Our curriculum has been meticulously curated from the work of some of the most influential and respected contemporary educators in the world. Balancing mindfulness, positive psychology, growth mindset, and other approaches that have been proven to empower both teachers and students, you can feel confident that our course will not only boost achievement, but also cultivate a more thoughtful and compassionate culture in the classroom.
The Aviva course is composed of nine monthly modules that are designed to fit into a typical nine-month school year. If implemented regularly, the content only requires an average of 45 minutes of commitment per week.
The Science of Happiness
What determines our happiness? A common misconception is that happiness is largely dependent on our situation or external factors. However, a relatively new field of psychology called Positive Psychology is shedding light on how we can take control of our individual happiness. According to researchers, 50% of happiness is determined by our genetics. 10% is determined by our situation. However, the remaining 40% is completely controlled by the individual. Clinical studies have identified specific intentional activities that we can integrate into our lives that will increase our overall happiness and wellbeing.
- History of Positive Psychology
- Definition of Happiness
- Intentional Activities
- Positivity Ratio
Research has shown that 10 minutes per day of mindfulness can increase children’s executive functioning, emotional regulation, self calming and social skills. Since the teacher is the pulse of the classroom, it is important that the teacher has the ability to connect their mind and body. With consistent personal practice by teachers and a dedicated portion of time in the classroom, a teacher can have a dramatic positive effect on the learning environment.
Dr. Martin Seligman's research demonstrates that effective character education can lead to higher levels of student well-being. Identifying students’ character strengths and focusing on their strengths rather than their deficiencies provides another pathway to creating flourishing classrooms. Teachers will learn how to use Dr. Seligman´s VIA Character Strengths to create a strengths-based classroom.
- Introduction to Character
- Character Strengths in the Classroom
- Character Growth Cards
- Feedback Matters
This module is based on Carol Dweck’s research on Fixed vs Growth Mindset. The teacher will learn how to adopt a growth mindset for themselves and then how to alter their language in the classroom to cultivate a growth mindset in students. In the process of shifting from a fixed to a growth mindset, teachers and students may bump into deceptive brain messages such as, “I am not good at math.” These fixed mindset messages can be changed due to the neuroplasticity of the brain. By simply adding the word “yet” to the end of a fixed mindset message, one can change the mental outlook and allow for a more positive outcome. The growth mindset message is, “I am not good at math….yet.”
- Fixed vs Growth mindset
- Deceptive Brain Messages
Expressing gratitude is one of the proven intentional activities that boosts positive emotions thus increase overall happiness and wellbeing. Using gratitude as a positivity enabler will allow one to appreciate the small things in everyday life. Giving and receiving gratitude is a gift worth learning.
- Gratitude: A positive emotion
- Benefits of gratitude
- Gratitude in Education
- How to give and receive gratitude?
Through learning and teaching grit and resilience, teachers will cultivate a classroom where students learn to persevere through difficulties and challenges. So even as life's up and downs occur, students will continue to flourish and grow from each experience.
- Bouncing Back
- Post traumatic growth
- What does it mean to be gritty?
Emotional and Social Intelligence
Emotional self awareness and the ability to identify the emotions of others is a skill that can be developed. The more awareness you have of your own emotional state, the more equipped you will be to healthfully express those emotions. While we tend to desire positive emotions and avoid negative emotions, it is important to know that negative emotions are a natural part of being human and should not be avoided. In fact, they should be fully embraced as they arise. If they are allowed to be fully felt, the quicker one can get back to feeling authentic positive emotions.
- Self control
- Self regulation
- Self Awareness
- Relationship Management
Being happy 100% of the time is not reality and definitely not sustainable. Authentic happiness is created by living a life filled with purpose and intention. By applying ones strengths and creating flow activities in life and in the classroom, we can cultivate an environment which the school culture can thrive.
- Self concordant goals
- What is your purpose?
- Are you in alignment with your intention?
- Life Cycles
Start by asking the right questions. What is working well in the school, in the classroom, and in each lesson plan. By choosing to focus on what is working well then you will attract more of the good and will be able to effectively learn from challenges.
- What is working?
- What is working best!
- How can we grow and improve
- Vision boarding