Positive Education in Australia: Practice, Measurement, and Future Directions

  • Gavin R. SlempEmail author
  • Tan-Chyuan Chin
  • Margaret L. Kern
  • Christine Siokou
  • Daniel Loton
  • Lindsay G. Oades
  • Dianne Vella-Brodrick
  • Lea Waters


Positive education (PosEd) combines the concepts and scholarship of positive psychology (PP) with best practice guidelines from education to promote student flourishing within educational settings. In this chapter, we first review the conceptual approaches to well-being upon which much of PosEd in Australia is based. Second, based on our experiences with research, teaching, and consulting, we identify issues that might impact the successful implementation of PosEd, including the frameworks used, the extent to which implicit or explicit strategies are employed, the importance of sustained and rigorous evaluation, and the impact of student, teacher, and other stakeholder buy-in. Third, we illustrate our own research that addresses some of these challenges, including the development of measurement tools to profile well-being and the undertaking of longitudinal studies evaluating PosEd programs. We then consider areas of future inquiry and practice that are particularly relevant to the Australian context, including (1) the need for research and applications to expand to diverse populations, such as Indigenous Australians, migrants, refugees, at-risk students, and disadvantaged groups, (2) systems approaches to implementation and research, and (3) strategies to produce and evaluate lasting change. We conclude that there is much potential for PosEd in Australia, but care needs to be taken so that it becomes a core part of education as a whole, and not simply a short-lived fad.


Positive education Positive psychology Well-being Skills Development Young people Intervention Program 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gavin R. Slemp
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tan-Chyuan Chin
    • 1
  • Margaret L. Kern
    • 1
  • Christine Siokou
    • 1
  • Daniel Loton
    • 1
  • Lindsay G. Oades
    • 1
  • Dianne Vella-Brodrick
    • 1
  • Lea Waters
    • 1
  1. 1.Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Centre for Positive PsychologyUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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