Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52ISSUE THREE October 2016 17 POSITIVE Education is about helping students to thrive. Positive schools are places that encourage creativity, that challenge and promote learning and development. In Australia, The Peninsula School is a lighthouse Positive Education school and has embedded Positive Education across the curriculum, from 3-year-old kindergarten to 18 year olds in Year 12, with an intentional focus on enabling students to Learn, Grow, Flourish! As a newcomer visiting the Junior Art exhibition I felt emotionally uplifted. A bright pavilion was filled with thoughtfully displayed artwork made by each child, ranging in age from approximately four to twelve years of age. Watching the students and their friendly engagement with each other in their own exhibition was also fascinating. A class of four years olds filed in, their wide excited eyes scanned the exhibition, a spontaneous ‘WOW!’ was heard as they appreciated the collective impact of so much awesome beauty and excellence. Intrinsically motivated, each small child moved into the display space and located their own work, and then naturally discussed theirs with their classmates. They scanned across the space and engaged with the work of the older students which impressed them. The Art of Positive Psychology Junior Art exhibition highlights the success of positive education Student comments to each other about the work were kind and positive. This was a psychologically safe, incredibly creative and happy space of achievement. Overall the student art work was original in concept and their problem solving and technical finish was of a very high standard for their age. Two keen exhibiting artists were interviewed about their understanding of the art making process and the links they could make to their Positive Psychology classes. They used the language of Positive Psychology in an age appropriate yet nuanced way, recognising and naming character strengths and commenting on significant aspects of the creativity process, their aesthetic appreciation, motivation and holding a growth mindset. Sam told me that he was aware of using his creativity and patience and importantly discussed what to do if your art work doesn’t work out as planned. He suggested you could, ‘let it lead you in a different direction’. What a great insight! Will spoke of the sense of satisfaction he gained from artistic accomplishment. He saw ‘the link between when you feel you are doing well. It makes you feel happy inside’. In Australia, schools are increasingly and explicitly teaching the science of Positive Psychology to children. Impressively, the rigour and reach of this work is growing in schools and the Positive Education Association of Australia. PESA aims to foster the implementation and development of Positive Psychology, and its application in education now has 391 individual members, and 61 institutional members spanning Australia and overseas. Teacher pre-service and graduate training programs in Positive Education are increasing both in number and enrolments. Optimism is being deliberately cultivated in Australian Education, and here at The Peninsula School flourishing young artists know about it! Jane Strickland University of Melbourne student JANE Strickland, currently studying a Master of Applied Positive Psychology at The University of Melbourne, volunteered at The Peninsula School to better understand how Positive Psychology is implemented within an educational environment. Leading the Way