This course is focused on enhancing a positive approach to education, and promoting well-being and happiness within the school environment.
Participants will learn how to develop their positive thinking whilst being introduced to key concepts of positive psychology. They will be presented with international theories and research which will add substance to their practical exercises. They will practice positive communication with themselves, their students and colleagues, learning how to convert negative, disruptive, un-effective communication into a virtuous circle of positive relationships, referring also to graphic design as a positive visual communication tool.
As a fundamental element of the course, participants will also be introduced to mindfulness, which will enable them to clear their minds, boost self-awareness and focus on their goals.
Participants will also 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. They will be invited to design a personal project based on positive education to be shared with their colleagues once they go back to school.
The course will help the participants to:
- Practice and enhance positive thinking, reduce negative self-criticism, practice gratitude, humor and mindfulness;
- Practice positive communication with themselves, students and colleagues, and will be able to share it concretely once back to school;
- Create a positive, pleasant environment in and outside the classroom through sustainable design and decoration principles; while creating a project for themselves and for the school based on positive design possibly applicable once to school;
- Secure an understanding of Positive Psychology fundamentals through relevant international theories and references;
- Use mindfulness as an opportunity to train your mind, focus your attention on the present, relax, achieve goals, and boost a certain level of self-awareness.
Day 1 – Course introduction & setting goals
- Introduction to the course, the school, and the external week activities;
- Icebreaker activities using drama for trust and ensemble building.
- 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 – Inquiring into your own mindset and identifying your strengths
- Explore fixed and growth mindsets;
- Develop descriptions of scenarios that expose our current mindset and collaborate to experiment with a range of possible responses to challenging and stressful situations through role plays and storyborading activites;
- Describe ourselves and each other using strength-based vocabulary.
Day 4 – Managing your emotions and cultivating compassion
- Reflecting on how and why our behaviours and the behaviours of others trigger certain emotions;
- Naming, embracing and accepting your emotions and how they affect you, mentally and physically;
- The Life Cycle of an emotion – interrupting, acknowledging, managing and moving past them;
- Experience how moving the body, mindful breathing exercises and being kind to yourself and others can bring relief, calm and acceptance.
Day 3 – Importance of positive psychology
- The roots of negative self-assessment;
- Practicing mindfulness and humor;
- Practical activities.
Day 5 – Positive education
- Positive education;
- Applying positive psychology to education: students, teachers and family challenges;
- Sharing experiences: participants’ issues in education.
Day 6 – Round up & Cultural activities
- Round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
- Excursion and other external cultural activities.
Day 7 – Rest day
- Day off.
Day 8 – Get creative
- Designing a positive education school program: strengths and virtues activity;
- Mindfulness at school;
- Personal project: hands-on work.
Day 9 – Positive communication
- How to convert your communication into positive communication, both visually and verbally;
- Positive design: “dreaming” a positive school. Is it just a dream?
Day 10 – Positivity: from dream to reality
- Design psychology principles for schools;
- Group or personal project: hands on work.
Day 11 – Design thinking
- Design Thinking for schools;
- Personal project implementation.
Day 12 – Presentations & course closure
- Presenting and evaluating presentations;
- Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
- Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance.