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Peggy Kern

Associate Professor, Centre for Positive Psychology, The University of Melbourne

Dr Peggy Kern is an associate professor at the Centre for Positive Psychology within the University of Melbourne's Graduate School of Education. Originally trained in social, personality, and developmental psychology, Peggy received her undergraduate degree in psychology from Arizona State University, a Masters and Ph.D. in social/personality psychology from the University of California and postdoctoral training in positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on understanding, measuring, and supporting wellbeing across the lifespan. She works with schools and workplaces to examine strategies for supporting wellbeing, and bridging gaps between research and practice.  She has worked with many of the leaders across the positive psychology field. In 2016, she founded the International Positive Psychology Association’s Education division, and developed and leads the Professional Certificate in Positive Education at Melbourne University. You can find out more about Peggy’s work at

>Masterclass: Cultivating Connection through Chaos

As human beings, we have a deep need to connect with others. For students and educators, school belonging – a sense of being connected with, a part of, and dedicated to one’s school – plays an important role in supporting wellbeing and performance. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a growing number of young people reported struggles to belong. The COVID-19 pandemic has further disrupted connections with ourselves, our schools, and with the world. Opportunities for connection during these times require new ways of thinking so we can strengthen and build our connections. This masterclass will consider why connection and belonging matter, highlight factors that impact upon a sense of belonging, and offer ideas on how to creatively cultivate connection through times of both stability and chaos.

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