College – Issue 34

THOUGHT LEADERS Flicking the strength switch

Students need new skills to flourish in the 21st century, skills which encompass academic learning, as well as opportunities to develop a broad set of character strengths, virtues and capabilities to support wellbeing.

College is taking a whole-school approach as it embeds the philosophies and practices of positive education across its programmes, infusing wellbeing into all subject areas, and training and upskilling teachers. One of the world’s leading experts in strengths-based science and positive psychology – Professor Lea Waters PhD – came to College on Tuesday 6 March, working with teachers during the day and giving a public presentation in the evening. Lea holds the Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne Graduate School of Education. As an organisational psychologist she has vast experience across many sectors, but her passion is education. “It’s so important to teach children the skills and mindsets to enable them to develop a stronger sense of wellbeing, which then leads to higher mental health. In fact, everyone can benefit. They are learned skills and it’s never too late to start.” Lea’s research provides a useful road map to understanding the different factors that lead to wellbeing. From a meta-analysis of over 18,000 peer-reviewed journal articles written across a time span of 18 years, Lea came up with the SEARCH framework – “where

College Issue 34 2018


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