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Palgrave Macmillan

The Palgrave Handbook of Positive Education

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  • Open Access
  • © 2021

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  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access
  • Provides a landmark introduction to the growing field of positive education
  • Includes a range of theoretical, applied, and practice-focused chapters attractive to academics and practitioners
  • Considers the implications of positive psychology research for public policy, curriculum, pedagogy, and teacher training

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About this book

This open access handbook provides a comprehensive overview of the growing field of positive education, featuring a broad range of theoretical, applied, and practice-focused chapters from leading international experts. It demonstrates how positive education offers an approach to understanding learning that blends academic study with life skills such as self-awareness, emotion regulation, healthy mindsets, mindfulness, and positive habits, grounded in the science of wellbeing, to promote character development, optimal functioning, engagement in learning, and resilience.

The handbook offers an in-depth understanding and critical consideration of the relevance of positive psychology to education, which encompasses its theoretical foundations, the empirical findings, and the existing educational applications and interventions. The contributors situate wellbeing science within the broader framework of education, considering its implications for teacher training, educationand developmental psychology, school administration, policy making, pedagogy and curriculum studies.

This landmark collection will appeal to researchers and practitioners working in positive psychology, educational and school psychology, developmental psychology, education, counselling, social work and public policy.

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Table of contents (30 chapters)

  1. Perspectives on and Approaches to Positive Education

  2. Core Capabilities in Positive Education


“This impressive volume serves as an invaluable resource and a beacon to anyone interested in the type of education that allows individuals and communities to flourish. Congratulations to the editors for facilitating open access, ensuring that the richness and importance of diverse perspectives and practical guidance from scholars and educators around the world, is freely available to all.”

— Felicia Huppert, Founding Director of the Well-being Institute and Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of Cambridge, UK


“More than a decade after the term “positive education” was coined, the Palgrave Handbook on Positive Education, brings together science, practice, and strategic vision to help implement evidence-based positive education programs across the globe. The approaches outlined in this volume will help expand the narrow focus on academic success to include psychological well-being for students and educators alike. It is a must-read for anyone interested in how positive outcomes such as life satisfaction, positive emotion, and meaning and purpose can be optimized in the educational settings.”

— Judith Moskowitz, PhD MPH, Professor of Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, USA, IPPA President 2019-2021


“Congratulations to all contributors to this valuable resource. The field of Positive Education continues to develop and grow, and so too does scholarship on the subject. The breadth of analysis provided by this book, and its examination of ‘third wave’ Positive Education, will significantly advance our understanding of this evolving field, as well as its practice and pedagogy.”

— Marita Hayes-Brown, CEO, Positive Education Schools Association (PESA), Australia

Editors and Affiliations

  • Centre for Wellbeing Science , University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

    Margaret L. Kern

  • Department of Special Education, University of Kansas, Lawrence, USA

    Michael L. Wehmeyer

About the editors

Margaret (Peggy) L. Kern is Associate Professor at the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education, Australia. Dr Kern is Founding Chair of the Education Division of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). You can find out more about Dr Kern’s work at

 Michael L. Wehmeyer is Ross and Mariana Beach Distinguished Professor of Special Education; Chair of the Department of Special Education; and Director and Senior Scientist, Beach Center on Disability, at the University of Kansas, United States. Dr Wehmeyer is Publications Lead for theEducation Division of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). He has published more than 450 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is an author or editor on 42 texts. 

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