International Positive Education Network

The International Positive Education Network (IPEN) is an organisation that seeks to promote positive education for staff, students, parents, carers, educational establishments, businesses, governments and charities. Their aim is to bring elements from the field of positive psychology to create a positive education system via collaboration, government policy reforms and changing education practice.

The International Positive Education Network (IPEN) was created to challenge the traditional approach to education where focus on academic attainment is regarded as the highest goal. IPEN believe that there are two elements to education that are of equal importance. These are “the fulfilment of intellectual potential through the learning of the best that has been thought and known” and “the development of character strengths and wellbeing, which are intrinsically valuable and contribute to a variety of positive life outcomes.” Both of these elements complement each other as it has been shown that fulfilling intellectual potential improves wellbeing by increasing engagement, meaning and accomplishments. The focus on improving wellbeing through the development of character strengths has been shown to positively contribute to the achievement of intellectual potential.

IPEN’s vision is to create a world where people are able to realise their potential, so that they are successful and enjoy positive wellbeing. Whilst they believe that individuals, businesses, governments, communities and charities should strive to promote human wellbeing and flourishing, their focus is on those responsible for educating young people.

Using Dr Martin Seligman’s PERMA (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishments) model of psychological wellbeing, IPEN believe that when people have a balance of positive emotions, engagement in tasks, healthy relationships with other people, a sense of meaning and purpose in their lives and are able to accomplish their goals, then people will flourish. Through positive education, IPEN’s mission is to educate young people and provide them with the skills to thrive and have the ability to help others thrive too.