Author: adminprow

Presentation of the SWPBS pillar of ProW to teachers at Rethymno, Crete

The University of Crete research team was invited by the 16th primary school of Rethymno  to present the principles of the  SWPBS module of the ProW project in teachers across Europe who participated in the Erasmus programme  under the title “Out of the box – Ready to use classroom tools for non-violent communication and creative thinking”. The coordinator of UOC research team, Professor George Manolitsis, presented on Wednesday March 16, in a 90-minutes seminar the basic objectives of ProW project for the improvement of teachers’ well being through the provision of support to them for an effective management of behavior in school under the framework of SWPBS. The title of the seminar was “School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: An educational framework for promoting well-being in schools”.  It is presented the philosophy of the intervention which is defined by a  whole school approach, the selection of values by the school staff, the specific implementation conditions of the intervention in preschool settings and a summary of the intervention components which begin from a formulation of a common vision and purpose sharing by the whole school until the continuous monitoring of the intervention and  systematic support of teachers professional empowerment. 

SWPBS: the involvement of children in the definition of behavior expectations

During the last months, the ProW coaches from University of Porto have been delivering the training sessions on PERMA and SWPBS models to 24 early childhood teachers from schools in the Municipality of Lousada. 

After working on the definition of school values for their early childhood education settings and identifying the contexts and routines in which inappropriate behaviors were more frequent and/or disruptive, the professionals were invited to involve their groups of children in the definition of expected appropriate behaviors. The ways for significantly involving the children in this process were chosen by the participants, considering their already planned activities for the group, the ages and development features of their groups, as well as their preferences. Some of the outcomes created were drawings that children have made to illustrate the rules of their classrooms or common areas. As an example, you can check the drawings made by three children illustrating how to be responsible during lunch time, by being appropriately seated, by trying to taste a little bit of all the foods, and by keeping the food on the plates.

Without the involvement and investment of the early childhood teachers, both during the training sessions and in the activities they are challenged to develop with their children and colleagues, this transfer of knowledge and strategies to daily practices would not be possible.

Completion of the 9th Training in Cyprus: Reviewing Implementation Quality

From the very first educators’ training, our external trainers highlighted that the high fidelity of the intervention is particularly important for the attainment of the desired project results and aims. To ensure this, the SWPBS scientific approach integrates the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI), which is a measure to ensure the high quality of the implementation procedures.

This was also the main topic of the 9th training, the familiarization of educators with TFI and the importance of high implementation quality. Our external coaches made a useful presentation to the educators and shared with them everything they needed to know about the TFI, how it works, why we use it, when it is used, and what it consists of. Also, the training consisted both of illustrations of the TFI implementation as well as theoretical information.

The educators got benefited from the training in multiple ways, and the trainers received a positive feedback for it. The educators also had the opportunity to ask questions about the use of TFI and how to increase the quality of the implementation. Adding on, during the training, the trainers and educators reflected on what was achieved during previous training sessions as well as the action steps for next year’s implementation.

One step at a time: Ways of implementing positive behaviour strategies in Romanian schools with ProW project

University of Pitești (UPIT), as partner in ProW project, works with 18 schools from the Argeș County. As the project advances, here it is what School „Nae A Ghica” from Rucar says about ProW activities that they have implemented with preschool teachers and pupils:

“We feel a great sense of fulfilment and joy when we succeed to achieve great results in our activities. Meetings are being organized with preschool teachers in order to get a clear picture of the principles we need to follow. Face-to-face meetings allow an effective communication, the opportunity to talk about a wide range of topics, and a sense of security when it comes to achieving the objectives we have established. Our school team has described the steps to be followed when implementing a positive behaviour strategy. First, we are aware of the need to have a clear vision which would integrate all the principles we want to follow. This has to offer the possibility to create a suitable environment for a rigorous and balanced education based on moral values and positive behaviour. Second, the steps to follow in creating the behaviour matrix are mentioned here.”

                We take great joy in noticing the active involvement of teachers who are also interested in positive psychology coaching. The ProW project supports them to help children grow up emotionally healthy. We invite you to visit our project at www.prowproject.eu to find more about what we do!

