EPISODE 29: Positive Education & Progress

Our exploration of well-being education continues with another one-guest episode. This time, our guest is Lea Waters, who has been a leader in the Positive Psychology movement for many years. She is one of the world's leading experts on Positive Education, Positive Organization, and Strength-Based Parenting and Teaching.

More about this week's guest:

8221353489?profile=RESIZE_400xLea Waters, Ph.D., is the Founding Director and Inaugural Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology at the Centre for Positive Psychology, University of Melbourne where she has held an academic position for two and a half decades. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Lea is a Board Member and the recent Past President of the International Positive Psychology Association (2017-2019), serves on the Council of Happiness and Education for the World Happiness Council, is the Patron of Flourishing Education Japan and Ambassador for the Positive Education Schools Association. She is a registered psychologist (AHPRA) and a full member of the Australian Psychological Society. As a University researcher, Lea turns her science into strength-based strategies to help organizations, educators, and parents around the world build resilience in their employees and children, helping them to thrive. Lea is a Board Member and the 2017-2019 President of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA) and founding director of the Centre for Positive Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Lea holds affiliate positions at Cambridge University and the University of Michigan and serves on the Scientific Board at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. She is the author of The Strength Switch. Lea’s work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and more.


4995562699?profile=RESIZE_400xHoward Blumenthal created and produced the PBS television series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? He is currently a Senior Scholar at The University of Pennsylvania, studying learning and the lives of 21st-century children and teenagers. He travels the world, visiting K-12 schools, lecturing at universities, and interviewing young people for Kids on Earth, a global platform containing nearly 1,000 interview segments from Kentucky, Brazil, Sweden, India, and many other countries. Previously, he was a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist for The New York Times Syndicate, and United Features. He is the author of 24 books and several hundred articles about technology, learning, business, and human progress. As an executive, Howard was the CEO of a public television operation and several television production companies, and a state government official. Previously, he was a Senior Vice President for divisions of two large media companies, Hearst and Bertelsmann, and a consultant or project lead for Energizer, General Electric, American Express, CompuServe, Warner Communications, Merriam-Webster, Atari, and other companies.


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Before the virus, more than a billion children and teenagers relied upon school for learning. After the virus (or, after the current wave of our current virus), basic assumptions about school and education are no longer reliable. School buildings may become unsafe for large numbers of students. The tax base may no longer support our current approach to school. Without the interaction provided by a formal school structure, students may follow their own curiosity. Many students now possess the technology to learn on their own. And many do not.

Reinventing.school is a new weekly web television series that considers what happens next week, next month, next school year, and the next five years. Hosted by University of Pennsylvania Senior Scholar Howard Blumenthal, Reinventing.school features interviews with teachers, principals, school district leadership, state and Federal government officials, ed-tech innovators, students, leading education professors, authors, realists and futurists from the United States and all over the world.

Each episode features 2-4 distinguished guests in conversation about high priority topics including, for example, the teaching of public health, long-term home schooling, technology access and its alternatives, the role of parents, friendship and social interaction, learning outside the curriculum, the future of testing and evaluation, interruption as part of the academic calendar, job security for teachers and support staff, setting (and rethinking) curriculum priorities, special needs, student perspectives on the job of school, the importance of play, the psychology of group dynamics and social interaction, preparing for future rounds of a virus (or cyberattack or impact of climate change, etc.), college readiness, higher education transformed, the higher education promise in an economically challenged world, and more. Clearly, there is much to discuss; nearly all of it ranks high on the list of priorities for raising the world’s children.