Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom

Patty O'Grady (Author)


Use the neuroscience of emotional learning to transform your teaching.

How can the latest breakthroughs in the neuroscience of emotional learning transform the classroom? How can teachers use the principles and practices of positive psychology to ensure optimal 21st-century learning experiences for all children? Patty O’Grady answers those questions. Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom presents the basics of positive psychology to educators and provides interactive resources to enrich teachers’ proficiency when using positive psychology in the classroom. O’Grady underlines the importance of teaching the whole child: encouraging social awareness and positive relationships, fostering self-motivation, and emphasizing social and emotional learning. Through the use of positive psychology in the classroom, children can learn to be more emotionally aware of their own and others’ feelings, use their strengths to engage academically and socially, pursue meaningful lives, and accomplish their personal goals.

The book begins with Martin Seligman’s positive psychology principles, and continues into an overview of affective learning, including its philosophical and psychological roots, from finding the “golden mean” of emotional regulation to finding a child’s potencies and “golden self.” O’Grady connects the core concepts of educational neuroscience to the principles of positive psychology, explaining how feelings permeate the brain, affecting children’s thoughts and actions; how insular neurons make us feel empathy and help us learn by observation; and how the frontal cortex is the hall monitor of the brain. The book is full of practical examples and interactive resources that invite every educator to create a positive psychology classroom, where children can flourish and reach their full potential.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • March 2013
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70758-8
  • 6.2 × 9.2 in / 384 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“In Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom, Patty O’Grady offers enriching information that will help teachers instruct the whole child. . . . It is not just about feeling good, and far more than just ‘being happy.’ It is about finding your individual strengths and personal motivations. Teachers who implement it can use academic subjects to teach about life lessons – about feelings, strengths, friendships, meaning, and pride in accomplishments. . . . [A] great read for therapists, parents, school counselors, and school personnel. . . . And, if you do lead a class, it just may make your teaching more memorable.” — PsychCentral

“[A] formative resource for those in teacher education as a means of influencing their view of classroom practice. . . . [S]hould feature on the reading lists for teacher trainees as a means of enhancing their understanding of the complex interrelationship between learning and teaching – and learners and teachers.” — Primary Science (UK)

“Through the use of positive psychology, teachers model and reinforce nonviolent behaviors and pro-social skills, thus providing students with a safe, caring, and inclusive environment in which every child can learn to become a respectful and responsible citizen. This book is an excellent resource for classroom teachers who want to integrate positive psychology values into their curriculum. Research has demonstrated that children who feel safe and cared for are predisposed to learning, and Patty O’Grady’s book provides readers with the tools to provide this care.” — Bev Dekker, The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities

“There is a growing consensus in thoughtful schools about the advantages of incorporating ‘positive psychology’ into teaching and learning. Now we have a guide to implementing this approach at the earliest stages. This book is a must-read for parents and teachers who seek guidance in finding a student's strengths rather than focusing on learning deficiencies.” — Patrick F. Bassett, President, National Association of Independent Schools

Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom provides a thorough examination of neuroscience research, educational theory, and teaching strategies that can be combined to produce a school climate that helps children grow both cognitively and emotionally. In addition to explaining the science behind the connection between emotional and academic competence, this book also teaches the reader about specific classroom activities that will enable children to develop confidence and enjoy an ‘accomplished life.’” — Cheryl Scott Williams, Executive Director, Learning First Alliance

All Subjects