MAIN STAGE PRESENTERS

WORKSHOPS

MAIN STAGE
Where’s the evidence of impact? Towards a ‘new normal’ and why activity alone won’t grow positive education
Positive education is at an intersection. Much is said about activity; however, not enough about evidence. As countries, including Australia, fail in wellbeing, literacy and numeracy I argue education can move from welfare to wellbeing without compromising academic mastery. This requires evidence-based strategies, interventions, measurement, professional practice, and the ability weigh up evidence, reasoned debate and criticism. This claim is tested against wellbeing measurement from Years 5-12 (n = 2,176) at St Peter’s College - Adelaide across 2011, 2014, and 2016. These assessments indicate a substantial cultural shift. Traditionally, asking students what they feel and think has been a challenge. Today, it is a ‘new normal’. Students express their growing sense of responsibility to look out for each other and ask for help. Last, these findings are explored in the context of the view of 40 experts to be published in Future Directors in Wellbeing: Education, Organizations and Policy (Springer, 2017).


WORKSHOP
Welfare to Wellbeing; Growing Whole School Culture
Growing a positive school culture is a key driver to enhance school engagement. Australia’s sliding results in PISA and TIMMS highlight that our nation’s students are going backward in mathematics, reading, and science. Not as well-known and just as alarming is that PISA also highlights that Australia has recorded the fifth largest decline in school belonging and engagement of all OECD countries from 2003-2012. In this hands-on workshop participants will explore evidence-based approaches to develop a plan for how to do an ongoing internal evaluation and understand the basics of some evaluation tools and strategies from positive psychology.


About Mathew
Mathew A. White PhD is employed as Director of Wellbeing & Positive Education at St Peter's College - Adelaide and has served on the School's Senior Leadership Team since 2011. He is also an Associate Professor and Principal Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at The University of Melbourne. Mathew has lectured at the post-graduate level on international education, policy and wellbeing since 2006. He is a Research Affiliate of the Well-being Institute at Cambridge University and also an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Education at The University of Adelaide.
Mathew brings a unique combination of a deep academic background in wellbeing with executive level leadership experience across education, public and social sectors. At St Peter's College Mathew directs the whole school strategy for wellbeing and leads a team of teachers who have taught over 8,500 students seven evidence-based positive education programs since 2011.  He was awarded an Australian Council for Educational Leaders South Australian Leadership Medal in recognition of his research and publications advancing wellbeing in education in May 2017 and is the recipient of the National ACEL Leadership Award for 2017.