Podium Presentation 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

Positive Education And The New Prosperity: Analysing Young People’s Conceptions Of Prosperity And Success.   (#189)

Kylie Trask-Kerr 1 , Dianne Vella-Brodrick 1 , Tan-Chyuan Chin 1
  1. The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A challenge faced by educators working towards shifting the metrics in education is the perceived struggle between the goal of creating a positive school community and a seemingly inevitable focus on narrow measures of achievement and success. Our thematic analysis of 217 narratives written by Year 10 (15 and 16 year-old) students, 146 of whom attend a positive education school, indicates that students recognise the importance of quality of life indicators such as relationships and positive emotions, but there is still work to be done in augmenting a more social, community-minded concept of success and prosperity. This study does, however, reveal promising differences in the way students in positive education schools and comparison schools discuss quality of life, suggesting the potential for positive education to shape ideals. This presentation explores the findings of this study and, drawing from recent education literature, suggests tangible ways a positive school curriculum might bring about a systemic shift in underlying epistemologies and beliefs about the nature of success.