Workshops & Talks

"Thomas W. Nielsen ECPP Presentation" by Jennifer Ma © 2014.
“Dr. Thomas W. Nielsen presenting at the European Conference of Positive Psychology (2014)” by Jennifer Ma © 2014.

Schools and organisations regularly contact Dr. Nielsen to host professional development workshops and talks aimed at improving staff and/or student wellbeing. Examples of some of Dr. Nielsen’s workshops can be found below.


Positive Behaviour Management and Pedagogy (2 or 5 hours) (Teacher Quality Institute approved)

Student behaviour management and support continue to be a challenge in schools across Australia, and it is now widely recognised through evidence-based research that programs that emphasise preventative and restorative practices over punitive ones are more successful in creating positive learning environments and improving staff and student wellbeing (Durlak, J. A., et al., 2011; Seligman, 2002). This program provides a synthesis of what we know from research and provides practical examples of how to improve student behaviour management and support, which in turn can improve staff wellbeing and reduce burnout and attrition rates (Lovat, et al., 2009).

Module 1: synthesis of evidence-based research supporting preventative and restorative over punitive behaviour management models and strategies.

Module 2: exemplars of applied practice of evidence-based models and strategies, including role-play and group work activities for participants to experience and consolidate understandings.

Module 3: Conclusions and way forward. Synthesis of day, together with research possibilities for documenting new practices.


Curriculum of giving for student and staff wellbeing and engagement (2 or 5 hours) (Teacher Quality Institute approved)

This program combines theory and practice, research and action, in order for education to be most effective in all its objectives.

By engaging with the latest research evidence available and in related practical activities, we will investigate why giving to others seem to be the most healthy thing that we can do as humans, making us healthier, happier and even live longer. It is an investigation that yields surprising results in terms of how we may best live our lives as individuals – and which in turn has profound implications for how we raise and teach children and adolescents. Giving to others, in turns out, is one of the best predictors of increasing not only communal and individual wellbeing in the classroom, but also academic diligence and success.

Module 1
– Larger context (problems with wellbeing and engagement in children and young people in the western world)
– New science of wellbeing (research on giving, altruism, social concern, and their health benefits, individually and collectively)
– Conceptualizing a new paradigm (addressing the findings to education and the need for a new, more holistic paradigm and curriculum in education)

Module 2
– Practical application and examples (sharing of research on the giving curriculum in ACT schools, consolidating and exemplifying theoretical foundations)

Module 3
– Going forward (helping the particular setting/ organization with how they can move forward and put into practice some of the ideas shared today).


If you are interested in holding a workshop or talk at your institution, please email: thomas.nielsen@canberra.edu.au