Assignment: Inequality on Cognitive Development

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Assignment: Inequality on Cognitive Development

Assignment: Inequality on Cognitive Development

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Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

Attached below is the prompt for the paper. The paper is regarding the impairment of cognitive development in minority children due to inequality in shared resources among American population. Please write about a specific minority group from the sources (African American, Hispanic, Native American, etc.) Please include 4 of the included resources, APA format, 12 point.

Examine how political power and economic oppression have created social inequality in American society. And how different minority groups have been affected by these economic inequities across a life-span in term of their cognitive and biological developments. Your short paper is a topic of your own choice. However, it must be about a minority group in the United States. You need to use class reading material to make your arguments. For example, you can use the applied framework for Positive Education as conceptual framework. Below please find additional articles that can be used to make a persuasive argument. Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

  • Basch: Breakfast and the Achievement Gap among Urban Minority Youth
  • Docteur and Berenson: In pursuit of Health Equity
  • Basch: Physical Activity and the Achievement Gap among Urban Minority
  • Policy Link: Health Equity: Moving Beyond “Health Disparities”
  • Basch:Vision and the Achievement Gap among Urban Minority Youth
  • Bezruchka: Health Equity in the U.S

Norrish, J. M., Williams, P., O’Connor, M., & Robinson, J. (2013). An applied framework for positive education. International Journal of Wellbeing, 3(2), 147-161. doi:10.5502/ijw.v3i2.2 ARTICLE An applied framework for Positive Education Jacolyn M. Norrish · Paige Williams · Meredith O’Connor Justin Robinson Abstract: The increasing momentum of the Positive Psychology movement has seen burgeoning research in positive mental health and adaptive functioning; a critical question is how this knowledge can now be applied in real-world settings. Positive Education seeks to combine principles of Positive Psychology with best-practice teaching and with educational paradigms to promote optimal development and flourishing in the school setting. Interest in Positive Education continues to grow in line with increasing recognition of the important role played by schools in fostering wellbeing, and the link between wellbeing and academic success. To date, however, a framework to guide the implementation of Positive Education in schools has been lacking.

Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

This paper provides an overview of the Geelong Grammar School (GGS) Model for Positive Education, an applied framework developed over five years of implementing Positive Education as a whole-school approach in one Australian school. Explicit and implicit teaching in combination with school-wide practices target six wellbeing domains, including positive emotions, positive engagement, positive accomplishment, positive purpose, positive relationships, and positive health, underpinned by a focus on character strengths. The Model provides a structured pathway for implementing Positive Education in schools, a framework to guide evaluation and research, and a foundation for further theoretical discussion and development. Keywords: positive psychology, Positive Education, wellbeing, flourishing 1. An applied framework for Positive Education There is increasing recognition that good mental and physical health consists of the presence of wellbeing in addition to the absence of pathology and illness (Keyes, 2006), and the emergence of the Positive Psychology movement has seen a significant redirection of scientific inquiry towards the exploration of optimal human functioning (Rusk & Waters, 2013). A wealth of new knowledge has been generated as a result, but a remaining question is how this knowledge can be applied in real-world settings to promote wellbeing across the general population. This question is particularly salient in regards to young people, given levels of mental health difficulties observed during adolescence and the transition to adulthood that are cause for concern (Sawyer, Miller-Lewis, & Clark, 2007). Schools are one of the most important developmental contexts in young peoples’ lives, and can be a key source of the skills and competencies that support their capacity for successful adaptation (Hamilton & Hamilton, 2009). Furthermore, schools provide accessible and relatively stable sites within which to locate interventions to promote wellbeing (Bond et al., 2007), and represent a common setting for children and adolescents, thus facilitating universal promotion-based interventions (Short & Talley, 1997). Hence, schools are uniquely placed to Meredith O’Connor Geelong Grammar School & The University of Melbourne [email protected] 147 Copyright belongs to the author(s) www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org Applied framework for positive education Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson promote the wellbeing of young people and of school communities more broadly (Seligman, Ernst, Gillham, Reivich, & Linkins, 2009). Capitalising on this potential, Positive Education is a recently developed paradigm that, broadly speaking, refers to the application of Positive Psychology in educational contexts (Green, Oades, & Robinson, 2011). Seligman (2011) further defines Positive Education as traditional education focused on academic skill development, complemented by approaches that nurture wellbeing and promote good mental health. In addition, the significant and transformative contribution that best-practice teaching and educational theories bring to the process of applying principles of Positive Psychology in educational contexts should also be acknowledged.

Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

Thus, Positive Education could more completely be described as bringing together the science of Positive Psychology with best-practice teaching to encourage and support schools and individuals within their communities to flourish. While this goal is relatively clear-cut, the practical implementation of Positive Education is complex, and to date there has been no empirically-based operational framework to guide its application. In 2008, during a six-month visit by Professor Martin Seligman and with extensive support from a team of international experts, Geelong Grammar School (GGS) began a pioneering journey in applying Positive Psychology as a whole-school approach. The purpose of this paper is to introduce the Geelong Grammar School Applied Framework for Positive Education, which provides an empirically-informed roadmap for how Positive Psychology can be applied and embedded in schools. More specifically, following the approach of Page and Vella-Brodrick (2009) in explicating employee wellbeing, this paper will explore Positive Education by discussing what flourishing is, why the promotion of positive mental health in schools is so important, and, finally, the practical how of implementation. Together, this will provide a structured pathway for implementing Positive Education in schools, a framework to guide evaluation and research, and a foundation for further theoretical discussion and development.

Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

2. Flourishing: What? The fundamental goal of Positive Education is to promote flourishing or positive mental health within the school community. To achieve this outcome first requires a clear definition of what flourishing is. Exploration of what it means to live a good life is frequently characterised as being consistent with one of two philosophical traditions: the hedonic approach and the eudaimonic approach (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Hedonism is a philosophical school of thought that focuses on feelings and experiences (Keyes & Annas, 2009), and is often associated with the maximisation of pleasure and the minimisation of pain (Ryan & Deci, 2001). From this perspective, a good life is one where a person frequently experiences positive emotions, and feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Eudaimonia as a philosophical tradition posits that happiness results from the actualisation of individual potential and from fulfilling one’s daimon or true nature (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Where hedonic approaches focus on how people feel, eudaimonic approaches focus on what people do, how they act, and the choices they make (Keyes & Annas, 2009). From a eudaimonic perspective, being psychologically well involves more than feelings of happiness and entails personal growth, giving to others, and living in accordance with values (Ryff & Singer, 2008). While research has tended to focus on either hedonic or eudaimonic approaches, recently there has been increased recognition that both feeling good and functioning well are important elements of psychological health (Keyes & Annas, 2009).

Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

Therefore, recent definitions of flourishing combine hedonic and eudaimonic elements to create a comprehensive and holistic www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org 148 Applied framework for positive education Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson approach. For example, Keyes (2002) defines flourishing as comprising three components: (1) emotional (hedonic) wellbeing or the presence of positive feelings about oneself and life; (2) social wellbeing, which includes feeling connected to others and valued by the community; and (3) psychological (eudaimonic) wellbeing that focuses on functioning well. Seligman (2011) proposes five elements of optimal wellbeing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and achievement. Similarly, Diener et al. (2010) define flourishing as a psychosocial construct that includes having rewarding and positive relationships, feeling competent and confident, and believing that life is meaningful and purposeful. While each of these various definitions takes a slightly different approach, the common element is that recent conceptualisations of flourishing recognise that optimal wellbeing is a multi-dimensional and holistic concept, and includes both hedonic (e.g., positive emotions and emotional stability) and eudaimonic (e.g., self-esteem, growth, meaning) components. Hence, within the GGS model for Positive Education, flourishing is seen to reflect both ‘feeling good’ and ‘doing good’ (Huppert & So, 2013). Feeling good is consistent with hedonic approaches and includes a wide range of emotions and experiences such as feeling content about the past, happy in the present, hopeful about the future, and able to cope with difficult emotions and experiences in a healthy and adaptive way. Doing good is aligned with a eudaimonic approach and focuses on equipping students with the skills and knowledge that help them to thrive when faced with both challenges and opportunities. Doing good embodies functioning effectively across a wide spectrum of human experiences. Also important is a commitment to pro-social behaviours and choices that benefit others and the wider community. The simplicity of the phrase ‘feeling good and doing good’ serves to ensure that even the youngest members of the school community can begin to understand what it means to flourish. Flourishing in schools exists on multiple levels. Individual students may be considered to be flourishing when they are happy, thriving in their social relationships, achieving their goals with competence and confidence, and making valued contributions to others. A staff member may be flourishing when he or she experiences positive emotions throughout the day, obtains a deep sense of value from his or her work, and feels like a valued member of the school community. A class may be flourishing when students feel included, where the teacher feels confident and satisfied, and where all members of the class feel engaged and committed to learning.

