Advising students for postgraduate studies in psychology is an activity with which most faculty members in psychology are comfortable and, often, enjoy; however, when students approach their faculty members for advice or letters of recommendation for graduate school opportunities outside of psychology, are faculty really prepared? The goal of this chapter is to give direction and hints to help faculty prepare and support their students who decided to pursue graduate opportunities outside the field of psychology. This chapter offers: (a) a discussion of planning to maximize the undergraduate curricular and extracurricular experiences; (b) a review of skills, attributes, and characteristics deemed desirable by graduate programs, and (c) discussion of student as teacher in the application process. Where possible and appropriate, examples and literature from other disciplines (e.g., business, medicine) are provided.
This chapter reviews well-being programs taught to young people in schools evaluating their benefits and downsides. It then considers the application of positive psychology theories to wider teaching and learning processes. Findings on self-determination theory, emotional intelligence, positive emotions, and theories of self-regulation, flow, and humor are applied to aspects of the learning environment including behavior management, lesson design, and assessment feedback in ways that promote student resilience and increase student learning. The chapter describes specific classroom practices teachers and educators can use to increase useful emotions in their classroom. The chapter ends with a warning about the potential dangers of inappropriately increasing self-esteem or positive emotions.
This chapter discusses what schools and families can do to help children to lead a flourishing life. It begins by examining what counts as a flourishing life, looking first at children’s basic needs and then at four different views of how to lead a fulfilling life once one’s basic needs have been met. The second part of the chapter looks at educational applications of the last of these four, to do with wholehearted involvement in worthwhile relationships and activities. It discusses, among other topics, how an education thus based might diverge from more conventional practices; whether its approach focuses too much on the learner’s self-interest; and the role of success and failure, life-planning, and work in the learner’s life.
Susan Hallam and Raymond MacDonald
It has been recognized through the ages that music can have a very powerful influence on our emotions, moods, and behavior. Alongside the increase in and ease of music listening, there has been an acknowledgement that there are wider benefits to active engagement with music beyond those emanating from its value as an art form. This chapter reviews literature which has explored the ways that music has benefits beyond those associated with enjoyment of making or listening to music in community and educational settings. It considers developments in community music, research which has assessed its impact, the way that music has been used to attain educational aims beyond those relating to music education itself, and issues and findings relating to the use of background music when studying.
This chapter explores how we could place happiness at the heart of education, by making it a robust and legitimate aim of schools. The chapter makes a distinction between education as happiness (happiness arising from the traditional work of schools) and educating for happiness (a discrete happiness curriculum). Through a review of the work of Claxton, Brighouse, and Roberts the chapter suggests that happiness should form a principal aim of education. It then goes on to examine what a discrete happiness curriculum might look like based on the author’s own experience of developing a happiness curriculum at Wellington College in the UK.
Jennifer M. Fox Eades, Carmel Proctor, and Martin Ashley
This chapter is grounded in the belief that happiness is an appropriate aim of education, and also a tool for facilitating effective education. It argues that for children and young people, “happiness” will encompass a high level of challenge and ample opportunities to develop as active and ethical citizens. The chapter reviews well-being and happiness in the history of education, discusses the relevance of three kinds of happiness to the classroom, and provides examples of classroom practice that include a focus on happiness or well-being. It describes conditions that support happiness in the classroom, and highlights the importance of focusing on whole-school culture, considering the happiness of staff as well as students, and making space for unhappiness.
This section of The Oxford Handbook of Happiness approaches the complex relationship between happiness and education from the historical, philosophical, educational, and psychological perspectives. Raising the questions such as what the purpose of education may be and whether education may benefit from an explicit focus on happiness, the selection of chapters consider how happiness and other related variables (resilience, wisdom, and flow) can be raised through explicit and implicit classroom-based interventions. One fundamental issue is raised and addressed throughout this introductory chapter—whether so-called “happiness lessons” should be timetabled, offered through cross-curricula means (embedded into other lessons) or developed through an overall school ethos (using the so-called whole school approach). The section offers two extended case studies, that of Wellington College in the UK and Geelong Grammar School in Australia that are both pioneers in introducing happiness education.
