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Browsing by Author "Stenman, Heta"

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  • Stenman, Heta (2018)
    Positive psychology is based on the results of scientific research on increasing the well-being and happiness of people as well as on developing virtues and strengths. When positive psychology information is applied to teaching and education, the concept of positive education is used. This study is based on the well-being elements in PERMA theory (Seligman 2011) and the VIA classification of virtues and strengths (Peterson & Seligman 2004). The research task was to find out how much and what kind of consistency there is between the concepts of positive pedagogy in these theories and the contents of the Early Childhood Education Curriculum (2016). The Early Childhood Education Curriculum (2016), which is legally binding provision for early childhood education produced by the Finnish National Agency for Education, was used as data for the study. The study was carried out using qualitative research methods, which were supplemented with quantitative methods. Theory-based specification of content and content analysis were used in the study. In total, the concepts in the PERMA theory appeared in the material 209 times and the concepts of VIA classification 222 times. The most commonly occurring concept was well-being: it occurred 48 times. 69% of the text in the Early Childhood Education Curriculum document was consistent with positive education when whole sentences were examined. That is, two thirds of the content were the same. No content inconsistent with positive education was found in the material. According to the conclusions of the results, the material has a lot of content that is consistent with the concepts of positive education. Many of the key concepts of positive education often occur, and a significant part of the text is consistent with positive education. Clear consistency in the material occurs in passages describing well-being, values, relationships, positive emotions, relevance, strengths, and interests. Based on the study, it seems that the application of positive education is in line with the guidelines of the Early Childhood Education Curriculum (2016). It seems that positive education offers practical tools, based on reliable research, to meet the obligations of the new early childhood education curriculum. A knowledge of the theory and concepts of positive education could help kindergarten teachers to plan and implement pedagogical activities that increase the well-being of children and encourage them to identify and develop their strengths.