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, psychologist, researcher, author, and trainer to her work.

Over the years, Dr. O'Grady focused her work on helping educators better understand and promote the neuro-affective aspects of learning and accomplishment. She 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 with an emphasis on preventative mental health.

Dr. O'Grady's recent book, Positive Psychology in the Elementary School Classroom, published by W. W. Norton & Company (2013), is a manual for teachers who want to join the positive psychology classroom movement. She focuses on the promise and practice of positive psychology to transcend obselete practices and to transform teaching and learning.

Dr. O'Grady also writes frequently for academic journals and is a popular speaker. Most recently, she has presented her work most recently at the Learning and Brain Conference (2014) in San Francisco, the World Congress on Positive Psychology in Orlando (2015), and the International Positive Education Festival in Dallas (2016).

Dr. O'Grady earned her PhD in education and psychology at the University of Maryland, College Park, her masters work was at San Jose in clinical psychology,  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), the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA), and honor societies including Alpha Sigma Nu, Psi Chi, and Kappa Delta Pi. She has received numerous awards for her work.

Dr. O'Grady's passion is training teachers to be joyful in their work, her greatest accomplisment is raising her two adult children who thrived despite her lack of knowledge, and her greatest hope is all of her 2-year old grandaughter's future teachers will be positive psychology teachers. In her spare time, she enjoys watching the boats pass by her window and looking at the world from the inside out.

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.

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