Positive Education at the Cross Roads: Important Sign Points for Going in the Right Direction

  • Toni NobleEmail author


Interest in positive psychology and its application in positive education have grown exponentially over the last ten years. This interest is fueled by the inspirational promise that positive education offers to not only inoculate children and young people against mental illness but also teach them the life skills that contribute to greater happiness and resilience. The appeal of positive education is that almost all children around the world go to school so all children globally can potentially benefit. Children are every country’s future so this hopeful message for positive education is potentially transformative. Hence the ‘Why’ for positive educational initiatives is readily communicated and is capturing the imagination of school administrators, teachers and parents globally. The recent growth in international positive educational networks ( and national networks (such as Australia’s positive education in schools network illustrates the growing enthusiasm for positive education. However, the ‘How’ in terms of the best ways to effectively translate the key principles of positive psychology in school education is less clear-cut.


Positive education Students Learning Pedagogy Resilience Social Teaching 


  1. Axford, S., Schepens, R., & Blyth, K. (2011). Did introducing the Bounce Back Programme have an impact on resilience, connectedness and well-being of children and teachers in 16 primary schools in Perth and Kinross, Scotland? Educational Psychology, 12(1), 2–5.Google Scholar
  2. Durlak, J. A. (2015). What everyone should know about implementation. In J. A. Durlak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta (Eds.), Handbook of social & emotional learning. New York: The Guildford Press.Google Scholar
  3. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82, 405–432.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Dweck, C.S., Walton, G.M., & Cohen, G.L. (2015) Academic tenacity. Mindsets and skills that promote long-term learning. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  5. Gardner, H. (2006). Multiple intelligences: New horizons. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  6. Han, S. S., & Weiss, B. (2005). Sustainability of teacher implementation of school-based mental health programs. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33(6), 665–679.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hattie, J. (2009). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Johnson, D. & Johnson, R. (2009). An educational psychology success story: Social interdependence theory & cooperative learning. Educational Researcher, 38, 365.
  9. McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2010). HITS and HOTS. Teaching + Thinking + Social Skills. Melbourne: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  10. McGrath, H. & Noble, T. (2011). BOUNCE BACK! A Well-being & Resilience Program. Lower Primary K-2; Middle Primary: Yrs 3-4; Upper Primary/Junior Secondary: Yrs 5-8. Melbourne: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
  11. Niemiec, C. P., & Ryan, R. M. (2009). Autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the classroom. Applying self-determination theory to educational practice. Theory and Research in Education., 7(2), 133–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Noble, T. & McGrath, H. (2015). PROSPER: A new framework for positive education, Psychology of Well-being, 5:2:
  13. Noble, T., & McGrath, H. (2016). The PROSPER school pathways for student well-being. Policy and practices. Springer Briefs in Well-being & Quality of Life Research. Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  14. Noble, T., & McGrath, H. (2017). Sustainability of teacher implementation of a whole school resilience program. In M. Wosnitza, F. Peixoto, S. Beltman, & C. Mansfield (Eds.), Resilience in education: Concepts, contexts and connections: Springer.Google Scholar
  15. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Wentzel, K. R., & Watkins, D. E. (2002). Peer relationships and collaborative learning as contexts for academic enablers. School Psychology Review, 31(3):336Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Anglican Church of Australia Collegiate School of Saint Peter trading as St Peter's College 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Positive Psychology and EducationAustralian Catholic UniversitySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations