Category Archives: Positive Education

Positive Psychology workshop with Louise Tidmand

POS-ED-8

I previously studied at Macleay College and have come back after 3 years to finish my degree in Advertising. There are a lot of things that have changed but one of the things that I looked forward to was the subject on Positive Psychology.

It was a pleasant surprise to know that Macleay had introduced this new subject and I wasted no time in signing up for it. I had no clue about what it would entail, but from the title itself I knew that it would be a fundamental class that would shape me to be a better person and innovator.

And I wasn’t wrong.

Positive Psychology is defined as the scientific study of the strengths that enable individuals and communities to thrive. It is founded on the belief that people want to lead more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Through our classes, we have been learning unconventional ways of thinking in order to reduce the stresses accumulated from everyday life and to open our minds and be more creative. In my opinion it is a revolutionary movement that tackles the alarming growth of anxiety, depression and lack of self-fulfilment in people.

Louise Tidmand generously volunteered her time to the students of Macleay College, specifically those who were studying Positive Psychology. She shared her insight and research on the idea of teaching life coping skills to students and adults. She described it as the process of learning how to deal with stress which greatly varies from how you react to it.

When Louise presented her findings on the growing rate of depression and anxiety in adults and teens it resonated within myself as I have experienced the severity of these mental illnesses through close encounters. She highlighted that the traditional ways of addressing these illnesses, which often focus on negatives, are not enough to build a resilient foundation in our society. She showcased the tools she had created to get someone into the positives on the scale of happiness. It was very inspiring to see that there are people who are taking action to make a better change in the world.

In her presentation, Louise engaged with the audience with fun clapping routines and asking us simple but thoughtful questions to promote altruism. For e.g. What can you do to make someone happy? And what can you say to make someone happy?

I am so grateful for the chance to gain new wisdoms from Louise. It is so motivating to see that the studies of positive psychology are spreading to affect the lives of the people around us in a life-changing way.

 

 

 

 

By Patricia Tamayo
Bachelor of Advertising & Media

Digital Design Goes “Hands On” with Positive Education

Macleay College is the only Australian Higher Education institution running a Positive Education program. As well as teaching our students industry based skills and practical theory, we also address their personal development and mental health through positive psychology.

This holistic approach in learning, is aimed at enriching the student’s wellbeing and emotional intelligence through tailored individual support and encouragement.

It gives the student a better understanding of themselves, their passions, their strengths and their goals. It helps them to better manage their life, relationships and  future careers through a greater understanding and use of empathy, gratitude and other positive emotions.

In a nutshell, the program aims to increase the student’s confidence, sense of wellbeing and happiness.

As part of the program, Macleay College has installed PosEd Kits in many of the classrooms across our Sydney and Melbourne campuses and students in the Digital Design Unit have been putting them to good use in Term One of the Advertising & Digital Media course.

One of our tasks was to take the free VIA Character Strength Test. This is a short ten minute assessment that takes students through a series of questions to determine their top character strengths. Armed with this list, the students are then asked to step away from their iMacs and use their hands to construct or draw visual representations of their favourite strengths.

The PosEd Kits are full of great stuff to get them started like Play Doh, feathers, buttons, coloured fabric, wood and paper. There are also ample large rolls of paper and Sharpies.

To begin with, the students had a lot of questions and curious looks. As they started to move around the room and choose their materials the noise levels increased and they were off and running.  There were lots of comparing notes on each other’s different strengths with most agreeing that the VIA Test had done a good job.

As I moved around the group, there were some initial awkwardness with speaking about their strengths but they were encouraged to start thinking beyond that and  how their personal brand could be visualised into an abstract object or pictorial form.

There was a sense of enjoy in the room so I popped on some music and spent the next hour watching their creations unfold. The next part of the workshop was to take their physical objects and turn them into a digital piece of artwork. The students could take photos, load them up into Illustrator and use this as a template to create a kind of personal logo.

This was the first time I’ve been involved in a workshop like this so there  is some tweaking I’d still like to do but it was one of the most enjoyable sessions I’ve run. It was  one of those days when you get home, put your feet up and smile!

Jason Gemenis is Macleay’s Digital Ninja
lecturing in Digital Design, Advanced
Digital Design and Visualisation across Macleay’s
Dip Advertising & Media, Dip Digital Media,
BA Advertising & Media & BA Digital Media.