What about positive learning?

What is the value of positive education for the test of daily life? Could it almost become a model guardian? How not to fall prey to the perfection of perfect fatherhood?

Answer material with our experts.

Positive education, what is it?

We talk more about it but this name can cover different realities. Our guests define them.

According to Rebecca Shankland, a professor at the University of Psychology, “The term positive education refers to an education that will promote The well-being and best development of the baby. The purpose is therefore to be able to provide a context conducive to the development of the child, which is specifically based on a non-violent education. We talk about screaming, but there are also General educational violence, Slaps, slaps, etc. Today’s research has shown that this general educational violence does not bring benefits in improving the behavior of the child. A

For Héloise Lhérété, its editor-in-chief Sociology, It is important to know a little about the history of this movement. He is therefore interested in the adjective “positive”, which can be associated with various terms such as positive education, positive parenting, positive authority, and so on. He explains: “It’s a word that’s rather vague, ambiguous. Positive psychology is a movement that develops Since the late 1990s, With the idea that a revolution in psychology needed to take place, one should not only be unhappy in any situation, suffering, frustration, inactivity, but in any situation be interested in goodness, perfection, success. Thus, positive learning is inspired by the movement that we must put the child’s needs and everything necessary for its development at the center of education. These are the first requirements for efficiency, autonomy as well as proximity. A

Ali Rebehi has defined the Council of Europe, which dates back to 2006 “Positive education, It is a behavior that aims to nurture and empower the child, Which is non-violent and provides recognition and support by setting a set of criteria for its full development. A

Then there are different ways to apply these theories.

Positive Education: Healing or Social Danger?

For Didier Plex, the psychotherapist, who still agrees with the European Council’s definition, since it is in the best interests of children, French-style positive education is a hoax. For that, it is necessary to add negativity to positive education and increase the margins of children’s frustration. Yet according to Didier Plex, children must learn the principles of reality and acquire a sense of effort.

According to Rebecca Shankland: “You need to help your child deal with his or her emotions. It’s not just a question of showing positive (…). Positive psychology, through these interventions, allows for optimal performance, that is, to be able to have access to resources or to be able to combine the resources of one’s own environment to cope with the situations one faces in daily life. A

This is a complex issue because the definition of positive education – and the principles that flow from it – is not the same for everyone. Héloise Lhérété explained: “Actually, it is A rather complex galaxy, with various figures. A Some people may appeal against the approval, for example, while others may appeal against it.

For Nicholas Santolaria, journalist The worldThere are also good aspects. He took the example of dropping out of school: “It is true that often, in front of the school, we realize that there are two camps, where parents shout and who can talk quietly to their children. This is one of the aspects of positive learning, it has led us One may have to reflect precisely on that behavior. We’ve talked about general educational violence before, behaviors that we don’t necessarily have with adults and we allow ourselves with children. So that’s one of the interesting aspects, I find. A

But it is also A profitable market Including publications (books, podcasts, workshops, etc.), and a whole field of influence, which can force parents to adjust to parental perfectionism. Sociologist Eva Iluz talks about this “Happiness, To describe a dangerous happiness and personal development industry.

For Nicholas Santolaria, it also carries a danger: “We have a kind of distinct feeling, eventually, we lose the variety of emotions, the diversity of feelings. There An ecology of emotion is a form of loss. And it’s somewhat risky with positive learning. In my view, there really is The need to disappoint the child. A

So there are benefits to positive learning, Héloise Lhérété says at the end of the program: “The great advantage is to reduce violence in the family. This is above all. And then it helps parents learn about their children, understand them better, get to know them better, perhaps support them better and promote their creativity, not just their loyalty, but to make them more creative adults. Rebecca Shankland added that it helps develop “socio-psychological skills”.

On the other hand, there are difficulties and dangers, especially for parents, as the following explains: “These extremely high requirements that weigh on parents can increase stress, even burnout with adverse effects.”But for children who run the risk of being too self-centered.

To learn more about positive learning, including debates about punishment and rewards, listen to the show in its entirety.

51 minutes


  • Helios Lerete : Journalist, Editor-in-Chief Sociology. Author of the number: Positive education. Theories, practices, problems and debates (Summer 2022)
  • Rebecca Shankland : University Professor of Psychology, Lumiere Lyon 2 Responsible for monitoring wellness at university and school
  • Didier Plex : Psychotherapist, Doctor of Psychology.
  • Nicholas Santolaria : Journalist and columnist A. The world

Gwenaelle Boulet For his column My life as a parent.

50 minutes

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