Gratitude as a pedagogy

Gratitude involves the acknowledgement of what people have or receive and the conscious action of wanting to give back in some ways. When applied in an academic context, gratitude can help students to improve student/teacher and student/student relationships; it can help them to be more aware of their learning environment and increase understanding and focus on their studies. It can also improve mental health and wellbeing of both students and teachers — for example students improve their ability to remain resilient while facing difficulties in learning. One practical approach to implementing gratitude as a pedagogy involves asking teachers and students to examine their attitude before starting their teaching or learning and during learning activities. A more detailed reflection can bring awareness of any negative attitudes towards certain topics or learning activities. These are then analysed and replaced by elements of gratitude. Students have reported being more engaged, less distracted, having great motivation for learning, and having increased confidence and a deeper understanding of concepts. Gratitude as a pedagogy has been increasingly included in the professional development of school teachers, used in early childhood education and explored in medical practice.

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