This article is a version of one I wrote earlier this year for my school. It presents some of my ideas about ‘gratitude’ and its relation to learning and student wellbeing. If you would rather see a video form of this article, then see below.
Research into the effects of gratitude has found personal and social benefits occur when people deliberately practise ‘gratitude’. You can find a list of the benefits researchers have observed here.
These findings are fascinating and seem promising as ways to support student wellbeing. However, I want to know if gratitude can offer long-term benefits to students’ learning and overall growth. How does gratitude affect our students’ academic and spiritual growth?
Having read this article by Geoff Masters, I attempted to leave a comment but despite using a range of browsers the comment function didn’t work. So here is my comment, please read the article first ..
This is a thought provoking article. My initial reaction is that I believe teachers, especially our highly motivated, passionate and professionally aware teachers, are very often in close agreement with Masters’ preferred approach and attempt to do what they can within schools which are structured according to the first model Masters describes.
Similarly, I believe that school leadership are often in very close agreement with Masters’ preferred approach and attempt to promote good pedagogy within their organisation but are working within a mandated and supposed curriculum, political, policy and often financial framework which keeps on reinforcing the first model described.
I think it essential that a school or system of schools has policy that covers the communication behaviours that are considered acceptable as part of school operations, and, furthermore, details those behaviours that either need regulating or banning.
There are several aspects to the use of social media use that relate to schools. These include consideration of:
Official school and school system use of social media channels – news / parent information / promotions / advertising
Educational use of school mediated social media – hosted inside or outside the school or system – Facebook groups that students can join / School LMS functions / educational Web 2.0 tools / external course material / chat rooms
Personal use by staff and students of social media for educational purposes – personal email addresses / twitter accounts / Web 2.0 tools (wiki’s, blogs, socially mediated groups, photo sharing etc.)
Social, non-educational use of social media between staff, staff and parents, staff and students.
Generally I don’t believe in setting policies that:
Cannot be policed
Are based on a specific type of device, object or service
Probably weapons such as guns and knives are an exception, and even here there are grey areas. Read More
For a long time in Queensland the professional standard and standing of teachers has been compromised by the very silly situation where teachers in primary and middle schools can be qualified to take up general teaching duties where they teach students in literacy, numeracy, arts, sciences and the humanities with an entry to their university training only requiring a pass in English. I’ve heard today that over the next couple of years the requirements will be for trainee teachers to have a pass in English, maths, and science. This is good news and gives hope for the increased professionalisation of teaching in this state. I look forward to Queensland improving its teaching capacity and professional standards over the next few years.