The 2018 World Positive Education Accelerator (WPEA) held in Texas, brought together more than 1500 innovative minds across education, psychology and business to accelerate the Positive Education movement from June 25–28.
This year, WPEA exhibited an inaugural initiative—the integration of the International Positive Education Network’s second Festival of Positive Education with the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry methodology.
Amongst these innovators was Associate Head (Innovation & Learning), Mrs Annabelle Knight, who presented ‘Canvassing Strengths – Anything is Possible’, which explored how to facilitate the transformation from a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset with regard to another person’s strengths, capability and personal qualities.
The Strengths Canvass framework is designed to enable a person to reflect and canvass the strengths of another person, savour and analyse their personal qualities, talents and achievements. The Capstone of my Masters was based on mindset and how to shift people from a Fixed mindset into a Growth mindset where there are more possibilities for learning. My presentation was on the intervention I created to bring about this change.Mrs Knight
The framework was originally created for leaders but has now progressed into a much broader application with benefits for educators, students and parents. ‘The core of the concept is about recalling the strengths of what people have; do they have the strength of leadership, yes or no, and what makes you come to that conclusion,’ explains Mrs Knight.
‘The canvass is a way to view their strengths and what the evidence is. Slowly this thinking starts to reframe your mindset to think about what people can do rather than what they can’t do.
‘It’s a simple concept but it can be used by everyone. Ultimately, I want to bring things to the world that will make a difference.’
The three-day global summit provided opportunities for attendees to turn inspiration into action by participating in a global Appreciative Inquiry—a strengths-based and task-focused design and build process. ‘It’s about the collective versus the competitive and because we’re not necessarily a collective and collaborative world the process can prove to be a little challenging at times.
‘We have so much measurement to show that globally, wellbeing isn’t in the best place; so it was exciting to get together with people from all over the world who are trialling and implementing different approaches in the wellbeing space. There is a lot of hope, and to collaborate on next steps was an extraordinary experience,’ reflects Mrs Knight.
Educators and parents have recognised the need to better equip young adults with the life skills for success, particularly the teaching of wellbeing skills. ‘Wellbeing and academic learning are inextricably linked,’ says Mrs Knight. ‘We are all equally responsible for the wellbeing of self and others, and this collective responsibility has the capacity to transform lives and learning.’