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ERIC Number: ED498365
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar-9
Pages: 11
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 21
Neuroscience and Positive Psychology: Implications for School Counselors
Stickel, Sue A.; Callaway, Yvonne L.
Online Submission
Increasing research findings are pointing out that using positive psychology and wellness strategies in counseling and therapy are helpful in fostering healthy human development (Snyder & Lopez, 2001). Positive psychology is addressing the importance of positive emotions, character traits, and features of enabling institutions such as the 'good school' (Peterson, 2006), and appears to offer strategies for institutional change capable of impacting both systems and individuals. Research in neuroscience documents the neural pathways that cognitive processes use as the brain constructs meaning from emotional signals. School counselors occupy a unique position in schools with potential to use these new paradigms to change the myths and practices that may under gird prevailing stereotypes and discriminatory educational outcome. 21st century schools must retain students through the 12th grade, and effectively prepare them for post-secondary training. Ridley (2005) reminds us that multiculturally competent counseling requires the creation of non-pathological paradigms to facilitate the design of more culturally appropriate interventions. Research documents the plasticity of the human brain and the importance of the environment on learning initiatives. Every time we learn something new, something in our brains changes. Our brains become fine-tuned through experience. Emotion, based on key environmental elements, is a critical factor in learning and acts as a pathway to transform data into meaningful information. Positive psychology provides an etiology for discussing this process in the context of human strength, as opposed to deficiency. The professional school counselor, armed with such understandings can more effectively meet current mandates for occupational relevancy and advocacy for all students. Counselors can assist teachers in better understanding the emotional connections that spur intrinsic motivation and challenge that are embedded in complex, real-world sciences and can provide leadership in helping to establish a school culture that values and promotes professional collegiality and collaboration so that educational personnel model and support optimal use of the brain's ability to process, integrate, and store information. (Contains 1 table.)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Counselors
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A