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Positive Psychology in Education (UG) - EDU00054H

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Dusana Dorjee
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

This module will provide you with an in-depth critical understanding of the main positive psychology approaches to enhancement of mental health and wellbeing in education such as social and emotional learning interventions, mindfulness-based programmes and strategies developing healthy qualities of mind (e.g., gratitude, sense of connection and meaning etc.). 

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims to provide you with an in-depth critical review of the main positive psychology approaches to enhancement of mental health and wellbeing in education. You will critically consider and compare a variety of positive psychology approaches including social and emotional learning interventions, mindfulness-based programmes, therapeutic approaches such as dialectic behavioural therapy and strategies developing healthy qualities of mind (e.g., compassion, gratitude, sense of connection and meaning etc.). You will also advance and refine a range of transferable skills in assimilating information from different sources and developing your own perspective on it, formulating reasoned arguments, analysing and synthesising theoretical approaches and findings from different sources, and further developing effective communication, literature search and digital literacy skills. 

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module:

1. You will have advanced critical understanding of cutting edge research on mental health and wellbeing in the positive psychology context. 

2. You will be able to critically appraise mental health and wellbeing policy and practice in relation to positive psychology interventions aiming to enhance mental health and wellbeing in education. 

3. You will have developed skills in presenting complex information in a concise and engaging way to variety of audiences and advanced your written academic communication skills.

4. You will be able to formulate innovative evidence-based mental health and wellbeing interventions informed by positive psychology approaches. 

5. You will have advanced understanding of the complexities of possible collaborations between researchers, policy makers and teachers in developing, researching and implementing positive psychology interventions in education. 

Module content

Spring Term:

Week 2 - Introduction to positive psychology approaches to mental health and wellbeing in education

Week 3 - Social and emotional learning approaches - effectiveness, implementation and limitations

Week 4 - The optimistic child - preventing depression in children and adolescents

Week 5 - Mindfulness-based approaches to mental health and wellbeing in education 

Week 6 - Acceptance commitment therapy and Dialectic behavioural therapy approaches to mental health and wellbeing in education 

Week 7 - Compassion focused therapy and self-compassion approaches to mental health and wellbeing in education 

Week 8 - Cultivating healthy qualities of the mind in education - gratitude, generosity, awe, sense of connection etc. 

Week 9 - Developing meaning and purpose in life as part of education 

Week 10 - Positive psychology approaches to teacher mental health and wellbeing in education 

Summer Term

Week 1 – Positive psychology approaches in primary schools

  • In this problem-based learning session students will discuss in groups and propose innovative positive psychology programs for primary schools based on their understanding of existing programmes for this age group

Week 2 – Positive psychology approaches in secondary schools

  • In this problem-based learning session students will discuss in groups and propose innovative well-being programs for secondary schools based on their understanding of existing programmes for this age group

Week 3 – Positive Psychology in Education – Reading group

  • Students will critically discuss two papers they will be asked to read ahead of the session

Week 4 – Wrap up and essay preparation session

  • Students will critically discuss overarching links between the main topics of the module

  • This session will also provide an opportunity for students to discuss specific queries about their essays

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

Students will submit their essay title and plan to the tutor for feedback as part of the formative work. 

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 3000 words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback on summative assignment report sheet and face-to-face feedback in supervisions. 

Students will receive in-session formative feedback on critical writing and also formative feedback on their essay plans.

The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Indicative reading

Livheim, F., Hayes, L., Ghaderi, A., Magnusdottir, T., Högfeldt, A., Rowse, J., ... & Tengström, A. (2015). The effectiveness of acceptance and commitment therapy for adolescent mental health: Swedish and Australian pilot outcomes. Journal of Child and Family Studies24(4), 1016-1030.

Selligman, M. (2018). The Optimistic Child. Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Schonert-Reichl, K. A., & Lawlor, M. S. (2010). The effects of a mindfulness-based education program on pre-and early adolescents’ well-being and social and emotional competence. Mindfulness1(3), 137-151.

Shoshani, A., & Steinmetz, S. (2014). Positive psychology at school: A school-based intervention to promote adolescents’ mental health and well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies15(6), 1289-1311.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students