St Paul’s College is a college rather than a residential hall, and it is designed to educate, especially through peer support, an area of particular strength. The Educational Program now being implemented for the College includes elements of Positive Education.
One of the texts we use is the international best-seller, Flourishing, by Maureen Gaffney. We are very pleased to announce that Dr Gaffney will visit the College for several days in October.
The scheme was launched at St Paul’s on 15 May 2012, when the Hon Frank Callaway, an Honorary Academic Fellow of the College, spoke to the students about the advantages of Positive Education. On the initiative of the Senior Student, a committee of students was immediately formed to implement Mr Callaway’s proposals, the project was approved by the College Council in August and substantial funding was secured. The program is student-driven. It takes advantage of the deeply rooted culture of mutual support and leadership among the students which also underpins the tutorial program and all the best aspects of life at St Paul’s.
In 2013 the College, with the assistance of The Positivity Institute (http://www.thepositivityinstitute.com.au/), began a variety of Positive Education activities. Our aim has been to learn about the mind (including the brain and the nervous system) and the emotions, with a view to better using the mind and better managing the emotions. We therefore place equal emphasis on positive and cognitive psychology.
In particular, in Semester Two 2013 we began our own Certificate in Positive Education, a ten-week course offered to resident students at no additional cost. We did the same in 2014, but in 2015 the course was brought forward to Semester One. The certificate is awarded on the basis of attendance and there are no written assessments. This course is offered in collaboration with The Positivity Institute and, given that employers now place particular value on such qualifications, we imagine that the certificate will be very useful to Paul’s men in later life.
But Positive Education has many practical implications for university students before graduation. For instance, the transition from school to university can be difficult in a variety of ways, and this program is designed to help. Sports psychology is an important dimension as well.
Lectures that form part of the St Paul’s Positive Education project but are open to the public may be announced from time to time on the website.