Introducing Dr Paula Robinson
Scots All Saints College is delighted to welcome leading international psychologist and author, Dr Paula Robinson. Paula has joined the Scots All Saints College team to work with parents, students, staff and the College community to deliver Positive Psychology initiatives based on evidence-based research that demonstrates improved educational outcomes, family relationships and overall student wellbeing.
Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of human flourishing and an applied approach to optimal functioning. It has also been defined as the study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals, schools, organisations and communities to thrive. Positive Psychology is grounded in the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives; to cultivate what is best within them; and to enhance their experiences.
As one respected researcher has noted: “Positive Psychology is not a self-help movement or a re-packaging of ‘the power of positive thinking.’ It is not ‘happy-ology,’ and it is not a passing fad. Positive Psychology is a science that brings the many virtues of science –replication, controlled causal studies, peer review, representative sampling (to name a few) – to bear on the question of how and when people flourish.”
Positive Education is defined by Paula and her colleagues in the Journal of Positive Psychology as “the development of educational environments that enable the learner to engage in established curricula in addition to knowledge and skills to develop their own and others’ wellbeing”.
Essentially, Positive Education applies the research of Positive Psychology within a school setting. While mainstream Psychology often focuses on people who already suffer from mental health issues, Positive Education aims to proactively increase resilience and wellbeing. Importantly, Positive Education initiatives can play a critical preventative role in reducing depression, anxiety and stress within the school environment.
Since 2008 Dr Paula Robinson and her team have worked with individuals, schools, organisations, universities and whole communities integrating the emergent theory, research and evidence-based practices of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science with first class honours and a PhD in Positive Psychology, focusing on mental fitness. Paula is also a registered psychologist, author, book editor and speaker with her work extending across Australia, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia, Qatar, Singapore, and China. Paula has performed numerous expert advisory panel and media roles and is currently a lecturer for the University of Wollongong, Sydney Business School, Laureate Universities and is a guest lecturer at Melbourne University’s Graduate School of Education. Paula has worked with over 500 schools, training and implementing both large and smaller scale Positive Education initiatives for leaders, teachers, students and parents. Paula has recently released the second edition of her book in applied Positive Psychology in education, titled Practising Positive Education: A Guide to Improve Wellbeing Literacy in Schools; which has received exceptional reviews.Paula’s Bio Positive Psychology Institute Appli
Our Positive Education Journey
Scots All Saints College recognises parents, teachers and members of the wider community share responsibility for nurturing and educating children. Children excel and flourish when they are brought up in caring, stimulating and accepting environments. It takes a village to raise a child.
Dr Paula Robinson is conducting Positive Education for staff and parents – providing more knowledge about the values of positive education and understanding of how the science of mental fitness can help build habits of wellbeing at school, work and life.
With tough assignments, full schedules and day-to-day family responsibilities, life can be challenging for both parents and their children. It is not surprising that families forget to focus on their own wellbeing which can lead to stress, poor family relationships, feeling anxious and overwhelmed. The good news is that anyone can acquire the tools needed to stay mentally fit. Just like physical fitness, maintaining mental fitness requires regular activities and practices. Creating habits to improve strength, endurance and flexibility can help the whole family function optimally, whether that be on the field, in relationships at home, in the classroom or the workplace.
The value of Positive Education for schools
Research shows that a focus on wellbeing in schools leads to improvements in:
- Academic results
- Academic engagement
- Academic participation
- Stress, Anxiety & Depression levels
- Retention rates
- Social and emotional skills
- Pro-social behaviour
- Student and Teacher wellbeing
College Parenting Program
In 2020, a program will be rolled out to assist parents with positive parenting strategies. Positive, responsive, resilient parents contribute to children’s success and happiness by being good role models, communicators, coaches and problem solvers who are emotionally attuned to and who can meet their children’s needs.
Dr Paula Robinson will be running programs for parents, staff and students over the next three years, as part of an exclusive partnership with the College.
Regular positive parenting education talks, forums, workshops will be available along with short online courses and tips for parents.