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Positive Education

Mandy CHAN, Lily LEI, Monaliza Maximo CHIAN, Andrew Pau HOANG


Positive education (PE) stems from intellectual currents in positive psychology that are concerned with human flourishing and the optimisation of human functioning. PE can be broadly defined as the application of ideas, concepts and principles in positive psychology to educational settings (Seligman et al., 2009; Norrish et al., 2013). Promoting PE encompasses teaching students how to cultivate happiness and well-being alongside academic achievements (Seligman et al., 2009). The essential elements of PE emphasise positive emotions, positive relationships, resilience, well-being and strength-based approaches that foreground students’ strengths and capabilities, rather than their deficits. There has been accumulating research evidence that PE can benefit schooling processes and outcomes for educational communities in local and global contexts (Waters, 2011).

Fostering PE through a school-wide positive education framework aims for targeted, positive changes across multiple domains of schooling. These include leadership and management structures, organisational cultures, policy-making, curriculum design, guidance and pastoral care, teacher-student interactions, teaching and learning processes, and after-school activities (Waters, 2011). Seligman’s PERMA (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Accomplishments) model — and the later extended PERMA-H (Health) model — have been successfully implemented by numerous schools worldwide in the past decade. These models identify several elements that schools can proactively nurture and develop to increase well-being and decrease psychosocial distress. Such emphases on positive changes are aimed at building facilitative environments that enable all school community members to thrive. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of PE in schools requires informed leadership and implementation that is thoughtfully adapted to specific school contexts.

Below are some relevant and timely school examples, internet resources and scholarly contributions that raise issues, considerations, and challenges about Positive Education as we strive to promote students’ well-being and academic success.


Positive Education

Highly-Cited Academic Articles (Based on analysed results from Web of Science)


Articles Published in/about the Region


School Examples




Internet Resources


YouTube Videos


Extended Readings



References in this site to any specific resources and tools are for the information and convenience of the public only. They do not constitute ownership or endorsement by ALiTE of any of the opinions offered by any corporation or organisation or individual.


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