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Happy Children, Happy Teachers… July 31, 2011

The HAPPY SCHOOLS Program: A Project on Positive Education in Spain

Ricardo Arguís Rey C.P.R. ‘Juan de Lanuza’, Zaragoza, Spain

The “HAPPY CLASSROOMS” Program is a pioneering and recent project in Spain, which attempts to provide teachers an educational program based on Positive Psychology. It’s designed for students in Preschool, Primary and Secondary Schools (children and youth between 3-18 years old). The two axes of the Program are: mindfulness and the education of character strengths (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). It has two fundamental objectives: enhancing the personal and social development of students, and promoting the happiness of students, teachers and families. This Program is situated within the framework of the Key Competencies of the current European educational systems. Specifically, it allows teachers to work the three more transversal Competencies: autonomy and personal initiative, social and civic competence, and competence of learning to learn. It can be developed in all areas of school curriculum, as well as in tutorial action and values education. Th is project is the result of two years of work by a team of advisors and teachers linked to the Teachers’ Center “Juan de Lanuza” in Zaragoza (Spain). Th e authors -SATI Team- have grounded the program on the most recent contributions of Positive Psychology, and off er general proposals and more than 200 activities for students. Th e Program is posted online from October 2010 and in coming months it will be published in printed version. Currently, SATI Team promotes teacher training to implement the HAPPY CLASSROOMS Program in schools in Spain. In June 2011, we will have some data that will help to evaluate its application, as a basis for designing future research on the effectiveness of the Program. At present, the Program is only available in Spanish. Its distribution is gratuitous and completely free. Th e authors allow its diffusion and reproduction, but always without commercial purposes and citing the original source. It can be downloaded at the next website: http://catedu.es/psicologiapositiva

Well-Being at Work and Across Life Domains: A Comparative Study Among Italian Professionals

Antonella Delle Fave1, Mjriam Di Bisceglie1, Andrea Fianco1, Paola Mencarelli2 from Milano, Italy

Background and aims: Meaning pursuit, resource mobilization, and the exercise of freedom and responsibility are constituents of well-being in any life domain. However, as concerns work, task and organizational differences substantially influence workers’ well-being. Th ese topics were explored through the Eudaimonic and Hedonic Happiness Investigation among 402 Italian adults (266 women and 136 men, aged 45,8 on average), including 185 teachers, 113 bank clerks, and a miscellaneous group of 104 participants involved in dif erent jobs.

Results: Teachers associated work with the highest levels of happiness and meaningfulness, compared with the other groups. On the opposite, bank clerks scored lowest in happiness and meaningfulness at work, and in life satisfaction. Teachers more oft en associated well-being with personal growth and involvement in community/society issues, while the other groups gave more emphasis to leisure and material resources. All groups quoted family as the prominent context of meaningfulness and happiness.

Conclusion: Teachers prominently associated job with wellbeing, while bank clerks perceived lack of engagement and meaning. Structural job aspects were related to these findings. Overall, group differences suggest that achieving an optimal balance in resource investment across life domains, according to their developmental and meaning potential, can represent a useful strategy in well-being promotion.

A UK Perspective on Positive Education

Ilona Boniwell from University of East London, London, United Kingdom

This presentation will address two positive education projects implemented in British schools. Results will be discussed with regard to cultural, curricular and wider school policy considerations. Th e first, Haberdasher´s Well-Being Curriculum, is a comprehensive positive psychology programme implemented in three secondary schools in South East London. From Year 7 through to Year 13 students receive one hour of positive education weekly. The presentation will report on the outcomes of the pilot year of programme implementation with Year 7 students (focusing on positive experience and relationships). The study was a non-randomised control group design with a pre-test and post-test, using Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale for Children, Positive and Negative Aff ect Schedule for Children and Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale. Using 2x2Anova, significant effects were found for satisfaction with self, satisfaction with family, satisfaction with school, satisfaction with friends, positive and negative affect.The SPARK Resilience Programme was developed to improve adolescents´ psychological well-being by building resilience over 12 one-hour weekly lessons. It was delivered to Year 7 pupils in two different schools in the Borough of Newham, East London and assessed using pre- and post test design. Th e statistical data analysis showed significantly higher resilience scores in the post assessment compared to the pre-assessment data. A significant increase was also found for self-esteem and self-efficacy scores. A marginally significant decrease was observed in depression symptoms.

The control data was provided by the school’s annual student survey of Year 7 students completed one year previous to the current post-assessment. The control group indicated lower positive aff ect than the treatment group in the pre and post assessment. Th e control group’s life satisfaction scores (SLSS) resulted lower than the treatment group in the post assessment.

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