Our KDSL Global Intern recently had the opportunity to interview Gilda Scarfe, who serves as the CEO and Founder of Positive Action UK. As a leading and innovative educational consultancy, this company believes that all schools, youth organisations and communities should make positive education and resilience a visible and conscious part of their daily practice. Scarfe is an IPEN Global Representative and our interview focuses on her work with this group. IPEN is the International Positive Education Network.
What is the vision of IPEN?
IPEN’s vision is to bring together educators, researchers, practitioners, positive psychologists to promote academic achievement, wellbeing and character development – we call it positive education
Positive education usually defines positive character using the core character strengths that are represented in the VIA classification’s six categories of virtue.
The goal of positive education is to reveal a young person’s character strengths and to develop his or her ability to effectively engage those strengths (Linkins et al., 2015).
IPEN’s vision is to see the entire education ecosystem embrace positive education as part of the curriculum.
Tell us about The Learning Library.
The Learning Library provides countless educational resources that will enthuse educators and students to learn. Hundreds of well-designed lesson plans are curated with clarity and explicit instruction. Each lessons plan includes varied interesting activities to help consolidate student comprehension. The lessons provide a deep look at various subjects such as mental toughness and wellbeing. Higher level lessons include everything from the science of wellbeing to metacognition and visible thinking. For interactive learners, the library provides hundreds of skills-based activities that are both enticing and educational.
No matter the challenge, the engaging resources will help students reach their wellbeing and academic requirements with confidence.
What are your responsibilities working as global representative for IPEN?
As a global ambassador is to spread the word about IPEN’s work, provide guidance on how to implement positive education as a whole school climate, to support collaboration between teachers, encourage change in education practice and support the reform of government policy.
Gilda Scarfe is the CEO and Founder of Positive Action UK a leading
and innovative educational consultancy using research to develop, implement and evaluate mental toughness, wellbeing and 21st century skills in schools through programmes design and pedagogical approaches.
With a master’s degree in educational leadership along with undergraduate degrees Comparative Literature and Law and post graduate degree in psychology and over 15 years facilitating in business performance and education contexts, Gilda specialises in creating curriculum that are evidence based, meaningful, make a powerful impression and have a long lasting effect. An expert in helping people understand and effectively play to their character strengths.
She has worked with teams across the private and state funded schools to promote and imbed positive psychology interventions as a whole school approach. Her work has included strategic planning for designing, delivering and implementing wellbeing and mental toughness programmes in schools, framework redesign for primary and secondary schools, as well as strengths-based coaching using the VIA instrument.
She has been responsible for the organisation and implementation of the Positive Psychology/Education strategy at several grammar schools in the UK, Singapore, UAE and Thailand and has supported the strategic direction and implementation of Illuminate Education a non-profit organisation promoting Positive Education initiatives.
Gilda’s research focuses on character education, emotional intelligence in education, leading change, positive education, strategic planning in education and wellbeing education. In particular, she is interested in how school leaders establish cultures to enable positive learning and wellbeing environments.
Her dream is for every school in the UK to fully and seamlessly incorporate positive education into their curriculum and application for students, families, and staff. Passionate about improving wellbeing and mental toughness in education through innovative yet simple and clear interventions, Gilda is always keen to bridge the gap between academics and practitioners in making a practical and powerful impact to the world of education.
Gilda is member of IPPA (International Positive Psychology Association), APA (American Psychology Association) and MEPA (Middle East Psychology Association) and a global Ambassador for IPEN (International Positive Education Network) she is also a certified Mental Toughens and Emotional Intelligence assessor. A highly sought-after speaker Gilda has delivered several keynotes, workshops and symposia in MENA Region, Asia, Europe and the United Kingdom on a range of topics from positive psychology and educational leadership to curriculum innovation and pedagogical development.