Jun 15, 2020
Welcome to Episode 42. The day has finally come when I can say “For Flourishing’s Sake, the BOOK, is out this week!” Yay!!!
So in today’s episode, I will focus on the overarching theme of the book, which is to use a whole school approach to positive education to support character development and well-being. But first, I’ll briefly tell you about the exciting virtual launch events happening on Thursday 18th June, as these are an opportunity for you to hear directly from many of the amazing educators that have contributed their case studies, stories and experiences to the book.
For Flourishing’s Sake is being published on two dates - the first publication is of the e-book, on Thursday. The second is the publication of the paperback on 21st August. So, given we can’t have a physical book launch, we are having a...
I’ll remind you nearer the time, too! - we have our final live panel at 12.30pm UK time, chaired by Andrew Cowley and featuring the following UK-based panellists: Paul Bateson - teacher, writer and theatre maker, as well as PGCE tutor; Anni Poole - Director of HLS Impact Coaching; Dan Morrow - CEO of the Woodland Academy Trust; and Adele Bates - Behaviour and Education Specialist.
Full details of the panels and speakers, and how to watch and participate with questions and comments, will be posted on the @FlourishingED twitter account and here on the www.forflourishingssake.com podcast website.
I hope you’ll be able to join us and watch one or more of these panels where we’ll be discussing many issues and examples around whole school positive education. If you can’t join us live, all the panels will remain online for you to watch at a later date.
So, let’s move onto the content of today’s episode. Positive Education, according to IPEN (the International Positive Education Network), is the combination of educating for character and well-being, and for academic achievement. The whole school approach to Positive Education aims to incorporate this ethos of education into every aspect of a school’s activities, from its ethos and climate, its policies, and its leadership, to the physical environment, the training of teachers - from their trainee days to continued professional development, to the provision of character and well-being lessons, to the integration of well-being and character into other subject lessons, to role-modelling of character strengths and well-being behaviours by staff, to how the school interacts with and supports its local community, to how it communicates with all its stakeholders, including parents, and so much more.
Having written, literally, an entire book on this and knowing that, even so, each chapter is merely a starting point to give you, the reader, some ideas, inspiration and examples of each aspect of whole school Positive Education in practice, I am clearly not going to be able to cover it all in one brief podcast episode.
What I would like to do today is to invite you to think and consider how you can still take a whole school approach to positive education even as schools look nothing like they did a few months ago. More than ever, I am hearing teachers, school leaders and parents telling me how important well-being is. The current crisis has impacted on the mental well-being of everyone in school communities in some way and the challenges are many. As you revisit all your systems, policies and procedures to create physically safe - or as safe as possible - environments for your staff and students, there is not only an opportunity but an absolutely dire need to also consider mental health as part of the measures you take.
I don’t purport to have all the answers, far from it, but I know that if we work together with the intention to support the flourishing of everyone in education, we can do this. Coronavirus is not going away anytime soon, so our ‘new normal’ has to come from a whole school Positive Education perspective, even if this looks different than it would have done just a few months ago. You don’t have to do everything at once, and you don’t have to get everything right first time. The important thing is not to forget the character and well-being aspects of education as we focus on academic catch-up and attainment and physical safety.
Are you with me? Are you up for the challenge? All my contact details are coming up at the end of this episode if you’d like to get in touch and discuss how to bring a whole school approach to Positive Education into your school. Let’s do this, together. Let’s support the flourishing of children and adults in education, regardless of the circumstances.
If you have found this episode useful, please give the podcast a five star rating on iTunes to help it reach more people and please spread the word. Also, if you haven’t already, remember to subscribe so you never miss an episode.
The book, by the same name, is coming out on Kindle on 18th June and on paperback on 21st August. It’s available to pre-order from major online book retailers and is jam-packed with evidence-based strategies for whole school positive education with case study examples from a wide range of schools from around the world. So why not order your copy now, so you will receive it as soon as it’s published?
If you’d like to get in touch with questions or comments, or to contribute to a future episode, please contact me via Twitter at @FlourishingED. You can also leave comments on individual episode pages right here at www.forflourishingssake.com (see bottom of this page).
I look forward to hearing from you, and until next time, For Flourishing’s Sake, have a great week!