Australia, Germany and Bhutan are first countries that adopted this educational approach
Positive education is an educational approach which aims to develop student well-being and promote happiness. Growing evidence suggests it can lower anxiety, boost self-esteem and help young people achieve more at school.
An increasing number of schools worldwide are adopting the positive psychology methods in the classroom. InAustralia, Geelong Grammar School has been incorporating such methods into its curriculum since 2008.
The school’s Principal Steven Meek told euronews: ‘‘Positive psychology is about helping students and people to make the most out of their lives.’‘
The idea of promoting happiness in school is also gaining ground in Europe. In Germany, Lerchenfeld Secondary School in Hamburg is one of around 100 schools in the country doing pioneering work in this field. It has developed a complete course on teaching happiness.
The goal is to help students develop social competence and confidence to cope with pressure and stress at school. Social and communication skills count much more than just grades.
Happiness Teacher Barbara Neuber explained: ‘‘The most important thing here is to teach perception. If one is not able to perceive things then how can one handle problems. In a traditional sports class as well as in other subjects it is mostly about performance. In this subject ‘Happiness’, grades and competition are not a priority.’‘
But while teaching happiness is a subject area of growing importance in Germany and English speaking countries there are few places in the world where happiness is the ultimate goal. The tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, however, measures prosperity by gauging its citizens’ happiness levels, not GDP.
The search for happiness starts at an early age in Bhutan. Using meditation and other teaching methods the school system aspires to produce healthy, intellectual students, who grow up to be happy and productive citizens.
To watch the full Learning World episode from Australia, Germany and Bhutan about ‘Positive Education’, click on the video link above.
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