Teaching happiness is possible, owing to the results and findings of positive psychology, and can be introduced to all age groups at educational institutions. Using positive psychology approaches will engage children and young people very fast.
By learning happiness and practising strategies to enhance well-being, children open up, increase academic performances and grow into responsible and happy adults. Positive experiences have a long-lasting effect on their development.
Institutions, who realise the need of well-being education, should incorporate positive education into their curriculum and teach happiness with Martin Seligman’s PERMA model. Discovering what their strengths are, what they do really well already, is another significant step.
It is essential, that lessons, which contain positive education approaches, are given regularly and are sustainable in the long run – so that children can learn practical techniques for boosting positive emotions, build self-confidence and learn how to be active listeners. These activities and lessons will soon become a part of the culture of the school and the everyday life of teachers and children.
Connections with other institutions and educators, who are experienced in teaching happiness is significant to get advice, strategies and support from and to share ideas with.
The role of teachers is extremely important, as through their skills they develop positive pedagogical relationships with students, lead the activities, and they are the ones who collaborate with parents. Therefore, training them to be updated about the recent results and the latest techniques of positive psychology, and to avoid their burn-out is vital.
Teachers are advised to introduce children to positive emotions such as joy, empathy and love to broaden their way of thinking. However, it is also necessary, that children are taught techniques to deal with pressure, failure and negative emotions such as envy or fear.
During the lessons, children should learn about the importance of strong and quality relationships, which are proven to be one of the biggest factors of happiness. They should also discover and celebrate their strengths.
Providing activities and opportunities for children to express their feelings, such as gratitude or appreciation is a major part of each programme working with positive pedagogy.
Brainstorming with students, letting them express their ideas and plans regarding tasks and projects is also a meaningful element of teaching happiness, just like helping students find joy in everyday things.
The benefits of teaching and learning happiness is just endless: positive experiences broaden our thinking, help dealing with pressure, children open up, express their feelings easier, get calmer and learn to care about others, etc. We will all see the positive impacts on our life and on other’s life when we get involved with well-being education.