Promoting teachers and children well-being through Positive Psychology in Portugal

Training sessions integrating the PERMA and SWPBS models into educational practices in preschool education settings in the Municipality of Lousada

Two of the main objectives of the ProW project are concerned with increasing the well-being and professional satisfaction of preschool teachers through the application of models and strategies of Positive Psychology (PERMA), as well as with helping those professionals in managing some behaviours of children (SWPBS) under their care. These objectives require the engagement of all members that participate in the daily lives of preschool settings, promoting positive and cooperative relationships between everyone involved.

In close cooperation with the Municipality of Lousada, the team from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the Porto University is responsible for the implementation of an intervention that will include 50 preschool teachers and assistants of 21 preschool education settings in the Municipality of Lousada, reaching more than 400 preschool children. The first year of this intervention is currently underway and the first two training sessions, with 24 teachers from 11 preschool settings, have already taken place.

In these two sessions, some of the main principles of Positive Psychology were addressed and some of the main elements of the PERMA model were connected to the personal and professional levels of well-being of the participants. More specifically, the participating teachers were invited to take part in a group reflective journey about the following topics:

  • Identification of positive emotions and their influences on behaviour;
  • The importance of emotions in educational practices and personal and professional well-being;
  • The importance of gratitude and empathy in personal well-being and in creating and  maintaining positive relationships;
  •  Exploration of techniques for stress management, relaxation and achieving flow states.

These onsite sessions provided opportunities for sharing and reflecting about less explored connections between the participants’ personal well-being and their professional practices. The openness and active involvement of all participants have allowed these sessions to become productive spaces for reflection about the emotions and behaviours in oneself and others. According to the opinions of the participants, these reflections have been useful in promoting their personal well-being and can inform the future adaptation of some of their own educational practices.

In spite of the limitations imposed by the current pandemic situation, we expect that the following sessions will keep happening at good pace, until the end of this school year (it is estimated that all sessions will be concluded by the month of May of 2022). In the next sessions, the PERMA and SWPBS models will be articulated in a way that may help the participants to manage and implement processes related to:

  • The creation and maintenance of positive relationships in their preschool setting;
  • The definition of communication strategies that benefit teamwork;
  • The definition of a set of values to be implemented in their education setting;
  • The identification and management of some behaviours of children under their care;
  • The definition and adoption of a shared plan for a preschool wide implementation of the set of values and expected behaviours identified.

The results of this intervention will be assessed by regular filling of questionnaires by all participants, both in the experimental group – participating in the intervention during the current school year – and control group – which will be receiving the training sessions during the next school year. We want to thank all preschool teachers and assistants for participating in the ProW project and for their active engagement with all activities that have been presented to them until now.

Spreading Positive Psychology to our Pre-Schools in Cyprus

Completion of 5 Training on the PERMA model

While the implementation of the project is escalating, our team of experts in Cyprus continued providing support and trainings to the educators as part of the scientific approach of the ProW project.

The first training session focused on the theoretical framework and the aims of the project, as well as the most common stressors of preschool teachers to identify and address their needs. This training closed with a brief introduction on the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) approach and activities for promoting positive relationships, positive school climate, and social connectedness with the children. The second session focused on the use of Positive Psychology and PERMA model, as well as the Importance of Teacher Wellbeing and Positive Emotions. In the third and fourth sessions, our training experts emphasized pre-school teachers’ positive relationships and engagement. Furthermore, during the rest of the training sessions, participants discussed the meaning of accomplishment and shared goodpractices that would help in the establishment of the school-wide philosophy as part of the ProW project. The implementation of the aforementioned training sessions aimed to increase educators’ awareness and knowledge in utilising practises of Positive Psychology, and the PERMA model specifically.

As part of the training sessions our trainers utilised multiple exercises and activities such as the “Three Good Things”, which is also known as the “Three Blessings” activity. This exercise is intended to increase happiness levels and enhance wellbeing. It was originally developed by Dr. Martin Seligman backed up with scientific evidence. It is a powerful, and effective method to redirect attention from the negative bias to a more positive mind-set. ‘’Three Good Things’’ exercise is a form of end-of-the-day journaling exercise that helps in shedding a more positive light in recalling the events of the day. It prompts the individuals to mindfully cultivate gratitude, increase optimism and boost happiness within just one week of practice.

 Another kind of exercise implemented for promoting educators’ positive mindset was writing about intense positive experiences, and thinking about reasons of ‘’Why I am Grateful’’. Such activities were shown to enhance positive mood, reduce anxiety and perceived stress, and promote wellbeing.

