Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, was one of the earliest researchers to study the characteristics that underpin flourishing. His book Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology, published in 2002, popularised his ideas about how to flourish. Before this, the focus of psychology had been to investigate disorder: why mental illness occurred and how to treat it. Because Dr Seligman believes that his research findings show that an individual can strengthen many of the aspects of behaviour and the virtues he showed to underpin resilience, he would answer YES to the question ‘do we have a choice?’
Educators are regularly reported as belonging to the one of the most stressful occupations. The effects of stress are leading to low teacher retention rates and a high prevalence of burnout. There has to be a better way! How can teachers set about reducing their feelings of burnout and improve motivation and work engagement?