UWS is situated in one of the highest urban Indigenous population regions in Australia. Indigenous Australians are the most disadvantaged Australians on all socio-economic indicators and are the most educationally disadvantaged Australians. National reports and all Australian governments have for decades acknowledged that Indigenous people are significantly educationally disadvantaged and participate less in educationcompared to the rest of the population.
Given that educational outcomes predicate success in life opportunities, this issue is of dire national concern. This research program capitalises on new advances in theory, research, and practice to strengthen Indigenous Studies and build the research capability of Indigenous researchers. CPPE defines Indigenous Education as both: Optimising the capacity and capability of Indigenous people and communities; and educating all Australians to recognise Indigenous cultures and knowledge as being of equal validity to non-Indigenous cultures and to secure Indigenous Australia in the frame of reference of mainstream Australia.
Program Head: Professor Rhonda Craven. A hallmark of the Centre for Positive Psychology and Education is a commitment to substantive-methodological synergy. Complex issues require strong methodology; methodological developments are stronger when stimulated by real substantive issues. Bringing the two together creates a powerful synergy. Lamenting the systematic failure of much applied research in education, psychology, and the social sciences more generally to capitalise on exciting new methodological developments, Marsh and Hau argued that substantive-methodological synergies bring together research into important complex issues and sophisticated methodology appropriate to the task.
CPPE capitalises on cutting-edge methodological developments to address complex substantive issues with theoretical, practical, and policy implications. Such developments not only continue to maintain the status of CPPE researchers as leaders of the world research paradigms, but also facilitate a strong link with the other five themes that will create strong ripple effects on the quality of research in each theme.
Traditional focus of several important branches of psychology — for example, clinical psychology, forensic psychology — has been on trying to understand and modify behaviour indicative of mental health problems and readiness to break the accepted social norms. Although early notions of positive psychology claimed such a negative deficit focus was too post-hoc for example, cure rather than prevention , it has since been recognised that the antecedents of maladaptive behaviours and cognitions must be understood to promote resiliency and an adaptive transition into more positive functioning.
That it is increasingly being recognised that the likes of violent behaviour, radicalization, hate, racism, discrimination, anxiety, and depression may even co-exist with more popular positive psychology constructs, the complex interplay between positivity and negativity must be more carefully understood with regards to their dynamic interactions with life satisfaction, diversity, and wellbeing. CPPE will study all these emotions and cognitions by including them within a broader framework of militant extremist mindset MEM , cross-cultural psychology, and education.
Since there are pronounced cross-cultural differences in MEM as well as on measures personality, social attitudes, values and social norms, it will be possible to compare subgroups within Australia with respect to both positive and negative emotions. It will also be possible to compare Australian data with data collected in other countries. This information will be of use to policy makers and can lead to the development of intervention procedures to prevent and modify a wide range of maladaptive behaviour.
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