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WHAM: Wellness, Happiness, and Mindfulness: A Pilot Class at Open High School for the Translational Application of Well-being Education
Emaan Dawood, Depts. of Biology, Chemistry, & Spanish, and Moorin Khan, with Dr. Christy Tyndall, VCU Honors College
The education of student well-being is desired as evidence-based positive psychology principles explain how humans can better succeed in life despite surmounting obstacles. Based on a VCU honors class titled “Flourishing,” which educates incoming freshmen about the science of health and wellness, a similar pilot class titled “WHAM: Wellness, Happiness, and Mindfulness,” implemented at Open High School, targets younger students. The goals for WHAM are to encourage high school students to build resilience through obstacles, develop strategies to promote well-being, and increase overall life satisfaction. An additional goal of the course is to learn more about which well-being principles are most helpful for high school students and why. The curriculum of WHAM was created with a focus on positive psychology principles and strategies that enhance well-being. Each class begins with discussion of a specific principle followed by an applied in-class activity of that principle. Covered principles included mindfulness, gratitude, stress and time management, physical health, meaning and engagement, relationships, and accomplishments. From student feedback and discussions, our pilot class has informally revealed that practicing well-being activities amongst high school-aged students promotes their relaxation and appreciation, indicating that the course effectively increases awareness of well-being practices. Therefore, our goal for the next session of WHAM will be to provide objective and formalized measurements of student well-being pre and post completion of the class. Measurements will be determined from surveys of evidence-based literature assessing different areas of well-being. The results will reveal how much students benefit from well-being education, help improve teaching methods, and provide insight for such a course being a standard in student education.
Current Academic Year
Christy Tyndall, Ph.D.
Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
Is Part Of
VCU Undergraduate Research Posters
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