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Positive Education, Schooling and the Wellbeing Assemblage: Old and New Approaches to Educating the Whole Child

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Part of the Transdisciplinary Perspectives in Educational Research book series (TPER,volume 4)

Abstract

This chapter examines wellbeing policies and the take-up of positive education in Australian schools and communities. Our methodological and conceptual approach brings together critical policy studies, the analytic strategy of problematisation, and historical sociology of concept formation. We explicate a wellbeing assemblage, comprising intersecting knowledges, discourses and practices, and explore its effects from two vantage points. The first considers the intersection of wellbeing with student engagement and achievement, and the second examines wellbeing in reference to positive education and social and emotional learning. Across both, we explore how wellbeing has been adopted (or co-opted) as the latest approach to addressing some of the longstanding aims of schooling: in this instance, education for future citizenship and education of and for the whole child. We argue that whilst positive education is promoted as an alternative to narrow, instrumental forms of schooling, our analysis of its underpinning logics and techniques shows how it nevertheless operates on a similar register, making it potentially more of the same, in the guise of making a difference.

Keywords

  • Genealogy of concepts
  • Positive psychology
  • Social and emotional learning
  • Student engagement
  • Wellbeing

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Wright, K., McLeod, J., Flenley, R. (2022). Positive Education, Schooling and the Wellbeing Assemblage: Old and New Approaches to Educating the Whole Child. In: McLellan, R., Faucher, C., Simovska, V. (eds) Wellbeing and Schooling. Transdisciplinary Perspectives in Educational Research, vol 4. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95205-1_4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95205-1_4

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