Kerry coordinates and teaches the online course ESM 704 – Gratitude in Education at the University of Tasmania. (Make sure you are viewing the current year’s entry details on the UTAS website.)

The importance of gratitude to enhance our social and emotional wellbeing has gained momentum in the past decade as a topic of research in a number of fields.

In this unit offered by the University of Tasmania you will critically reflect on the meaning and role of gratitude in education and its specific relevance to four main areas: teaching and learning; leadership; relationships; and wellbeing.

Drawing on contemporary research in a number of fields, including positive psychology, you will be introduced to the theoretical and practical dimensions of gratitude as it relates to these areas and invited to engage in discussion as to its place in your context.  You will be given then opportunity to reflect on your own gratitude, apply it to your learning of this unit and others you are studying, and to your teaching or leadership.

An important aspect of this exploration is to critically examine the dilemmas and complexities of gratitude, as well as some of the cross-cultural differences.

The unit gives teachers at all levels of education, from early childhood to university, as well as those working in the VET sector, an opportunity to strengthen their pedagogy through the theoretical and practical application of gratitude.

» For more information see the University of Tasmania’s website.

“I expected my teaching strength was always going to be my love of maths/science content and the associated ways of thinking.  I knew that student attitude and teacher-student relationships were important but it was all very vague.  I thought it would just happen naturally.  I don’t think like that any more.  This unit has given me a process structure and credible academic base and lifted what was a misty fog in my mind.  It has given me some solid ground to walk on.   I have experienced deep learning that only comes from ‘doing’ and reflecting.  I now know why gratitude and relationships are important and I know my students will benefit because what I have learnt will naturally flow through to my thoughts, words and actions.  Even if I forget all my learning in every other unit, and I forget all the academic references in the heat of the moment, I know my teaching practice will be better than it would have otherwise been in any classroom situation.”

Feedback from a previous student of Kerry’s online course UTAS ESM 704 – Gratitude in Education

Cover of book Gratitude in Education by Dr Kerry Howells