Paper Session: Positive Education 2.0

Scheduled for Sunday, July 31, 4:15 PM – 5:30 PM


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Invited Talks

  1. Shu-Mei (Suemay) ChangThe Development and Implementation of Life Education in Taiwan

Paper Presentations

  1. Hsiao-Chun LinThe Implications of Spiritual Development of the Education of Senior Adults in the Context of Taiwan’s Learning Society
  2. Lorna NgEvaluation of an Innovative Inter-Generational Health Promotion Program Incorporating Strength-based Life Review Interview for Patients with Chronic Diseases
  3. Holli-Anne PassmoreTranscending Education
  4. Tolani WilliamsPredictors of Academic Dishonesty among Serially Frustrated Students in Ogun State
  5. Cynthia WimberlyRole of School Counselors in Guiding Students to Meaning in Education

Invited Talk


Shu-Mei ChangShu-Mei (Suemay) Chang, is a Professor in the Department of Education at National Kaohsiung Normal University (NKNU), Taiwan, R.O.C. She completed her master theses “The development of death concepts of children and its implications on death education” in 1989, which made her one of the pioneers in death education and life education in Taiwan. Since then, she has devoted herself to teaching and research on these areas. She serves as a consultant member of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Education Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government in establishing national life education curriculum. She plays a special role in drawing up the plans and strategies of promoting life education (2010-2017) for the MOE and making it one of the important education policies on a nationwide level. She has received two important national contribution awards from the MOE in recognition of her efforts and achievements in the advocacy and promotion of life education.

Dr. Chang will be receiving the INPM’S Lifetime Achievement Award for Life Education at the Saturday Awards Dinner.

Interested in more from Dr. Chang? Find out more here.

The Development and Implementation of Life Education in Taiwan: A Meaning-Centered Positive Education

This talk will give an overview of the background, definition, objectives, curriculum, and practices of life education in Taiwan. Additionally, the speaker will introduce some exemplary universities and schools recognized and funded by the government in Taiwan for their distinguished features on implementing life education. These examples demonstrate Taiwan’s unique approach to life education—cherishing traditional cultural values, holistic perspectives, service-learning, and incorporating positive psychology research on meaning, gratitude, resilience to transcend adversity, and character education.

In contrast to the western approach of positive psychology, which focuses on individual happiness and success, life education in Taiwan takes the Asian/Chinese approach of positive education, which focuses on how to be a responsible citizen and a good and wise person as a way to meaningful living and human flourishing. This approach is consistent with Wong’s (2011) PP2.0 based on the Yin-Yang dialectical principle of Taoism.


Paper Presentations


Hsiao-Chun Lin, Director of Humanities Office, Institute of Education, Tzu Chi University

The Implications of Spiritual Development for the Education of Senior Adults in the Context of Taiwan’s Learning Society

Because of changes in population structures, the percentages of the elderly population in the societies of many countries are increasing. Taiwan has become an aging society since 1993, and will probably reach an “aged” society in 2018. According to the Ministry of the Interior’s statistics, the aging index has reached 80.50% in 2013. Therefore, the education for old adults in an aging society will play an important role for elders’ successful aging. However, in recent societies, elders have often been perceived as care-receivers and thus reflecting negative stereotypes. The positive development of their personality and spirituality have often been ignored. Therefore, to facilitate elders to achieve self-empowerment should be of importance on the social agenda. Toward the Aged Society: The White Book of Policies for Senior Education was published in 2006 by the Government of Taiwan, emphasizing the importance and positive values of pursuing the meaning of life, wisdom, and spiritual development for aging adults. This represents a positive view toward aging adults today.

This paper makes a preliminary exploration through literature research on the demand and meaning of spiritual development for aging adults, based on both Western and Chinese cultural perceptions as well as the theories from Maslow and Jung. Hopefully, we can change the negative stereotyped perceptions of aging adults and provide suggestions in education for senior adults in Taiwan’s society.


Lorna Ng, Ph.D., Senior Medical Officer in charge and Family Medicine Coordinator, Kwong Wah Hospital Family Medicine and General Out-patient Department; Honorary Associate Professor, The Jockey Club School of Public Health and Primary Care, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Evaluation of an Innovative Inter-Generational Health Promotion Program Incorporating Strength-based Life Review Interview for Patients with Chronic Diseases

Chronic disease, a major public health burden, is causally related to unhealthy lifestyles or risk behavior. This is a community and school-based health promotion program, which uses an innovative teaching model by partnering youth with chronic disease patients and focuses on encouraging healthy attitudes and behaviors in three key areas of health namely physical activity, healthy diet and mental wellness. There is also abundant evidence showing that patients with chronic medical illness represent a population at particularly high risk of mental disorders. The importance of promoting mental well-being while taking care of the medical needs of patients with chronic illness should be advocated. Studies have also shown that life review therapy is effective in enhancing positive mental wellbeing, improve self-esteem and life satisfaction in elderly. Life review is a structured process evolving around one or more life themes – ranging from one’s own childhood, family, parenthood, work as well as other themes such as major turning points, religion, art , meaning, values and purpose in life. As life review is an evaluative process in helping individuals maintain a positive identity, it could also be incorporated with positive psychology concepts which deals with human’s positive aspect through the development of personal strengths and virtues as foundations for optimal functioning and psychological well-being.


