U.S. Positive Education Network

How do we place flourishing at the core of school?

This project took place in New York City
Project Location

New York City

A teacher shows a class how to play basketball

Positive Education—the application of the science of Positive Psychology and related fields within an educational setting—focuses on enhancing the well-being and character development of an entire school community. It stems from the work of Positive Psychology pioneer and International Positive Education Network (IPEN) cofounder Martin Seligman, including his PERMA theory of well-being and Values in Action (VIA) character strengths.


This year, PLUSSED has joined forces with both the United States Positive Education Network (USPEN) and the International Positive Education Network (IPEN), to explore new opportunities in this field of work.

Truly supporting student learning means tending more effectively to their social and emotional well-being.

How it started

Riverdale has been focused on positive education for over a decade, including our work launching the Character Lab and Purpose Project. Our relationship with IPEN—launched at the group’s initial meeting in 2014—has been a natural outgrowth of that work.

Where it is now

This year, we’re working with USPEN and IPEN to curate a user-friendly collection of resources for leaders and practitioners, develop a referral system for accomplished practitioners and consultants, and establish a community of practice dedicated to building learning ecosystems where flourishing is a priority.

What's next

This spring, Plussed will share our first collection of research, insights, and resources with thought partners and practitioners, in a series of interactive virtual gatherings. Participants will dive deep into the resources with the design team and guest experts, pressure-testing the work to date and identifying areas of focus for the next round of research.



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