30 May Happiness lessons – positive psychology in schools
Ryan smiles as his teacher tells him he does not have any friends. “That’s not true, because I went round to my mate’s house the other day to watch a video,” he replies. Another gibe about his lack of commitment to school is seen off with equal vigour as the rest of the class look on. It may sound like an exercise in public humiliation, but this is “hot-seating” and part of a programme being piloted in schools to improve children’s wellbeing and help them to develop resilience. As well as learning to deflate negative comments by stating positive alternatives, pupils also discuss their problems and ways to overcome them.
The Resilience classes have been dubbed “happiness lessons”, but they are not about teaching children to wear perpetual smiles, says Rhodri Bryant, headmaster at Longdean, in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, one of the first schools to adopt the programme. “Being happy is a prerequisite for a successful school and any human being, but the programme is only partly to do with happiness,” Mr Bryant says. The aim is to develop children’s “emotional intelligence”, he adds, so that they can become attuned to other’s needs and feelings, as well as their own.
To read more about this great positive psychology program designed to build happiness and resilience in school children – click here