The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Generating Zest and Blocking Zest Killers in the School Classroom

George Kokolas, Express Publishing (Greece)


Zest is one of the virtues under the Character Strength of Courage, as it appears in the framework defined by Peterson and Seligman. Zest is about living your life with high vitality levels and participating in it as fully as possible. Dweck also emphasizes zest as a pivotal driver for cultivating a growth mindset in an educational context, applicable to teachers and learners. Despite its significance, Niemec notes that zest is globally perceived as "the least endorsed of the character strengths," susceptible to inhibition by various factors in personal and educational settings. Again, according to Niemec, “zest generation” looks like a binary unique process that requires spotting the tasks or activities that bring more enthusiasm to a person and also stopping any possible reasons that may be obstacles to maximising zest. This paper aims to conceptualise the presence or absence of zest in a school setting, explore its impact on academic performance and enthusiasm for learning, and how this may affect school performance or even lack of enthusiasm for learning. The author will delineate several reasons students might lack zest during a class and propose positive interventions to create practical contexts conducive to fostering vitality for learning.


Zest, character strengths,positive education, love of learning


[1] Peterson,C.,& Seligman,M.E.P.(2004),Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification, New York, NY: Oxford University Press/ Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

[2] Niemec M.,(2018),Character Strengths Interventions-A Field Guide for Practitioners, Czech Republic, Hogrefe Publishing

[3] Niemec M.,& McGrath E.,(2019), The Power of Character Strengths,U.S.A, VIA Institute of Character

[4] Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House



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