Over the past 3.5 months, I have spent almost every spare moment working on a capstone project toward completion of a post-graduate certificate in strengths and positive education. What was meant to be a 15 or so page document highlighting how we could begin integrating a strengths-based culture into our work and promote well-being, turned into a full integrated learning framework, grounded in the principles of curriculum development, assessment, career and purpose exploration, and strengths-based education. At this point in the journey, I need to collect feedback from experts, colleagues and friends in the field to help me get this framework, which includes two distinct yet complementary educational plans, to the finish line. Rather than sharing the 75+ page document, which I am still working on refining with copy edits and learning guide development, I put together a high level overview of the framework and aspects of each of the individual plans.
The video discusses the theories I selected as the underpinnings of the framework, the critical reflection I engaged in to unlearn and relearn what I thought I knew, a new approach to digital pedagogy and assessment, and the educational priority, learning goals and outcomes, and strategies designed to help educators and students flourish.If you're able to watch it in its entirety (or even if you skip through it quickly... I won't mind!), I would value your thoughts, insights and feedback. What does the framework do well? What is is it missing? Are there theories, frameworks and research that are not currently included but should be? Where do I go from here?
Furthermore, this framework has been designed to be delivered virtually and in a broader way to make it easily transferable to campus contexts, should institutions wish to use it in their own work. It is my hope that anyone who adapts or transforms this framework will do so while asking critical questions of their own practices as educators and administrators, and invest in deconstructing and reconstructing the theories and documents that guide their work with students.
As gratitude is a key element of wellbeing, I want to take a quick moment to acknowledge all of the people who have supported this journey - you know who you are: the folks who have cheered me on, asked questions, engaged in dialogue with me about strengths, career and life design, curriculum and assessment, and the 128 people who completed the survey during a difficult transition in their personal and professional life with the outbreak of COVID. In particular, I want to thank Natalie Allan, Erin Huner and Kate Schieman for their incredible support, leadership and belief in me. Thank you Shari Walsh for being such a great friend and business partner with Pathways Educational & Career Consulting, and for allowing me to integrate so much of our collective work and curricular design into this framework. Most importantly, I want to thank my husband, Jordon, for taking on all the responsibilities around our house for the past 3.5 months and for always being my biggest #nerdfan in whatever projects I undertake.
Thank you, finally, to you! Thank you for investing your time in learning more about my work, the research on strengths and positive education particularly as it relates to creating flourishing campuses, and for sharing any feedback or thoughts you may have in the comment section, via twitter or Facebook, in email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through text. Your expertise and love for our work will only help make this framework more impactful to educators and students across post-secondary campuses, particularly at a time when well-being, digital learning and engagement, and brave conversations have never been more important.
A creative educator striving to enhance the holistic student experience and committed to exploring personal strengths and fulfillment.