Schools have often made little or no provision for the linguistic heterogeneity of their pupils, and assumptions of “best” or “correct” usage continue to complicate classroom dynamics. Linguistic scholarship has convincingly demonstrated that, just as there are no intrinsically “better” or “worse” languages, so there are no substandard dialects. Nonetheless, since social perceptions and prejudices have always been able to turn linguistic difference into deficit, it seems clear that the life chances of many children will improve to the extent that they expand their language repertoires—and it is entirely reasonable to expect that schools will assist in bilingual and bidialectal adaptations. The pivotal psychological difficulty, then, is to provide such assistance as part of inclusive classroom practice while avoiding any condemnation of the varieties that children bring with them from home.
Linda Corrin, Tiffani Apps, Karley Beckman, and Sue Bennett
The term “digital native” entered popular and academic discourse in the early 1990s to characterize young people who, having grown up surrounded by digital technology, were said to be highly technologically skilled. The premise was mobilized to criticize education for not meeting the needs of young people, thereby needing radical transformation. Despite being repeatedly discredited by empirical research and scholarly argument, the idea of the digital native has been remarkably persistent. This chapter explores the myth of the digital native and its implications for higher education. It suggests that the myth’s persistence signals a need to better understand the role of technology in young people’s lives. The chapter conceptualizes technology “practices,” considers how young adults experience technology in their college and university education, and how their practices are shaped by childhood and adolescence. The chapter closes with some propositions for educators, institutions, and researchers.
Mathew A. White
This chapter summarizes the introduction of positive education at Geelong Grammar School, Australia’s leading coeducational boarding and day school, and its collaboration with Martin Seligman. The chapter outlines the landscape for adolescent mental health in Australia, a brief history of Geelong Grammar School, its structure, a summary of the positive education program and its approach, the seven pillars of the positive education approach at the school and the development of its scope and sequence, and a summary of possible future directions in research and practice.
Jacquelyn Cranney, Suzanne Morris, and Lorayne Botwood
What is psychological literacy? Put simply, it is the adaptive and intentional application of psychology to meet personal, professional, and societal needs. We strongly believe that psychological literacy should be the primary outcome of undergraduate psychology education, but of course, it is not that simple. For example, how does one balance personal and societal needs? Why do we need to be concerned about societal needs? What “society” are we talking about? In this chapter, we first give some background on the concept of psychological literacy. We then describe some classroom teaching strategies designed to provide students with opportunities to develop psychological literacy. Finally, we take what we have learned from these experiences to extend the concept of psychological literacy.
Dana S. Dunn, Elizabeth Yost Hammer, and Wayne Weiten
The authors argue that teaching undergraduate students about the psychology of adjustment is a beneficial way to give them information, informed perspectives, and recommendations for actions or activities that both represent and promote psychological literacy. They define psychological literacy and the psychology of adjustment, respectively, in some detail, and then link them to educational needs of today’s undergraduates. Some recommended teaching activities demonstrating the psychology of adjustment as a form of psychological literacy are then discussed. The essay closes by considering psychological adjustment as a representative learning outcome for psychological literacy.
In this chapter a number of arguments against and for teaching happiness lessons are considered. It is acknowledged that at least some concerns regarding this type of lessons are legitimate and need to be taken into account. This is not to say that we should not have such lesions but that we need to re-evaluate our aims and practices, the most important of which is shifting focus from an end goal to the process. The term Personal Development Education is used to distinguish this approach from others. It is concluded that the specific time designed for pupils and students’ personal development can be immensely beneficial as long as it is about happiness of pursuit rather than the pursuit of happiness.
