Happiness, Optimism, Positivity & Ethos in schools
Happiness, Optimism, Positivity & Ethos in schools
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
“Schools are not places just to learn the skills of achievement, but institutions to educate children on how to live lives signified by good character and values and to promote the well-being of both teachers and students” (Sha-en, 2011).Positive Psychology in schools and Character Education (CE) are the current movements in education. School intervention programmes based on PE and CE have been proved to be beneficial for students, teachers and schools in terms of both achievement and wellbeing. However, the majority of teachers and schools in Europe are not familiar with the principles and methods of the two approaches. HOPEs (Happiness, Optimism, Positivity and Ethos in schools) suggests that schools should not only focus on academic achievement but they should also care for children’s well-being, ethos and happiness. Research findings stated that educators undergoing a PP intervention have less negative emotions, reduced feelings of depression and an increase in positive states of mind (Kemeny et al 2012). Some teachers reported that are more capable of managing their classrooms and maintain supportive relationships with students after completing a PP training. The aim of HOPEs is to apply the joined principles, methods and techniques of PE and CE in school settings across Europe. This will be achieved by developing an innovative educational package with the active participation and dedication of 8 strong organizations in 6 participating countries. In particular, 120 primary school teachers will be trained by utilizing the newly developed training programme.The objectives of the project are:• To develop, test and publish an innovative educational programme on PP and CE• To enrich teachers’ personal and professional development based on 5 modules: a) Positive Emotions. Developing emotional well-being. Growing positive emotions. b) Character: Character education/ Values – developing positive characteristics.-Identify & use of character strengths. c) Positive Purpose: Meaning & Purpose, the deeper routes into eudemonic well-being. d) Coping Positively: Resilience- Optimism- Positive Health- Emotion regulation-Coping with choice. Transitions eg. from junior to senior school. e) Positive Connections – our relationships with others and the wider world. Making a contribution to the community• To familiarize primary school teachers with the principles, methods and techniques of PE and CE so as to create a positive culture in schools, based on universal values• To create and publish the online HOPEs training programmeThe methodology of the training programme includes innovative learning methods and techniques such as cooperative learning, case studies, role play, mind mapping, problem solving and experiential learning. Creative arts (drama, visual arts, music and movement) will also be utilized as a new approach to learning.HOPEs has a transnational character since 8 expert organisations from 6 EU countries are joining their efforts (Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, UK, Malta and Portugal) to create an innovative training programme for European teachers. All partners have extensive experience in these educational areas at local, European and international level. The project will follow specific implementation steps and methodologies to successfully achieve all HOPEs goals and objectives:1) Identification of teachers' training needs2) Construction/development of educational resources (curriculum, Teachers’ Guide and Students' Handbook)3) Training the teachers (pilot testing seminars) in all participating countries4) Evaluation of the effectiveness of the training programme5) Design of the final version of the HOPEs educational package. 6) Dissemination of the project’s educational package and outputs and development of an online training platform.The envisaged impact of HOPEs is to make happier teachers in order to make happier students and happier communities. A new pedagogical paradigm based on PE and CE will be a contribution to the well-being of the population at European and international level. More specifically, the expected results will be the enhancement of teachers’ personal and professional self-esteem and their improvement in life satisfaction. This will lead teachers to becoming more engaged so as to act as multipliers and change makers in their schools. They are also expected to become more creative and improve their cooperative and communication skills. Improvements in teachers’ competences and skills will reflect on their students’ academic achievement and well-being. The whole project could be a challenge for schools, educational trainers, educators, policy makers, researchers and Ministries of Education at national, European and international level. The proposed training programme is an innovative model that can be applied not only in schools but in any type of organisation.
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