Teaching Happiness at School
The Journal of Positive Psychology has published a paper by Ilona Boniwell, Evgeny Osin, and Charles Martinez "Teaching happiness at school: Non-randomised controlled mixed-methods feasibility study on the effectiveness of Personal Well-Being Lessons".
The paper presents a validation of an educational programme aimed to develop well-being skills in secondary school students. The research was done in two schools in south-east London. The study used a repeated measures design with a non-randomised control group. The students of 7th grade completed questionnaires measuring general life satisfaction, domain life satisfaction, and affect balance at the beginning and at the end of their school year. In addition, semi-structured interviews were conducted with students, teachers, and the principal of the intervention school. On average, the well-being scores declined in both schools throughout the school year, which is a normal result of burnout and stress associated with transition to secondary school. However, the decline in the group that received Personal Well-Being lessons was smaller, suggesting a significant positive buffering effect of the intervention. The qualitative data shed light on explicit learning, psychological outcomes and challenges associated with the programme. Overall, the data indicate a positive impact of the well-being curriculum.