National surveys consistently reveal that an inordinate number of students report high levels of boredom, anger, and stress in school, which often leads to their disengagement from critical learning and social development. If the ultimate goal of schools is to educate young people to become responsible and critically thinking citizens who can succeed in life, understanding factors that stimulate them to become active agents in their own leaning is critical. A new field labeled "positive psychology" is one lens that can be used to investigate factors that facilitate a student’s sense of agency and active school engagement.
The purposes of this groundbreaking Handbook are to 1) describe ways that positive emotions, traits, and institutions promote school achievement and healthy social/emotional development 2) describe how specific positive-psychological constructs relate to students and schools and support the delivery of school-based services and 3) describe the application of positive psychology to educational policy making. By doing so, the book provides a long-needed centerpiece around which the field can continue to grow in an organized and interdisciplinary manner.
Key features include:
Comprehensive – this book is the first to provide a comprehensive review of what is known about positive psychological constructs and the school experiences of children and youth. Topical coverage ranges from conceptual foundations to assessment and intervention issues to service delivery models. Intrapersonal factors (e.g., hope, life satisfaction) and interpersonal factors (e.g., positive peer and family relationships) are examined as is classroom-and-school-level influences (e.g., student-teacher and school-community relations).
Interdisciplinary Focus – this volume brings together the divergent perspectives, methods, and findings of a broad, interdisciplinary community of scholars whose work often fails to reach those working in contiguous fields.
Chapter Structure – to insure continuity, flow, and readability chapters are organized as follows: overview, research summary, relationship to student development, examples of real-world applications, and a summarizing table showing implications for future research and practice.
Methodologies – chapters feature longitudinal studies, person-centered approaches, experimental and quasi-experimental designs and mixed methods.