The success of learning is not merely defined by the students’ academic
achievements, but students’ well-being also requires more attention. Well-being is a state of
overall mental and physical health, strength, resilience and fitness which will help students to
function well at learning. In education, students’ well-being has become a major concern in
determining the optimal learning outcome. Promoting this is important because students with
high level of well-being tend to have better outcomes than those who do not.
In order to promote students’ well-being in learning, a positive psychologist, Martin
Seligman developed a model named “PERMA”. PERMA is the five essential elements that
should be present for students to experience and embrace long lasting positive well-being.
These elements are:
P - Positive Emotion: The experience of positive emotions such as optimism, peace,
gratitude, satisfaction, pleasure, inspiration, and curiosity is valuable. In relation to
teaching practice, it is important to ensure that the learning encounter offers many
opportunities for students to experience positive emotions in their learning activities.
E - Engagement: It is defined as the opportunity to have interest in learning. Students
may experience their learning flow when they are fully engaged in a learning
situation, activity or material.
R - Positive Relationships: Having relationships with others facilitates the growth of
friendships, connectedness, and belonging. By encouraging social relationships and
friendships, students are able to experience positive emotions.
M - Meaning: This can refer to working towards, or believing in something that
provides a valuable way to find meaning in one’s life. For instance, encouraging
students to be involved in the beach clean-up can bring fulfillment and meaning that
can enhance their well-being.
A - Accomplishment/Achievement: Achievement helps to build self-esteem and
provides a sense of accomplishment. Teachers are encouraged to make realistic goals
which can be reached by the students. This offers a sense of satisfaction and
fulfillment as well as helps develop their well-being.
The awareness of PERMA can help the establishment of students’ well-being bycombining good feeling, meaningful living, supportive relationships, goals accomplishmentand engagement. Nurturing these elements in children can help them go beyond “surviving”to really “thriving” in life.
Matthewman, L., Gall, Donna Jodhan., Nowlan, Jenni., Patel, Nuala. (2018). Primed, preppedand primped: Reflections on enhancing student wellbeing in tertiary education.Psychology Teaching Review, 67-76.Palmer, S (2008). A coaching psychology perspective. Psychology Teaching Review, 14(2),40–42.Slavin, S. J., Schindler, D., Chibnall, J. T., Fendell, G., & Shoss, M. (2012). PERMA: Amodel for institutional leadership and culture change. Academic Medicine, 87(11),1481.
The awareness of PERMA can help the establishment of students’ well-being by
combining good feeling, meaningful living, supportive relationships,