An applied framework for Positive Education


  • Jacolyn M. Norrish Positive Education Department, Geelong Grammar School
  • Paige Williams Positive Education Department, Geelong Grammar School and Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne
  • Meredith O'Connor Positive Education Department, Geelong Grammar School, and Department of Paediatrics, The University of Melbourne
  • Justin Robinson Positive Education Department, Geelong Grammar School


positive psychology, Positive Education, wellbeing, flourishing


The increasing momentum of the Positive Psychology movement has seen burgeoning research in positive mental health and adaptive functioning; a critical question is how this knowledge can now be applied in real-world settings. Positive Education seeks to combine principles of Positive Psychology with best-practice teaching and with educational paradigms to promote optimal development and flourishing in the school setting. Interest in Positive Education continues to grow in line with increasing recognition of the important role played by schools in fostering wellbeing, and the link between wellbeing and academic success. To date, however, a framework to guide the implementation of Positive Education in schools has been lacking. This paper provides an overview of the Geelong Grammar School (GGS) Model for Positive Education, an applied framework developed over five years of implementing Positive Education as a whole-school approach in one Australian school. Explicit and implicit teaching in combination with school-wide practices target six wellbeing domains, including positive emotions, positive engagement, positive accomplishment, positive purpose, positive relationships, and positive health, underpinned by a focus on character strengths. The Model provides a structured pathway for implementing Positive Education in schools, a framework to guide evaluation and research, and a foundation for further theoretical discussion and development.


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