Gratitude in education

11 September, 2016

Chinese students practising gratitude in Australian boarding schools

The Masters of Teaching student from mainland China mentioned in my previous blog – who I gave the pseudonym Nancy – also related how she is trying to help her students practise gratitude in culturally appropriate ways. Nancy has a job in a school boarding house where she offers pastoral care and language teaching support to international students. She was concerned that most students who come from mainland China had not been taught by their parents how to verbalise gratitude, and so she often felt that she was teaching them about this as a parent would teach a young child who […]
5 September, 2016

Gratitude in the context of Chinese international students

Gratitude is so important to the way we communicate that if we don’t express it in culturally meaningful ways, major misunderstandings can occur. I believe that teaching international students how to express gratitude is really important if they are to assimilate well into society, and equally so it is important for those who are teaching these students to understand how to express gratitude to them. In her wonderful book The Gift of Thanks: The Roots and Rituals of Gratitude, social anthropologist Margaret Visser explores the French word for gratitude, which is reconnaissance – to recognise. When we recognise another for […]
4 September, 2016

Can we teach gratitude online?

I used to find it impossible to imagine how you could teach gratitude in an online environment. Of course, if we are to consider the teaching of gratitude as just a list of strategies and definitions, or something that can be packaged up as content, then to transfer this to an online environment is easy. But my approach advocates that the person who is teaching gratitude does so, not only through the subject matter or words, but also through their own ‘inner attitude’ of gratitude that they transmit to their students. A teacher’s own conscious practise of gratitude – particularly […]
2 September, 2016

What does a gratitude practice look like?

I would like to share with you a story that was sent to me by a participant in one of my workshops on gratitude in education. The story moved me not only because of the impact that the teacher written about had on so many but also because his wide-spread reputation was based on his practice of gratitude. Over forty years ago I was teaching at a boys’ boarding school, at Maritzburg College in Pietermaritzburg (Natal) South Africa. I had just started teaching and was assigned a very well-loved and respected teacher as my mentor. He was the most popular […]