Holli-Anne Passmore, Ph.D. Graduate Student, Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia

Transcending Education:  A 7-day Meaning Intervention Experimental Study

The pursuit of a university education is not only a pathway to obtaining a “good job”, it occurs during a critical time when young adults are actively pursuing an understanding of who they are and what their place is in the world. Thus, the search for, and establishment of, meaning in life may be particularly important and pronounced in university undergraduates (Astin et al, 2005; Pryor et al., 2013). However, little research has explored the cultivation of meaning in life in this population. The current study helped to address this research gap. Based on Shin & Steger’s (2014) recommendations for the development of meaning-oriented positive psychology interventions, undergraduates (N = 74) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: Meaning and Control. Participants in the Meaning group were asked to think about why pursuing a university education was meaningful to them, and how it fit with their particular character strengths and sense of who they are. Participants were asked to jot down notes over 7 days as they reflected on these meaning questions. Control group participants were asked to reflect on, and jot down, practical issues they face and must deal with as university students. Two measures each of meaning in life and well-being were administered at pre- and post-study times. At the end of the 7 days, meaning in life and well-being were significantly higher in the Meaning group than in the Control group (meaning measures: ds = 0.63, 0.53; well-being measures: ds = 0.54, 0.45). Although our sample was small, this simple intervention yielded promising results in bolstering well-being in general, and meaning in life specifically.


Tolani Williams, Department of Education, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria

Predictors of Academic Dishonesty among Serially Frustrated Students in Ogun State, Southwest, Nigeria

This study examined some factors (academic self-efficacy, locus of control, motivation, and gender) that could predict academic dishonesty among serially frustrated students in Ogun State, South West, Nigeria. Serial academically frustrated students are students who are unable to attain and meet academic expectations set by themselves or significant others. A sample of 250 undergraduate students selected from two faculties from a University in Ogun State,South West Nigeria took part in the study. Multiple regression analysis was employed to determine the joint and relative contributions of the independent variables to the prediction of the dependent variable. T-test was used to test the hypothesis determining the gender difference between the independent variables (academic self-efficacy, locus of control, and motivation) and academic dishonesty of serial academically frustrated male and female students. The results of the study showed all the independent variables jointly contributed to predicting academic dishonesty, while only academic self-efficacy and motivation had relative contributions to the dependent measure. There was no significant difference in the academic self-efficacy and motivation among males and females on academic dishonesty of the serial academically frustrated students but locus of control showed a significant difference between male and female students on academic dishonesty. Implications for counseling of the findings are discussed in the study.


Cynthia Wimberly, Ph.D., brings over thirty years of public school experience to her role of Associate Professor of Counseling & Guidance with the College of Education and P-16 Integration at the University of Texas Rio Grand Valley. Previously, Dr. Wimberly has worked as a school counselor in public education prekindergarten through twelfth grade in both regular education settings and alternative education settings in Texas and Louisiana. Dr. Wimberly has published in the areas of at-risk students, school counseling, and cultural diversity. In addition, she has researched and published in the application of the tenets of the existential theory, logotherapy, and its application in her selected areas of interest.

The Role of School Counselors in Guiding Students to Meaning in Education

What is the purpose of education in the world today? What is the role of the school counselor in education today? Although a simple question, the answer is complex and a subject of conflict for decades. The most straightforward answer is the purpose of education is to assist the student to acquire knowledge and the role of the school counselor is to provide the support that makes this possible. What then is knowledge? If the role of education is to input facts into the student, then the cause is lost before it begins in this computer age of instant information. Even if possible to achieve, this definition is too narrow and limited in scope.  Regardless of the total acquisition of facts students have at their disposal, the purpose of education is more comprehensive and the role of the school counselor is vital.

Viktor Frankl (1986), founder of logotherapy, observed that students who perceive that life has no meaning have no internal motivation for finding meaning through traditional education. Educators must address the issue that for many students, education serves no purpose. This presentation will address specific ways school counselors can challenge students in age-appropriate ways to engage in self-discovery, understand their uniqueness, balance the concepts of freedom with responsibility, accept the ability to make choices and predict credible consequences, and appreciate the ability to self-transcend through creative, experiential and attitudinal experiences.


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