One part of the Positive Education model is Positive Emotions.
The research of professor Barbara Fredrickson is all around a theory known as the "broaden and build theory," in which she studies the importance and effect of building on positive emotion. She explains that, "Fostering positive emotions is not just about feeling good. Fredrickson and others suggest that the purpose of positive emotions is to broaden and build our point of view which allows us to think and act in more flexible ways. Research tells us that when people experience positive emotions they are more creative, resilient, trusting and tolerant of individual differences in others." (Positive Emotions are Contagious, by Dr. Georgiana Cameron, Institute of Positive Education)
In thinking about this one thing we have been doing in class is identifying our individual strengths, our strengths as a class, and looking at noticing and acknowledging each other's strengths.
One way we've been exploring positive emotions and strengths: We identified 8 different strengths that we thought were important and we were each able to choose the 3 that we thought were our top. We created a bar graph looking at our strengths.
As a class our top three strengths are: Not giving up, being patient and looking after our things well.
Another way we have been working on the broaden and build theory is by identifying personal strengths. We created our own self portraits looking carefully at our face shapes, skin tones, eye colours and all the other details. Then as a class we discussed the things we think we are really good at and we have put them up with our portraits.
When we begin to set our goals it will be fantastic to work from points of strength and to recognise that the things we are good at now, we may not always have been good at!