What is Educating to Flourish?
Educating to flourish is an approach to educational practice that promotes a focus on actualizing human potential. While this means continuing to prioritize the development of traditionally “academic” competencies, it also recognizes that these competencies are a small part of what leads human beings to live good, impactful lives. Using data-driven methods backed by various scientific fields such as neuroscience, educational psychology, behavioral economics, positive psychology and more, the goal of Shipley’s approach is to cultivate flourishing, the synergistic combination of well-being and optimal performance. Further, to do so for all constituencies that make up the entire Shipley community.
What is the History?
In 1998, renowned researcher and University of Pennsylvania Professor Martin Seligman
became president of the American Psychological Association. Although his most famous work at that point was for “learned helplessness” and depression, he switched gears to concentrate on how we might make what’s already good even better. Rather than focus on fixing what depletes us, Seligman challenged the scientific community to figure out how to build what’s best in us. He called for research that would aid in the establishment of positive institutions—and educational institutions were among the first to adapt, Shipley among them.
What Have We Learned?
Research that preceded Dr. Seligman’s historic address to the APA and the vast amount of research that followed it over the past three decades has helped scholars identify a handful of components that are core to most human beings's ability to thrive. They make up the core of what Shipley believes is key to unlocking human potential. Below, you will find a sample of the frameworks Shipley has compared and synthesized in order to inform our approach.
Where Will We Go Next?
Shipley is a pioneer in educating to flourish among Pre-K through grade 12 schools in North America. We are excited about the ongoing integration of our efforts toward flourishing individuals and communities with diversity and inclusion practices and will look to serve as the model institution for other schools who want to change the world for the better.