Patty O'Grady, Ph.D.

Patty O'Grady, Ph.D.

Patty O'Grady, Ph.D. is a Professor at the University of Tampa where she teaches human development courses. She is an expert in the area of neuroscience, emotional learning, and positive psychology with special attention to the educational arena. She brings more than 30 years of experience as a teacher, administrator, researcher, writer, and trainer to her work.

Dr. O'Grady's recent book, Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom, published by W. W. Norton & Company in March 2013, is a manual for teachers who want to join the positive psychology classroom movement. Patty also writes frequently for academic journals and is a popular keynote speaker and trainer. She focuses on the promise and power of positive psychology to transform teaching and learning.

Dr. O'Grady is presenting a workshop at the Coalition of Essential Schools Fall Forum, November 6-9, 2013 in San Francisco. In February 2014, she is a featured speaker at the Learning and Brain Conference in San Francisco, as well as an invited author at the Association of Teacher Education's annual meeting in St. Louis, with book signings at both. 

Over the years, Dr. O'Grady focused her work on helping educators better understand and promote the neuro-affective aspects of learning and accomplishment. Patty is committed to insuring that educators nurture the developmental assets that predict student success, understand the importance of affective learning, and promote the school positive psychology movement.

Dr. O'Grady earned her PhD in education and psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park and her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of San Francisco. She is a member of a number of professional associations including the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), the Association of Supervision & Curriculum Development (ASCD), and honor societies including Alpha Sigma Nu, Psi Chi, and Kappa Delta Pi. She has received numerous awards for her work.

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Author of

Positive Psychology in the Classroom

Old school behavioral approaches teach little more than compliance. Neuro-based postiive psychology strategies are proven to help students increase self-regulation, build engagement through strength, improve relationships, assign meaning, and scaffold accomplishment. The positive psychology teacher does not bifurcate cognitive and affective learning. Instead, in the positive psychology classroom, academic and emotional learning fuse.