THE INSIGHT SERIES

The Institute of Positive Education presents the Insight Series - guest lectures designed to inform, inspire and provide insight.

Our guest lectures for Term 4 have included Matthew Johnstone, bestselling author and passionate mental health and wellbeing advocate, and Tim Cope, internationally award-winning Australian author, adventurer, and filmmaker.

Matthew Johnstone delivered a moving talk about the important subject of resilience. Most of us set out quietly hoping for, and secretly expecting, to live a happy, successful and healthy life. But life doesn't always play fair or go to plan. Resilience is about developing flexibility, acceptance and self-compassion when those plans go awry. Through stunning visuals Matthew helped to bring understanding of how resilience plays a key role in wellbeing. He offered an accessible roadmap to developing and maintaining resilience and provided insight into how it can help you overcome and learn from difficult life events.

Tim Cope, described by National Geographic USA as a ‘cultural ambassador’,  delivered an inspiring talk focusing on his iconic three year, 10,000km journey by horse on the trail of nomads made famous by Genghis Khan. Tim talked about the role of perseverance, pursuing a dream, goal setting, resilience and determination, acting outside one’s comfort zone, developing a sense of integrity, and looking outwards. He also articulated how his journey was spurred on by his love of adventure, people, and personal challenge. For Tim, adventure isn’t about conquering the elements, but learning about the world by immersing himself in the different cultures, landscapes and situations he encounters. His photos and film footage definitely conveyed that.

With over 100 members of the wider GGS community in attendance and an abundance of positive feedback, both events have been a great success.

Our final event for the 2014 series features Dianne Vella-Broderick.

Tim-and-Tigon



Dianne Vella-Brodrick - Enhancing adolescent mental health through positive education 2013 Research findings

Date: Wednesday 26 November 2014
Time: 7.00pm – 8.30pm
Location: Cook Theatre, Corio Campus

Dianne Vella-Brodrick (PhD) is an Associate Professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne and adjunct in the School of Psychology and Psychiatry at Monash University. She is also the Director of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program which is part of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Dianne is a registered psychologist and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society.
Dianne’s presentation will explore and discuss the results from the first year of the longitudinal Positive Education research project ‘Enhancing adolescent mental health through positive education’.
The research project measures the wellbeing of GGS Year 9,10 and 11 students. The project commenced in 2013 with Year 9 students being tracked for a period of three years; these students are currently in Year 10.
We look forward to sharing some of the initial findings and outlining the next stages in this comprehensive study.

These events are open to parents, staff, friends and members of our wider school community.

Registration is essential as numbers are limited. To register please visit: http://www.ggs.vic.edu.au/School/Positive-Education/Events


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RECOMMENDED PODCAST

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‘Sonja Lyubomirsky on the Myths of Happiness’ on the Greater Good Podcast Series recorded February 2013 and is accessible here

The Greater Good Science Center has been operating from the University of California, Berkeley, since 2001. The non-profit organisation has a strong commitment to understanding both how science can serve us in better understanding social and emotional wellbeing, as well as how to help others apply findings and insights from science for the betterment of people’s lives.  In this interview leading researcher in Positive Psychology, Sonja Lyubomirsky, discusses her new book, The Myths of Happiness. For example, Lyubomirsky speaks about the two main myths around happiness. One type of myth revolves around our beliefs that happiness is contingent upon some future event, e.g. “I will be happy when I have a house.” Another type of myth refers to our predictions that we will be unhappy if a negative event occurs, e.g. “I will be unhappy if I lose my house.” Lyubomirsky refers to how research has demonstrated that humans are often more resilient than we think.  Over the course of the interview, Lyubomirsky discusses the complexity of pursuing happiness in terms of how individuals differ and the effects of gender, culture and biology.

RECOMMENDED READING

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Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning
Dr Craig Hassed & Dr Richard Chambers

Mindful Learning provides a comprehensive guide for educators with varied experience and knowledge of mindfulness practices. The authors map out how mindfulness and education meet through defining and exploring the meaning of terms such as education, mindfulness, learning, attention, stress and memory.  This approach allows us to understand the interconnections and integration between mindfulness and learning suggested in the book’s title Mindful Learning.  Whilst a great deal of practical exercises are provided, the authors go beyond describing and justifying mindfulness as an additional technique or program which needs to be added into the curriculum.  Through interweaving sound research in the fields of learning and mindfulness, the book continually increases our awareness of the effects of being present as an educator. In this way, the book carefully and succinctly outlines how mindfulness is most powerfully learned through both explicit teaching such as training attention and implicit teaching such as role-modelling moment to moment awareness. The authors comment, “Most of what we teach we actually do without awareness.”  This book offers its reader the chance to learn about current research and practice, as well as reflect upon and improve their own lives in terms of teaching, health and home. 

Hassed, C. & Chambers, R. (2014). Mindful Learning: Reduce stress and improve brain performance for effective learning. Wollombi: Exisle Publishing.