In line with the development of the implementation of positive psychology interventions in school contexts, this contribution focuses on a teaching sequence aimed at developing the strengths of 8-12-year-old students. This contribution is in line with the theme of developing well-being in an inclusive school context (Bressoud et al., 2017). Based on a pilot material, we propose the first feedback from the use of pupils and teachers of 3 classes in the framework of the preparation of a feasibility study.
The material is based on the character strengths model by Peterson & Seligman (2004). Several research studies indicate the relevance of using approaches based on people's personal strengths in order to develop well-being (e.g. Schutte & Malouff, 2019). In a school context, Quinlan et al (2018), for example, measured a decrease in conflict, an increase in positive emotions and an improvement in the sense of belonging in experimental classes that benefited from such interventions. The authors note the central role of teachers in mediating the effects of the intervention. In this sense, the pilot material was developed on the basis of the recommendations of Linkins et al. (2014), who stress in particular the importance of developing a culture of strengths within the classroom group.
The first data from this pilot experiment focus on the one hand on the pedagogical quality of the material based on qualitative feedback from teachers and pupils. On the other hand, they give indications about the emotional life in the classroom. This provides a basis for formulating hypotheses about the potential impact of the material on pupils' academic well-being.
In particular, the first results indicate that the material is well perceived by teachers and students. On the other hand, the indications of effects on the emotional life in the classroom lead to a discussion about the intensity of the programme and the embodiment of a resource-oriented posture by the teacher.
Perspectives will be discussed with the participants for the development of the tool.
Bressoud, N., Shankland, R., Ruch, W., & Gay, P. (2017). Character strengths and children with special needs : A way to promote well-being all together ! In J. Marcionetti, L. Castelli, & A. Crescentini (Eds.), Well-being in Education Systems (pp. 255-258). Hogrefe.
Linkins, M., Niemiec, R. M., Gillham, J., & Mayerson, D. (2014). Through the lens of strength : A framework for educating the heart. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 9760(February 2014), 1–5. https://doi.org/10.1080/17439760.2014.888581
Peterson, C. & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC : New York: American Psychological Association ; Oxford University Press.
Quinlan, D., Vella-Brodrick, D. A., Gray, A., & Swain, N. (2018). Teachers Matter: Student Outcomes Following a Strengths Intervention Are Mediated by Teacher Strengths Spotting. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20, 2507–2523. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-0051-7
Schutte, N. S., & Malouff, J. M. (2019). The Impact of Signature Character Strengths Interventions : A Meta-analysis. Journal of Happiness Studies, 20(4), 1179 1196. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-018-9990-2