The Potential for Positive Scholarship to Change Schools: International Perspectives Introduction

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The Potential for Positive Scholarship to Change Schools: International Perspectives
Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi (2000, p 5) argue that “The exclusive focus on pathology that has dominated so much of our discipline results in a model of the human being lacking the positive features that make life worth living.“ This session introduces questions about how we incorporate this perspective into the research base underlying policy, scholarship and practice work of ICSEI and its members. The session is premised on paying closer attention to important lines of organizational and leadership research emerging from positive psychology, and is beginning to gain traction in education (Daly & Chrispeels, 2005; Fredrickson, 2001; Hoy & Tartar, 2011; Seligman, et al, 2009). In particular, the focus will be on incorporating an asset-focused approach to education in policy, school leadership, and school development.
The session will briefly introduce the positive psychology and will quickly turn to four papers that present different perspectives on shaping school effectiveness and improvement work. The first presents a critique of policy research, the second develops a model of positive school organizations based on empirical research, while the third and fourth provide examples of how positive-psychology based programs can develop stronger school leadership. The session will conclude with a discussion among participants.
Daly, A.J., & Chrispeels, J.H. (2005) From problem to possibility: Leadership for implementing and deepening the processes of effective schools. Journal for Effective Schools, 4(1), 7-25.
Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218.
Hoy, W. K., & Tarter, C. J. (2011). Positive psychology and educational administration: An optimistic research agenda. Educational Administration Quarterly, 47(3), 427-445
Seligman, M. E., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford review of education, 35(3), 293-311.
Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.

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