Positive Psychology in School
Academic excellence is a goal pursued by students and teachers alike. Parents also enroll their children in various educational institutions with high expectations of acquiring knowledge in order to develop skills for advancing in different careers. Students are an integral part of the society and are in need of developing a holistic approach towards life. The school curriculum is designed to address non-academic performance issues as a means of molding them into better human beings. As such, their mindset should be fashioned into integrating morally upright character traits which are helpful in building friendly personalities. Positive psychology in schools influences better mental and physiological behavior in students and should be encouraged because it aids in enhancing their quality of life.
Imparting positive emotions is a vital aspect of this initiative. This route is meant to nourish the mind of the youth with positive ideas for their application in daily life. Insistence on the expression of gratitude is integral in creating an appreciative personality within the society (Bronk 504). Learners should also be taught to seek and offer forgiveness when mistakes are committed. These virtues should be spread over all their levels of interaction such as family ties, relationships and encounters with other people beginning with their fellow students. Savoring interventions should be encouraged whereby recipients are instructed to relive positive experiences that have happened in the past and anticipate similar occurrences. Embracement of such memories should be the guiding principle. Students are also supposed to identify their physical, social and mental strengths in order to create hope, optimism and confidence. Introduction of meaning oriented initiatives should form a large portion of these sessions in which students ascertain their purpose in life (Baumgardner 29). A high premium on empathy should be placed as a means of understanding other people.
Recipients of positive psychology need to be creative by pursuing their passions in different fields. Learners can also be constantly advised to always be patient and calm when facing varying challenges. Having courage should be embraced because it leads to the actualization of goals. Integration of humor in conversations is a critical enabler of a friendly environment and students need more practice on this intervention. Learners can be encouraged to express their feelings and seek interactions with others rather than adopting a solitary lifestyle. Meditation is a powerful tool for self-reflection and young people must use it often in their daily routine. Discriminative tendencies based on things such as race, gender, age and cultural affiliation should be discarded. The youth should constantly consider doing the right thing in the decisions they make irrespective of the outcome of such choices because of their ethical responsibility to the society.
Collaborative techniques such as group work should be employed regularly in academic establishments. The youths should actively seek the help of others upon noticing strengths that are lacking in them. Introduction of visual aids that represent their aspirations in life should feature prominently in the school curriculum. Teachers can also use character growth cards which identify positive attributes that should be emulated. Such exchanges must be done openly and in a friendly manner so that fellow students can integrate the traits in their daily interactions. Restorative behavioral practices are valuable tools for use by administrators in correcting bad character mannerisms. For example, counselling services should be made available for delinquent pupils rather than suspensions and expulsions. Time-outs are also additional symbols that should be geared towards helping offenders realize their mistakes and embrace discipline. Employment of songs and mass media communication channels are welcome initiatives that can provide guidance in an entertaining yet educative atmosphere. Incentives at the discretion of the tutors can be used as sources of motivation because they drive students into implementing the various virtues sought by their teachers.
Positive psychology empowers students by enhancing their leadership abilities. It enables them become principled individuals who can develop convictions about issues affecting them. For instance, it instils ethical virtues in learners which motivate them to choose right over wrong. It also encourages their participation in group activities where they can explore their potential for leading others. Such forums lay an emphasis on supervisory roles and the benefits of delegating duties (Witt and Linda 52). Great interpersonal skills are learnt in a spirit of teamwork which mirrors the responsibilities they are likely to shoulder upon completion of their studies. It prepares the young people for their positions in the family and workplace setup. This approach shifts their attention from “self” to “others” and provides an impetus for seeking greater responsibilities in other facets of life.
25% of youth suffer from depression and anxiety. Mental illness in young people has become rampant because of the changing physiological trends associated with globalization. Positive psychology increases chances of higher self-esteem and contentment among students. They are able to realize and accept their limitations while working towards overcoming their flaws. It reduces opportunities for being gullible to peer pressure because such experiences exert pressure that sometimes can be overwhelming (Steger 421). The youth develop realistic goals and expectations which motivates them into designing pragmatic attitudes and actions. They become happy with their gradual progression in different areas and build a sense of security which is helpful in overcoming any insecurities. It reduces stress levels and improves mental wellbeing.
Young people become resilient in their daily activities because their emotions can be regulated. They are able to discern meaning in all negative experiences that befall them. Self-control is an important virtue that emanates from this process. It aids them in coping with issues such as grief, disappointment, rejection and underperformance. Such setbacks become learning moments which help them cope with the consequences of their actions by inspiring them to put more effort in positive activities. It builds confidence in learners by distorting the “failure” tag and adopting a go-getter attitude that is necessary in succeeding in life.
Physiological growth resulting from this approach enables students to have better health standards, firmer social relationships and greater community involvement. They are fitter, more caring and proactively attached to the development of their communities irrespective of their geographical location. Academic achievements soar and the young people accomplish more goals in life which drive better standards of living. It also increases the rate of risk-avoidance among them by anchoring their decisions on sound reasoning. They make healthy life choices which are visible in their day-to-day interactions.
Build-up of Mental Memory
Attention spans are greatly improved in this model as students inculcate an analytical mind in their daily operations. Higher information quality is achieved using this framework leading to better working memory (Adams 38). Processes of decision-making are more organized with an emphasis on ethical reasoning. Chances of engaging in destructive behavior are greatly reduced because learners consciously engage in positive activities with clear ambitions and expectations. It also develops several cognitive abilities of the brain which are helpful in the making of personal choices such as hygiene and relationships. One’s mind is transformed into mature reasoning levels that positively impact the actions of the individual.
Students improve their physiological well-being by changing their bad character traits and exhibiting ethical values in their lifestyles. They become responsible young adults capable of socializing with anyone under different settings. Their outlook on life is brighter and they anticipate greater accomplishments irrespective of their current circumstances. The program boosts their readiness to face challenges and initiates a competitive spirit that propels them to better achievements on a personal and societal level.
Positive psychology is a valuable approach in child development that complements academic performance in schools. Learning institutions can make physical, mental and social interventions that can effectively change the behavior of students from wrong mannerisms to ethical traits. For example, incentives, temporary disciplinary measures, regular identification of virtues and nurturing the talents of young people can be used. Such activities have a positive influence in the development of learners because they enhance confidence, creativity and maturity within their interactions. Their mental capacities for overcoming setbacks are restored. Pragmatic temperaments are instilled in the youth from an early age which facilitate attainment of goals (Peterson 44). Progress in successive activities builds momentum for future endeavors and their smooth reintegration into the society is guaranteed. Higher academic and social performances are assured upon completion of this initiative. The longevity of future generations is highly improved because the students are equipped with vital interpersonal skills necessary for the well-being of the society.
Adams, Mark. Coaching Psychology in Schools: Enhancing Performance, Development and Wellbeing. Routledge, 2016.
Baumgardner, Steve. Positive Psychology. University of Wisconsin, 2014.
Bronk, Kendall. “Purpose, Hope and Life Satisfaction in three Age Groups.” Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 4, no. 6, 2009, pp. 500-510.
Peterson, Christopher. A Primer in Positive Psychology. Oxford UP, 2006.
Steger, Michael. “Character Strengths among Volunteers and Employees: Toward an Integrated Model.” Journal of Positive Psychology, vol. 5, no. 6, 2010, pp. 419-430.
Witt, Peter A, and Linda L. Caldwell. Recreation and Youth Development. Venture Pub., Inc., 2005.
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