Imagine a classroom full of students who listen, contribute to discussions, discuss ideas with classmates, and are keen to participate. The reality is that positive psychology can effectively engage a classroom of up to 30 students, each with their own needs, values and interests. By applying PERMA’s positive psychology theory of ‘engagement’ in your classroom, you will be able to support students to become focused and achieve better learning outcomes.
‘Engagement’, in terms of positive psychology, describes a specific way of being involved with a task. It is often described as being so invested in a task that time flies by. Another name for this is ‘flow’. Engagement typically occurs in students when:
When students are engaged, they are focused on their work. This doesn’t just make the classroom more manageable; it also means students are more likely to learn, retain the content, and grow.
Research shows that people who are engaged and able to use their strengths will feel happier over the longer term. Engagement also helps build physical and mental wellbeing and self-esteem.
Different students will find different activities engaging, so it’s good practice to use a range of strategies to engage the diversity of students in your class. Here are some simple ways to engage students: