Well-being, self-esteem and optimism ... Yes, please!
This teaching material has been developed from the research project “Positive Childhood Psy-chology - Increased well-being, self-esteem, positivity and optimal learning”, that the author Lou-ise Tidmand conducted in 2012. In this project, seven schools with eight classes from the middle school participated in the project for a period of two months, working with Louise’s material and the approach of positive psychology in practice.
In their linguistic design and layout, the programme’s student book and workbook are designed for children aged 6-12, but the exercises can be used by everyone. In the research project, the impact of the work with the material was measured both qualitatively and quantitatively. The result demonstrated an extremely positive, measurable and noticeable effect from both the student-, teacher-, and parent-perspectives.
At class level, the participating classes experienced the positive effect of the work in better relationships between the students, increased tolerance for differences in classes, fewer conflicts between students, and greater calm in the classes.
At the individual level, the positive effect was seen in terms of increased competency, increased awareness of their own strengths and potentials, increased awareness of their own influence on their own living conditions, and increased happiness, self-esteem and well-being in everyday life. Those of the participants who had low self-esteem before working with the book experienced an average 82% increase in self-esteem in the post evaluation, and the students who had pessimistic or even very pessimistic thought patterns before working on the book experienced an average 194% increase in optimism.
The teachers experienced a practical and effective tool for their work with mental health and well-being, as well as having a common frame of reference for working with colleagues, students and parents. The parents found it positive to be involved in the work with well-being in the class, and expressed an ability to use the tools in the family.
Working with positive psychology in school can therefore be seen as a tool with a proven positive effect and as a useful supplement to daily pedagogical practice.