Wellbeing Hat Trick


Wellbeing Hat Trick

IPEN Festival of Positive Education - June 25-28, 2018

KHDA was once again invited to the Festival of Positive Education in Dallas to showcase all the amazing work Dubai’s private schools sector has been doing.

However, our work cannot be showcased without highlighting the contributions of the people that drive its success. Over the last 10 years, we have seen great improvement in the private education sector as a result of a collaborative community approach.

Our journey of improvement continued this year when we conducted and released the findings of the first ever Dubai Student Wellbeing Census. Involving 65,000 students at 168 schools, this is the largest cross-cultural dataset on students’ happiness, school engagement and connectedness to others. It showed us that children’s wellbeing doesn’t only depend on schools, or parents, or teachers, or on students themselves, but on how well each of these groups works with each other in support of the same goal.

A delegation of school leaders, teachers, students, parents, and KHDA representatives attended the World Positive Education Accelerator to highlight Dubai’s focus on positive education by involving the community through creative and compassionate projects such as the Dubai Student Wellbeing Census.

The World Positive Education Accelerator

The World Positive Education Accelerator (WPEA) was the first of its kind—integrating the International Positive Education Network’s (IPEN) second Festival of Positive Education with Champlain College’s David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry methodology.

Similar to the 2016 Festival of Positive Education, the 2018 WPEA provided a platform for ideas of over 800 researchers, educators, practitioners, positive psychologists, agents of change and everyone else interested in promoting both academic achievement and character virtue development.

The Festival took place in Dallas from June 25th to 28th 2018, and featured talks and workshops from leaders in positive education from around the world, including the UK, to the US, Australia, China, and the UAE.

Dubai goes to Dallas

The Dubai delegation showcased the work of the Emirate’s private education sector in several ways at the World Positive Education Accelerator. Here’s what we did:

  • Australia to Dubai: A Story of Well-Being & Governments Working Together: KHDA Director General Dr Abdulla Al Karam and David Engelhardt from the South Australian Government, Department for Education told the story of how the two teams came together to initiate the first ever Dubai Student Wellbeing Census, resulting in the largest cross-cultural data set on happiness, school engagement, engagement in learning and connectedness to others.

  • A one-hour workshop, where a Dubai parent, student, teacher, principal and policy-maker gave their perspective on wellbeing, why it matters to them, and how they use empathy to engage with each other and improve wellbeing – all with limited resources, few approvals, and lots of creativity.
  • The KHDA Majlis: Guests and festival visitors got a taste of Emirati hospitality at the KHDA Majlis, where we engaged with educators and other policymakers over a cup of Arabic coffee.

Click here to learn more about what people had to say about positive education.

We would like to thank the National Office for Positivity and Happiness Dubai Tourism Commerce and Marketing, Emirates Airlines, and Expo 2020 for their support in showcasing the best of Dubai and the UAE.

What is IPEN?

The International Positive Education Network (IPEN) was founded by Dr. Martin Seligman, Lord James O’Shaughnessy, Sir Anthony Seldon and Angela Duckworth in 2014. The aim of IPEN is to bring together teachers, parents, academics, students, schools, colleges, universities, charities, companies and governments to promote positive education. IPEN’s goals are to support collaboration, change education practice and reform government policy.

Click here to sign up to the IPEN website and gain access to various Positive Education resources from around the world.

What is Positive Education?

Positive Education is an approach to education that blends academic learning with character and wellbeing. Preparing students with life skills such as: grit, optimism, resilience, growth mindset, engagement, and mindfulness amongst others. Positive education is based on the science of wellbeing and happiness and using evidence-based approaches to integrating character and wellbeing in the classroom alongside academics.

Why Positive Education?

Positive education challenges the paradigm of schooling that values academic attainment above all other goals. It considers character development and wellbeing to be as important as academics. Positive education prioritises the experience of the whole child, the whole faculty, and the whole school as the driver for meaningful learning that will lead to happier life outcomes.

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