Assignment: Effects of Inequality on Cognitive Development

A school community may be flourishing when members of the community feel a deep sense of commitment and belonging to the school and the culture promotes positive emotions, effective learning, and social responsibility. Hence, the goal of promoting flourishing relates to multidimensional outcomes across multiple levels within the school system. 3. Flourishing: Why? Alongside their homes, schools are one of the most important developmental contexts in students’ lives (Gilman, Huebner, & Furlong, 2009). Evidence suggests that relationships with peers and school staff (Chu, Saucier, & Hafner, 2010; Hawker & Boulton, 2000), and the overall school climate and culture (Way, Reddy, & Rhodes, 2007), are integrally linked with a range of student wellbeing and mental health outcomes. As schools are central to students’ physical and mental health, a whole-school commitment to creating a nourishing environment and cultivating wellbeing is imperative. A focus on flourishing in schools is particularly important because adolescence is a pivotal stage of development that carries implications for functioning over the life-course. Adolescence is often viewed as a critical stage in the emergence and trajectory of mental illness (Paus, Keshavan, & Giedd, 2008), and rates of mental health problems, especially depression and www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org 149 Applied framework for positive education Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson anxiety, are consistently reported as problematically high (Sawyer et al., 2007). Equally important to the prevention of ill-health is building good health and wellbeing. The inclusion of flourishing as a valued outcome explicitly recognises that mental health is more than the absence of mental illness, and that young people who do not have a diagnosable disorder may nevertheless not be functioning at their optimal level (Suldo, Thalji, & Ferron, 2011). For example, in a large sample of American adolescents, Keyes (2006) found that over half did not meet criteria for flourishing, and rates of flourishing decreased as adolescence progressed. Cultivating flourishing may also carry benefits for academic skill development. A common assumption is that a focus on wellbeing within education takes time and resources away from academic pursuits. However, there is good evidence to suggest that students who thrive and flourish demonstrate stronger academic performance. Suldo et al. (2011) found that students with higher wellbeing demonstrated the highest grades and lowest rates of school absences one year later. Similarly, Howell (2009) found that students who were flourishing reported superior grades, higher self-control and lower procrastination than students who were moderately mentally healthy or languishing. In addition, there is consistent evidence that positive emotions are associated with broad, creative, and open-minded thinking whereas negative emotions restrict focus and narrow attention (Fredrickson, 2001; Fredrickson & Branigan, 2005). Hence, flourishing is a complementary rather than competing goal with academic development. 4. Flourishing: How? The goal of promoting flourishing within schools is clearly a worthwhile pursuit, but how can this be achieved at a practical level? Implementation within the GGS model focuses on six domains central to wellbeing—positive emotions, positive engagement, positive accomplishment, positive purpose, positive relationships, and positive health (these areas are defined and discussed below)—underpinned by a focus on character strengths. The wellbeing domains are integrated into the School on three levels, referred to as: live it, teach it, and embed it (see Figure 1 below). 4.1 Live it, teach it, embed it Live it. Comprehensive programmes support staff wellbeing and help staff to ‘live’ the skills taught within Positive Education and to act as authentic role models for students. Across the campuses, the vast majority of staff—both teaching and non-teaching—participate in multiday training programmes to develop their knowledge and application of Positive Education to their personal lives and in their work at the school. Refresher workshops are provided for teaching and non-teaching staff each term to develop individual understanding and practice, and the school strives to create a community of practice through activities such as discussion groups and a Journal Club. Teach it. The teaching of Positive Education helps students to understand key ideas and concepts, engage meaningfully in exploration and reflection, and apply the skills and mindsets for flourishing in their lives. The teaching of wellbeing is further divided into explicit and implicit learning. The explicit teaching of Positive Education—where students attend regular, timetabled lessons on Positive Education in the same