8 – 9 April 2019

Caroline Marsh

Strengths through Literary Characters (Teaching Character Strengths in the English Classroom)

In 2016 I embarked on my journey into Character Strengths. Initially it was through my own children who were learning about Character Strengths with Dr Lucy Hone at Sumner School and then Lucy shared her research and insight at Christ's College. Since then, I have embraced all things Positive Psychology (strengths, growth mindset, PERMA-V, adolescent brain development, coaching & mentoring), have read widely, undertaken specific Professional Learning focused on Positive Psychology / Education and I am hopefully undertaking my MAPP through Melbourne University in 2019/2020. As a teacher of English, I have spent this past year developing resources for the English classroom to support me as a teacher in explicitly teaching Character Strengths in the Secondary classroom. This work has provided a much needed and accessible avenue for my students to relate and connect with literature and literary characters. It has provided language for them to discuss characters as well as develop their responses and connections to studied texts. These activities have provided them the framework to explore characters and texts on a perceptive and personal level while also developing a greater understanding of themselves.

This presentation would include:

  • Brief background and my thinking / research behind these teaching resources and how they fit within the wider school context of wellbeing
  • My general Character Strength resources and activities
  • Working examples of how to use in the English classroom and links to NZ Curriculum and NCEA assessments
  • Student voice / feedback
  • Links to other curriculum areas

**Happy to also share Character Strength Awards that I have created as well as a Habits of Study programme that is built on the principles of Positive Psychology and Adolescent Brain Development.


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