The Positivity Project

From KNILT

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Welcome to the Positivity Project Mini-Course

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Have you ever thought about ways to develop understanding or empathy in students? Do you feel you need something beyond teachable moments throughout the day? The Positivity Project is an incredible K-12 character education program that helps students understand themselves and others around them better. This mini-course covers the basics of the Positvity Project and tells you a little but about what it could look like in your own classroom. You will learn about positive psychology that backs the program, explore some major components of it, and decide if this is something you could see building community in your own school.

You will navigate this course through the links below for each module. You will delve into the topic through articles, videos and discussions ending with a mock presentation to present about why the Positivity Project should be in you school.

Needs Assessment

Character education can be an important part of developing the whole student, and can greatly affect the culture of a classroom and school. Educators have noted that when positive value lessons become part of the culture in addition to character that is implicitly taught each day, they have seen a difference in their students including less discipline referrals, and increased test scores (Adams, 2013). When the right program is identified and implemented consistently, with a high level of commitment, positive impacts have been noted (Shankland & Rosset, 2016).

Finding a program that is right for your classroom and school can be challenge. The Positivity Project is one example of a character education program that is based on positive psychology and 24 character strengths that everyone possess but shows in varying degrees. Positive Psychology studies suggests that using ones existing strengths in a new way is an effective means of enhancing well-being (Shankland & Rosset, 2016). By helping students understand themselves and others better, positive relationships can be built which in turn will create a positive school climate.

In my own experience working with The Positivity Project in addition to research I have done, I have noticed that the program offers an opportunity to for students to explore their own character strengths that they may not have recognized in themselves before. It empowers students to also build positive relationships by giving teachers training, strategies and resources to teach positive psychology’s 24 character strengths (The Positivity Project, 2017). While students can certainly navigate social situations as the come into their lives naturally, having a character education program can help foster confidence in them to become problem solvers and build community

Course-Level Objectives

Learners will be able to summarize overarching theories behind the Positivity Project through a discussion thread.

Learners will take the VIA character survey and identify their top character strength.

Learners will be able to identify at least three character strengths highlighted in the Positivity Project and describe how they could build community in their classroom.

Learners will be able to apply what was learned to design a mock presentation to persuade a board to implement the Positivity Project in their school.

Module 1: Positive Psychology and the Positivity Project

Module 1 Objective:

Learners will show understanding of the connection between Positive Psychology and the Positivity Project through their discussion posts and responses to their peers

Lesson 1: What is Positive Psychology?

Lesson 1 Goal:

Learners will read an article discussing background information on Positive Psychology.

Lesson 2: How does Positive Psychology relate to the Positivity Project?

Lesson 2 Goal:

Learners make the connection between Positive Psychology and the Positivity Project.

Module 2: Character Strengths

Module 2 Objective:

Learners will be able to identify at least three character strengths highlighted in the Positivity Project and describe how they could build community in their classroom.

Lesson 1: The 24 Character Strengths

Lesson 1 Goal:

Learners will explore the character strengths that make up the Positivity Project lessons

Lesson 2: What is your top character strength?

Lesson 2 Goal:

Learners will identify their top character strength.

Lesson 3: How do the Character Strengths build community?

Lesson 3 Goal:

Learners will read about the ways community is built with Positive Psychology and think about how it relates to the character strengths.

Module 3: The Positivity Project in Your School

Module 3 Objective:

Learners will be able to apply what was learned to design a mock presentation to persuade a board to implement the Positivity Project in their school.

Lesson 1: What could the Positivity Project look like in our school?

Lesson 1 Goal:

Learners will gather what they know from previous modules to persuade an audience to use the program in their schools

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