How to Increase Joy at School? Findings from a Positive-Psychological Intervention at a Northern-Finnish School

Eliisa Leskisenoja, Satu Uusiautti, Education in the North

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Education in the northern region has many concerns, because in many ways, children living in the sparsely-populated North are not in the same position than children in the South. Children’s well-being is one of the main concerns. In this study, a positive psychological theory of well-being (PERMA) was operationalized into classroom practices that were tested among sixth-graders (N=14) of one northern-Finnish school during the study year of 2013– 2014. The data comprised of student interviews; questionnaires for students; questionnaires for students’ parents; and the researcher’s diary. The qualitative content analysis method was applied. The purpose was to find out what the elements of joy at school as described by northern-Finnish students are and which pedagogical practices enhanced joy at school according to students’ perceptions. It was evident that practices tested in this study could increase joy at school and enhance student flourishing at many levels in schools in the North. This research provided practical examples of how to promote students’ thriving, participation, and efficient learning in a way that would increase their optimistic attitude about their future in the North.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-55
Number of pages21
JournalEducation in the North
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2017

Keywords

  • Northern Region
  • Positive Psychology
  • Classroom Practice
  • Joy at School
  • Well- Being

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