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Ricardo Arguís Rey, Silvia Hernández Paniello

  

The Happy Classrooms Program: Positive Psychology Enters
the Classrooms

 
The “Happy Classrooms” Program is a recent pioneering project launched in Spain, aimed at promoting the application of Positive Psychology in the field of Education (Positive Education). It is designed for students of Preschool, Primary and Secondary Schools (children and youth aged 3 to 18 years old). The two axes of the program are: mindfulness and the education of character strengths (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). The goal of the program is twofold: to enhance the personal and social development of students, and to promote happiness in students, teachers and families alike.

This program is situated within the framework of the Key Competences underlying the current European educational systems. Specifically, it allows teachers to work on the three most transversal Competences: autonomy and personal initiative, social and civic competence, and competence of learning to learn. It can be developed in all areas of the school curriculum, as well as in tutorial action and values education. 

This project is the result of five years of work by a team of counsellors and teachers linked to the Teachers' Centre “Juan de Lanuza” in Zaragoza (Spain). The authors -SATI Team- have grounded the program on the most recent contributions of Positive Psychology, and offer general proposals as well as more than 300 hands-on activities for students. The program was first published on the Internet in October 2010, and the second edition has been released in November 2012. Nowadays, it has achieved widespread and international recognition by the scientific community and education professionals. It has been presented at many forums and events, such as the Second World Congress on Positive Psychology (Philadelphia, USA, July 2011), and the First National Congress on Positive Psychology (El Escorial, Madrid, March 2012). It has been included as a reference manual in university training programs, master’s degrees and doctorates, by various Spanish and foreign universities. In addition, there are currently several ongoing investigations to validate experimentally the effectiveness of this program, whose results we hope to know soon. And last but definitely not least, there is a growing number of schools around the world which are applying this program with students aged 3 to 18. 

For now, the program is only available in Spanish, but in coming months an English translation will come out. Its distribution is gratuitous and completely free. The authors allow its diffusion and reproduction, but always with non-commercial purposes and quoting the original source. It can be downloaded from the following website:
http://catedu.es/psicologiapositiva