way that they attend Maths and History classes—now occurs in Year 5 through to Year 10 of the school. Initially based on the Penn Resiliency Program (Brunwasser, Gillham, & Kim, 2009) and the Strath Haven Program (Seligman et al., 2009), the explicit teaching programme has evolved and grown to reflect a diverse range of skills, knowledge, and mindsets covering the breadth of the Model for Positive Education. www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org 150 Applied framework for positive education Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson Figure 1. Summary of the GGS Applied Model for Positive Education Positive Education is also implicitly embedded into the academic curriculum across a broad range of subjects, creating links between Positive Psychology concepts and curricula in ways that remain true to core academic objectives. For example, in History, students explore the topic of genealogy through the lens of character strengths by interviewing family members about their own and relatives’ strengths. In art, students are asked to explore the word ‘flourishing’ and to create a visual representation of their personal understanding; and in Geography, students examine how flourishing communities can be enabled through the physical environment of towns and cities. Teaching pedagogy is also informed by Positive Education, for example through teaching staff integrating mindfulness practices into their class routines and fostering a growth mindset in their students. Embed it. Complementary school-wide processes help embed a culture for wellbeing across the school community. Some of the most powerful school-wide practices include devoting assemblies or chapel services to character strengths, having ‘what went well’ boards that create visual displays of gratitude, and regularly running projects devoted to random acts of kindness. Consistent with a whole-school approach engaged with all stakeholders of the school community, parents are also invited to take part in multi-day, residential training programmes to support their understanding of Positive Education and personal growth. Character strengths. A focus on character strengths, operationalised through the Values in Action survey (Park & Peterson, 2006), underpins all of these efforts. Peterson and Seligman (2004) define character strengths as a ubiquitously recognised subset of personality traits that are morally valued. From a strengths perspective, everyone has unique abilities and capacities that can help them to flourish and perform at their best (Wood, Linley, Maltby, Kashdan, & Hurling, 2011). Individuals who use their strengths have been found to report increased vitality www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org 151 Applied framework for positive education Norrish, Williams, O’Connor, & Robinson and subjective and psychological wellbeing (Govindji & Linley, 2007; Linley, Nielsen, Gillett, & Biswas-Diener, 2010), increased progress towards their goals (Linley et al., 2010), and enhanced resilience after stressful events (Peterson & Seligman, 2003). Research also supports the relevance of strengths to children’s wellbeing and healthy development (Park & Peterson, 2008; Rashid et al., 2013). An example of how character strengths are integrated into the programme is discussed below in relation to positive engagement. 4.2 Targeted wellbeing domains Six broad and interrelated wellbeing domains are targeted within the model. The positive emotion domain encourages individuals to anticipate, initiate, prolong and build positive emotional experiences and accept and develop healthy responses to negative emotions. The positive engagement domain examines pathways to complete immersion in activities to support understanding and experience of optimal functioning. The positive accomplishment domain focuses on developing confidence and competence through striving for and achieving meaningful outcomes. The positive purpose domain develops an understanding of the benefits of serving a greater cause and engaging in activities to support that. The positive relationships domain develops social and emotional skills to enable the development of nourishing relationships with self and others; and the positive health domain aims to help individuals develop a sound knowledge base from which to establish habits that support positive physical and psychological health across the lifespan. These broad overarching domains of wellbeing are targeted through a range of concrete behavioural skill areas. Although an exploration of all of the implicit, explicit, and school-wide practices used to support the six wellbeing domains targeted in the model is beyond the scope of this paper, illustrative examples are explored below in relation to each domain. Positive emotion. This domain reflects students’ capacities to antici …

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