Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version

4-13-2010

Abstract

Children are born in potential as strong and powerful human beings. Their strengths and gifts of character are nurtured by the environment in which they are raised and the caring adults who surround them in their early years. Research demonstrates that the cornerstones of child well-being are positive relationships, nurturing environments, and the image of the child as a capable citizen, thus leading to flourishing adults and communities. However, these relationships and environments need not be limited to the home, but rather should include schools, neighborhoods and organizations where children and parents participate and contribute to building social capital within a community. Statistics indicate that states with higher scores on the Social Capital Index are the same states whose children are flourishing. Therefore, the current research implies that quality early childhood development should inclusively: 1) build on positive relationships 2) incorporate environments that cultivate the strengths of the heart 3) recognize the strengths of children from the moment they are born. By doing so, early childhood development in America will be not only be giving our youngest citizens a head start, but also a heart start.

Keywords

early childhood education, character strengths in young children, heart strengths, teaching character, character development, head start, engaging environment, early childhood development, brain development, preschool education

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Date Posted: 03 May 2012

This document has been peer reviewed.