If we are to help young people attain a love of learning and flourish at school, then we need to explicitly support their wellbeing. In this book, Helen Street introduces a definition that underpins an alternative way of supporting young people, and an alternative way of delivering education.
All too often we try to help a child who is distressed at school by encouraging them to change or to develop as an individual. We want them to be more confident, more resilient, less anxious. But what if the answer is not about trying to help that individual to change, in whatever capacity? What if the answer is all about creating a healthier environment for that individual?
I believe that wellbeing is an interplay between our best individual self and our best environment. As such, happiness and success are far more than individual pursuits, or even individual responsibilities. Lasting happiness develops from the ongoing creation of healthy connections to others and to the world around us.
Happiness is a positive state of wellbeing resulting from our connection to a social environment that supports and nurtures us to become the best we can be.
What the Experts are Saying about Contextual Wellbeing
'In Contextual Wellbeing Dr. Street envisions healthy schools in which children not only learn well, but also live well ... This is a highly needed and humanizing message for anyone who cares about education, or about children's wellness.'
Professor Richard M. Ryan, Australian Catholic University & University of Rochester
' Contextual Wellbeing could well be the book that starts a revolution in the way we think about schools - I cannot recommend this more highly.'
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, Child & Adolescent Psychologist
' This book provides an indispensable guide to creating healthier and more effective schools.'
Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist & Family Therapist
'... [a] thought-provoking and profoundly relevant book ...'
Charlie Scudamore, Vice Principal, Geelong Grammar School
'Contextual Wellbeing is a wake-up call to those who suggest that our students should work harder and longer for higher and higher test scores.'
Professor Pasi Sahlberg, Former Finnish Director General of Education; Gonski Institute for Education, UNSW Sydney
'... When the ephemeral mists of Mindset, Grit, and Resilience programs fade away, Contextual Wellbeing will remain standing strong and unshaken.'
Dr Jared Cooney Horvath, The University of Melbourne
'At last someone is reaching into what really matters.'
John Hendry, OAM
'Dr Street's work has influenced me both personally and professionally ... foundational reading for anyone interested in Positive Education. '
Justin Robinson, Director, Institute of Positive Education, Geelong Grammar School
'Helen has delivered the book on wellbeing in education that had to be written ....'
Dr Sue Roffey, Exeter University & Western Sydney University; Director Growing Great Schools Worldwide
'... This is an excellent, thought-provoking read for all those passionate about education today.'
Maggie Dent, educator & resilience specialist
'... Compulsory reading for anyone interested in education transformation in the 21st century ...'
Dr Paula Robinson, Managing Director - Positive Psychology Institute
'Dr. Street proposes multiple strategies for humanizing education ... Bravo!'
Professor Michael E. Bernard, University of Melbourne & California State University; Founder, You Can Do It! Education
'... If we really want to create a better world, rather than a better moment for ourselves, we need to understand and build Contextual Wellbeing. '
Neil Porter, Co-founder & chair, Positive Schools Initiative, 2018
'... Dr Helen Street's warmth, humour and intelligence permeate every page.'
Tracey Spicer, AM