Experiences of positive emotions and a sense of meaning and purpose are the two key themes across theories and studies on psychological wellbeing. Being well, in contrast, to merely not being ill, has an impact on teaching and learning; it is hard to imagine enthusiastic teachers or engaged students without them embodying qualities of positive emotions and/or a sense of positive purpose.
But fostering psychological wellbeing in teachers and students is not an easy task, the key question being: How can we effectively develop positive emotions and a sense of purpose as part of education?
My recent research suggests that looking at the processes in the mind and brain that underlie the development of positive emotions or a sense of purpose is one possible way of getting closer to answering this question. One group of these processes often termed as self-regulation, enables flexible and adaptive management of our attention, emotions, thoughts and behaviours in alignment with our goals. Research shows that better self-regulation predicts both better wellbeing and better academic performance during child
and adolescent development..…..…………………………