Finally, the feedback taken both from the trainers and trainees regarding the training sessions provided was extremely positive and encouraging concerning the quality and the content of the trainings as well as their alignment with the aims of the project in general. Lastly, as part of the project, we are committed to continue providing our partners with high quality trainings and increase their engagement in order to achieve the best results possible.

Spreading Positive Psychology to our Pre-Schools in Romania

The UPIT research team conducts trainings with teachers on the PERMA model

The University of Pitești and the Argeș County Inspectorate completed the selection of educational institutions in Argeș County participating in the Erasmus+ KA3 project “Promoting the well-being of teachers by supporting positive behavior throughout the school in early education” (ProW) and began training sessions for early childhood teachers.

Teachers often face increased stress, exhaustion, and overwhelmed feelings: challenges that require structured and holistic approaches so that educators receive the support they deserve and are helped to enjoy a better state of mind and perspective. career. To this end, through the Erasmus + KA3 project “Promoting the well-being of teachers by supporting positive school-wide behavior in early education” (ProW), UPIT and ISJ Argeș, together with international partners, develop evidence-based policies and practices to encourage careers and develop the skills of teachers working in early childhood education and care (ECEC). Thus, the team of researchers from the University of Pitesti is already conducting a structured intervention in partner schools, through which it uses Positive Psychology and supports positive behavior throughout the school (School Wide Positive Behavior Support -SWPBS) to train and support teachers. By doing so, the Romanian trainers in the project aim to build an inclusive school culture oriented towards the positive, in which all children, as well as the entire school community to feel and be appreciated and respected.

It should be noted that the successful implementation of the positive behavior support system is an evolutionary process that takes at least 3 years to implement 3 levels of prevention. The research team provides support and feedback during the preparation and implementation of the primary prevention system, which is based on two theoretical approaches:

1. Teacher well-being and positive education & psychology (using the PERMA model)

2. Support for positive behavior at school level (using SWPBS)

The great benefit of the participants in this project, which aims to promote teacher well-being through the use of positive education (PERMA model) and by supporting teachers ‘ability to teach social skills to young learners through SWPBS, is the positive impact on teachers’ careers and well-being.

Follow us online to keep up to date with the evolution of the activities of the Romanian research team: @prowproject; https://prowproject.eu/el/news/

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January – Professional Development in Greece

Α series of five initial trainings regarding the ProW implementation were conducted in Greece from the 10th of November till the 8th of December 2021. Preschool teachers received training support on PERMA model and SWPBS framework. In total, 53 early childhood educators from 18 different ECEC settings in Northern Greece from Municipality of Kalamaria and Directorate of Primary Education of Western Thessaloniki participated in these trainings.

Big thanks to coaches/trainers Prof. Anastasia Psalti, Dr. Iraklis Grigoropoulos and Dr. Dafni Petkou and the participating preschool teams!

The ProW implementation in Greece has already started despite the pandemic and ECEC settings will be continuously supported from the ProW – Greek team.

ProW project at the 74th OMEP World Assembly and Conference

On the 11-15 of July, three academics from International Hellenic University (IHU) and team members of the ProW (Promoting Teachers Well-being through Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood Education – 626146-EPP-1-2020-2-EL-EPPKA3-PI-POLICY) project (Vasilis Grammatikopoulos, Maria Evangelou-Tsitiridou, Anastasia Vatou) will participate in the 74th OMEP World Assembly and Conference. At the conference, the project’s main goals and envisaged outcomes will be presented to an international audience of academics, researchers, students, and various stakeholders. The 74th OMEP World Assembly and Conference is considered as an excellent opportunity for the dissemination of the project’s focus.

The Conference is an excellent opportunity for professionals and researchers from various educational fields with cross-disciplinary interests to bridge knowledge gap, promote research esteem and develop educational and personal development strategies.

A great number of delegates are expected to participate in the conference and get informed about the project’s activities.

Newsletter #1 – Promoting Teachers Well-being through Positive Behavior Support in Early Childhood Education “ProW”

SETTING UP THE GROUND FOR THE PROW PROJECT IN GREECE

  • On the 9th of March 2021, the IHU organized the 1st kick-off online meeting
  • From April to May, a literature review and a focus group were conducted by the Greek research teams to capture the need’s assessment
  • On the 15th of June, an electronic questionnaire was administered, to preschool teachers.
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