Lindsey Godwin, Pragmatic Optimist, Firm Believer In Positive Education

This Shout Out goes to Lindsey Godwin, Professor (and Endowed Chair of Management) in the Robert P. Stiller School of Business, as well as the 2018 recipient of the Edward Phelps Lyman Professorship award. She is also the Academic Director of Champlain’s David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and a firm believer in Positive Education.

Lindsey Godwin standing in front of the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry. © Ryan Bent Photo, class of ’06

“I have never met an educator who did not want their students to flourish. Positive Education is not a new idea, rather it is a return to the fundamental values of education. At its heart, Positive Education simply acknowledges that we learn best not when we are solely focused on content mastery, but when we incorporate our learner’s well-being and flourishing into the learning process.”

From Green Mountain Coffee Roasters to the United Nations, from Florida to Nepal, Godwin has consulted with a wide variety of audiences in order to foster positive social change around the world through the Appreciative Inquiry school of thought.

We wanted to know what crucial question we can ask ourselves to change our own lives:

“Most of us are great at asking questions that help us understand the past, such as ‘How come this didn’t work?’ or ‘How did something happen?’ To create more of what you actually want, consider asking the future-oriented question: ‘How might we …?’ This question allows us to imagine anything is possible—we simply need to figure out how.”

When she isn’t teaching, Godwin likes to hang out with her kids, try new restaurants with her husband, and daydream about her students’ success in their future endeavors to make the world a better place.

Want to learn more about other initiatives on campus like the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry? Check out the rest of Champlain’s Centers of Experience!

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