Amanda H. R. Franco, Heather A. Butler, and Diane F. Halpern
Critical thinking is an important aspect of human daily life whether in the domain of education, health, politics, consumer decisions, justice, or international relations. For most students, their college years represent the end of formal learning, a time when they are developing the skills needed for a successful transition to the marketplace (Elander, Harrington, Norton, Robinson, and Reddy, 2006). We need to prepare students for uncertainty and equip them with the skills to respond to novel problems (Sternberg, 2011). If we are not teaching for critical thinking, we are shortchanging our students and leaving them ill prepared for the next phase of their lives. This chapter discusses the benefits of critical thinking instruction and the best practices for teaching critical thinking to promote lifelong learning. The chapter is organized based on the four-step model proposed by Halpern (1998) to teach critical thinking: (a) explicitly teach critical-thinking skills; (b) encourage a disposition toward thinking critically; (c) use practical activities connected to real life to make transfer more likely to occur; (d) model overt metacognitive monitoring. Empirical evidence shows that thinking can be improved, especially when thinking skills are explicitly taught. Educators should incorporate critical thinking into their student learning outcomes, so that it is a primary teaching goal and aspiration of education.
Robert J. Sternberg
The author argues that an important key to happiness is wisdom. Educational systems have focused heavily on developing individuals who are knowledgeable, but too often, people are unable (or unwilling) to use their knowledge in wise ways. People are wise to the extent that they use their knowledge and skills in search of a common good; by balancing intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal interests; over the short and long terms; through the infusion of positive ethical values. Much of the unhappiness in the world is a result of people who are smart but use their intelligence to promote only their self-interest and not the interests of others, and of people who seek goals that, while attractive in the short term, are not helpful in the long term.
This chapter discusses the challenges of teaching a personality course (strong traditions versus new methods, disconnect between what personality psychologists do and personality students learn, teaching a theory/theorist course or a research-based course, learning about oneself), along with suggestions of what to teach (e.g., theories, theorists, versus research), and how to enhance the teaching of personality psychology to undergraduates (e.g., original writings, demonstrations, experiential exercises, personality questionnaires, case studies, literature and film, research, opportunities for critical thinking). The chapter ends with an extensive guide to available online resources (e.g., professional associations, discussion lists, research opportunities, newsletters) for teaching personality psychology.
Dana S. Dunn and Jamie G. McMinn
Many teachers of psychology want to improve their skills in order to enhance student learning but they are uncertain how to do so. What qualities make a good or great teacher distinct from the others? This chapter explores attitudes and behaviors that can enhance teaching prowess in and outside of the classroom. The chapter opens by discussing the importance of context and culture, which includes concerns like institution type and mission, the role of teaching and research, and a Lewinian perspective on teacher by situation interactions. The chapter then considers qualities that represent the teaching of psychology as part art, such as mindfulness, flow experiences, under preparation, and the place of instructor values. The next section focuses on the science of teaching by exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and evidence-based teaching (EBT), psychological literacy, and assessment. The chapter concludes by arguing that teaching can be fulfilling to students and teachers, rendering the teaching of psychology to as much a calling as a career.
This chapter discusses how to develop a course in psychology and law. There are recommended topical areas and alternative topics. A description of material to be covered, resources to use, and activities accompany each of these topics. The topics include the legal system, eyewitness identification, interrogation and confessions, juries, competence, insanity, the death penalty, juvenile sentencing, child protection, and the competence of children. A discussion of the assessment of student learning includes course objectives, suggestions for written and oral presentation assignments, and examinations. Other sections identify more general resources that are found on the Internet as well as suggestions for putting this face-to-face course online. The chapter ends with future directions for research material in psychology and law.
Toni Noble and Helen McGrath
Compared to previous generations, today’s youth appear to be poorly equipped to meet the life challenges they face. This chapter focuses on two approaches to developing positive and resilient behavior in young people, namely the student well-being approach and the social and emotional learning (SEL) approach. These two approaches have slowly emerged to fill the void created by the failed self-esteem movement that began in the 1970s. Both approaches have strong links with positive psychology, a model that emphasizes the conditions, strengths, and behaviors that enable people to develop well-being, act resiliently, and thrive. Evidence-informed guidelines for developing and implementing universal school-based programs designed to enhance well-being and SEL are identified and examples of national and specific initiatives are outlined.