04 SES 16 D, Positive Education for Disadvantaged Students around the Globe
Positive psychology is an umbrella term for the study of human flourishing- its components, effects, and the conditions and processes that enable and promote it (Seligman, Steen Park & Peterson, 2005). For the last three decades, the field has made notable progress in deepening our understanding of human flourishing, while developing relevant conceptual frameworks, empirically assessing their validity, and examining practical models and interventions based on these frameworks and findings (e.g., reviews by Meyers, van-Woerkom, & Bakker, 2013; Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). The knowledge that has accumulated in the field is highly relevant to education institutions, as one of the main obligations of these institutions is to foster their students’ ability to flourish, and develop their “personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential” (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; CRC, 1989/1990; Article 29; see also Perry-Hazan, 2015).
Thus, in the past decade positive psychology has been applied in various educational contexts worldwide, yielding promising progress in students’ and teachers’ well-being and achievement (reviewed by Lavy, 2019; Waters, 2011). Interestingly, most of these positive psychology interventions were conducted in highly-valued schools (e.g., White & Waters, 2015). However, initial studies of interventions in schools of underprivileged students (e.g., from low SES) point to the high potential for impact of these interventions in such contexts (for examples see the Mayerson Academy Report - http://www.mayersonacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/170214-TLC-Meta-Analysis-Final-.pdf).
In this symposium, we focus on students who are underprivileged (in various ways) and propose that positive education may be especially relevant for them. Education is often considered an important path for paving a positive future for such students - from a disadvantaged background or with disabilities of different kinds. We suggest that positive psychology concepts, frameworks, and interventions, which focus on paths to flourishing and optimal functioning, can be highly relevant for these students because they can help to equip them with the competencies and resources to enable their flourishing as adults.
The present symposium provides four perspectives on this proposition, related to different aspects of positive psychology, rooted in four different cultural contexts, and focusing on students who are disadvantaged in different ways. The first presentation (by Harzer and Weber from Germany) will portray an overarching theoretical model for fostering well-being in schools, and demonstrate its relevance to students from disadvantaged families. Building on this framework, the second presentation (by Whemeyer from the United States) will propose Self-Determination Theory as a conceptual framework for fostering development and learning among students with disabilities, while explaining the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction, and reviewing findings from several studies exploring its implications and effects (including findings from intervention studies based on this model). The third presentation (by Narayanan from India) will focus on Dalits – a historically disadvantaged community in India that has been subjected to oppression for several generations. The study examined the roles of Dalit students’ perception of the historical losses, their critical consciousness, and their self-efficacy, in promoting resilience and wellbeing. The fourth presentation (by Lavy from Israel) will focus on teachers from schools serving minority group students, and explore their sense of meaning compared to teachers from other schools. It further examines the social support these teachers receive as a potential factor that may affect their sense of meaning. Our discussant, (Shoshana from Israel) will provide an integrative sociological/anthropological perspective on the presentations, and share insights about the unique relevance and implications of positive education for disadvantaged students.
Lavy, S. (2019). A review of character strengths interventions in 21st-century schools: Their importance and how they can be fostered. Applied Research in Quality of Life. Meyers, M. C., van Woerkom, M., & Bakker, A. B. (2013). The added value of the positive: A literature review of positive psychology interventions in organizations. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(5), 618-632. Perry-Hazan, L. (2015). Curricular choices of ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities: Translating international human rights law into education policy. Oxford Review of Education, 41(5), 628-646. Seligman, M. E., Steen, T. A., Park, N., & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive psychology progress: empirical validation of interventions. American psychologist, 60(5), 410-421. Sin, N. L., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing well‐being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice‐friendly meta‐analysis. Journal of clinical psychology, 65(5), 467-487. Waters, L. (2011). A review of school-based positive psychology interventions. The Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 28(2), 75-90. White, M. A., & Waters, L. E. (2015). A case study of ‘The Good School:’Examples of the use of Peterson’s strengths-based approach with students. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 10(1), 69-76.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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