By Roz Rimes (Canine Comprehension Tutor)
Written By Roz Rimes - Canine Comprehension Tutor.
On Thursday 12th April Sarah Macdonald and Roz Rimes presented their workshop, ‘Savouring the Success of Dog Assisted Learning’ at the 2018 National Positive Education Schools Association (PESA) conference. 831 delegates, educators and researchers from around the world attended. PESA is Australia’s Positive Education national peak body. Its mission is to lead, promote and foster the implementation and development of Positive Education, enabling all students, schools and communities to flourish. Showcasing our work to this audience further underscored that our work is innovative and makes an important contribution to the Positive Education landscape.
1. Australia leads the world in Positive Education (PE). This message was repeated several times throughout the conference by Australian and International speakers. It’s exciting to know that Sarah and her team at Canine Comprehension are innovators in this field.
2. Increased wellbeing is directly correlated to enhanced academic achievement. Policy makers and decision makers need evidence-based information to direct funds appropriately, especially to wellbeing programs. It now exists via high quality academic research.
3. Wellbeing literacy is vital, PE would not be possible without it. Canine Comprehension teaches wellbeing literacy. This underpins PE pedagogy.
4. Educators need to have a mindfulness practice. Educators and Canine Comprehension tutors can role model calm in the classroom. Having a mindfulness practice can improve teachers’ wellbeing, help to de-escalate dysregulated students and create an effective learning environment. Teaching savouring to mindful students increases positive emotions and stamina for learning.
5. Compassion is happiness. Take a look at the following links for more information.
6.PE and the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) based on Trauma Informed Positive Education (TIPE) are important allies. Our Canine Comprehension programs support these models.
7. Relationships are vital especially Student – Tutor. Our work with our highly trained dogs builds peoples’ skills through neurobiological benefits and neuroplasticity, enabling them to make High Quality Connections (HQCs) and build healthy relationships.
8. Parents play a key role in Positive Eduction. In the future we hope to reach more parents via our newsletters and school parent meetings. We’ll make sure that our friendly dogs are available for pats and interactions.
9. Resilient Grieving. Canine Comprehension provides a high quality Grief and Loss program which helps students to process grief and enhances their wellbeing.
10. Soothing and Strengthening. Positive Education is about soothing and strengthening whole schools and systems. Canine Comprehension not only soothes students and school staff, it effectively builds skills and strategies to navigate life and enable people to flourish.
The PESA conference was designed as a Positive Education Retreat, the event was be hosted at Geelong Grammar School to coincide with their celebration of a decade in Positive Education, and offered delegates an opportunity to practice the conference theme: Connect! This theme reflected the event’s aims of connecting theory with application, connecting Positive Education with curriculum and culture, connecting professionals to each other. Canine Comprehension feels very 'at home' with PESA and looks forward to being involved in future events that they host.
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