • Identification of needs and goals for each participant and relevant populations;
  • Foundation in Positive Psychology. History, Pioneers, Theories and methods. A pleasant life, Good life and Flow, Flourishing, Meaningful life, Strengths and Virtues;
  • Presentations of the participants’ schools.

Day 2 – Applying positive psychology to education

  • Positive education;
  • Applying positive psychology to education: students, teachers and family challenges;
  • A healthy mind;
  • Sharing experiences: Participants’ issues in education.

Day 3 – Get creative

  • Designing a positive education school program: strengths and virtues activity – Part 1.

Day 4 – Importance of mindfulness

  • Designing a positive education school program: strengths and virtues activity – Part 2;
  • Mindfulness at school. Personal project: hands-on work.

Day 5 – Self reflection

  • The positive teacher;
  • Self-reflection activity and personal project implementation.

Day 6 – Course Closure & Excursion

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

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