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The Value Of Sharing Positive Events

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I’ve previously posted about my classroom practice of having students share good things that have happened to them during the week (see Can Having Students Tell About Positive Events In Their Lives Impact The Classroom?). In that post, I shared studies that had documented the positive impact that practice has on people who are in a relationship, and I wrote about how my personal experience led me to believe it could also help other relationships — like the ones in my classroom.

Well, this month a study has been published that shows just that:

…that sharing good news with others increases the perceived value of those events, especially when others respond enthusiastically, and that enthusiastic responses to shared good news promote the development of trust and a prosocial orientation toward the other. These studies found consistent support for these effects across both interactions with strangers and in everyday close relationships.

I also learned that this process is called “capitalization” which, I assume, comes from the idea of this practice building social capital.

Based on this study, one change I will be making is having students ask the partner with whom they’re sharing at least one question. That often happens, anyway, but I think institutionalizing it will make sure it does, and maybe help with communicating some “enthusiasm.”

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

One Comment

  1. I love this idea. I find that when we open the classroom discussion, kids love to share about their lives. I think in our busy, overloaded days we get tempted to quiet those conversations and move on to “curriculum.” Which is so sad… relationships have to come before learning and by celebrating each other’s success and special events, we can build a great foundation for learning.

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