Symposium 6th World Congress on Positive Psychology 2019

‘Embedding And Spreading’ Wellbeing:  Responsive Wellbeing Culture Change (#440)

Denise Quinlan 1
  1. New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, Dunedin, OTAGO, New Zealand

Sustainable wellbeing change occurs in school corridors, assembly halls, playing fields, and parent teacher meetings, as well as in lessons. In addition to teaching wellbeing curricula, schools engage in activities to embed wellbeing-supportive practices across their schools and communities. These changes outside the taught curriculum are not just an ‘add-on’ but essential for a shift in school culture enabling sustainable wellbeing change. While there is some agreement on core wellbeing curriculum content, practices to embed wellbeing vary by school type, culture, priorities and challenges. Larger systemic influences also play a key role. We discuss how New Zealand schools’ wellbeing practices are being shaped by participation in diverse clusters of early childhood, primary and secondary schools. Systemic changes in school reviews have also encouraged consideration of wellbeing practices throughout the school. NZ’s bi-cultural foundations have encouraged awareness of and demand for culturally responsive models and approaches to wellbeing.  The result is a growing awareness that wellbeing change can benefit from a responsive culture change process. Successful ‘embedding’ in one area can ‘spread’ and build support for other changes. Early ‘embedding’ successes discussed include student voice, inclusion, career development, sport, and chaplaincy/service.