Positive Educational Approaches to Teaching Effectiveness and Student Wellbeing. Special Edition hosted in Frontiers in Psychology

Hans H. Knoop (Editor), Mirna Nel (Editor), Sufen Chen (Editor), Rebecca Shankland (Editor), Llewellyn Ellardus van Zyl (Editor), Matthew L. Cole (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issueAcademicpeer-review


Since the 1970’s, research on well-being in education has developed in numerous countries around the world. More recently, positive psychology research has helped to increase research in positive education, such as research on evidence-based interventions aimed at enhancing well-being and child development. Academic success is no longer only focused on academic performance, but also on the development of life skills. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic and a growing social focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion highlight the need for positive education research on student well-being. In particular, the pandemic has forced learning and living to depend much on technology and the Internet, raising additional challenges to students, teachers, and parents, including those without access to technology. Educators and parents need new tools to integrate in their daily activities in order to contribute to the development of student social and emotional competences, enhance positive school or class climate and digital learning, and create secure online, as well as offline contexts in which students can learn and thrive. Tools are also needed to help children and students with special needs using positive psychology and education interventions and best practices in learning and teaching. Strengths-based education may help enhance positive self-perceptions and perceptions of others in all children and students, while acts of kindness and gratitude interventions can enhance feelings of relatedness. Positive education thus represents relevant means of increasing inclusion and well-being in schools and other educational settings.

There is an urgent need today to decrease stress and burnout in educators, parents, students and families. Stress and burnout are linked with such negative outcomes as deficits in learning, risks of child neglect, child abuse, and poor mental health. Moreover, in a world where feelings and experiences of loneliness, isolation and exclusion are becoming more prominent, it is essential that the fundamental principles and practices of positive education to increase well-being are integrated into all educational practices. Positive education brings together many avenues to contribute to the development of positive psychology interventions within educational settings designed to increase inclusion, flourishing, well-being, mindfulness, gratitude, and mental and social health. More recently, the field of positive parenting, as defined by the European Council, has emerged. Positive parenting appears to be a promising perspective for parenting support and child well-being given its focus on positive psychology interventions that have been shown to increase positive emotions, creative problem solving, and resilience and flourishing.

The purpose of this special issue/research topic is to identify current innovative approaches, tools, interventions, methodologies, models and guidelines in positive education. In particular, we invite manuscripts that report on relevant subjects, such as:

(a) Diversity, equity, and inclusion at school/university
(b) Social and emotional learning through positive psychology intervention
(c) Strengths-based education for children with special needs
(d) Positive parenting
(e) Mindfulness-based programs in academic settings
(f) Positive intervention involving technology
(g) Class climate, school culture
(h) Teacher-student relationship quality
(i) School-family relationships
(j) Resilience and flourishing
(k) Well-being in education

To be considered for this special issue in Frontiers, we invite potential authors to submit a 300 Word Abstract of their proposed contributions via the Frontiers System before or on the 30th of May 2021. The final manuscripts will be due on the 30th of August 2021 and will be subjected to the normal blind collaborative review process of Frontiers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Positive Psychology
  • Positive Education
  • Wellbeing
  • Inclusion
  • Special Neds


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