By Luke McKenna


For students to thrive and achieve their personal best, they require a growth mindset, grit and wellbeing. Thrive draws on the best currently available evidence from the fields of psychology, education and neuroscience and relates it in practical ways for educators. If you are interested in assisting the development of young people and helping them to thrive, this book is for you.

“Thrive is an outstanding read for every parent and educator wanting their students to flourish. Simple and yet profound, both challenging and affirming. This book combines extensive research with the experiences of a successful educator who has runs on the board. Highly recommended.”
— Daniel McShea, Principal- Columba Catholic College.

If you would rather buy a hard copy of THRIVE: Unlocking the truth about student performance, click here.


“Positive education shows great promise for applying the science of positive psychology within education to help students thrive. However, too often research and practice are disconnected. Good research fails to transcend the walls of academia, while educators draw on practices that lack a strong scientific foundation. This book expertly bridges the two, in an approachable, easy-to-read manner. The ideas presented are well grounded in solid scientific scholarship, while providing practical ways to apply that scholarship within the school. I’d highly recommend this book to educators looking to implement scientifically-grounded strategies with their students. “
— Dr Peggy Kern, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Positive Psychology- University Of Melbourne
“Thrive is a highly engaging and practical tool for educators. Luke’s work is thoroughly researched, providing evidence for the often thought ‘inklings’ we, as educators, suspect in our own contexts. This body of work provides educators with the confidence to empower colleagues and hence their students to not only be successful in making improvements but to thrive as a life-long process. Luke’s efficacy as an educator himself is greatly evident – so too is his passion for sharing his research and experiences with others. I can thoroughly recommend Thrive as an intellectually stimulating resource which will sit prominently and well-thumbed on any educators’ desk.”
— Catherine Thompson, Principal, Trinity College.

“As principal of a primary school, I have been concerned for a number of years of the mental blocks that students develop which inhibit their learning. In this book, McKenna draws upon the latest research about how we learn and presents an informative and practical guide on how social emotional learning contributes greatly to improving student learning. It is a ‘must read’ book for all educators and parents who want students to thrive at school. It is also a great book for anyone who wants to get more out of life and make a real positive difference to the people they live and work with. I commend McKenna on drawing a number of important ideas together in this book: Growth Mindset, Grit and Wellbeing. I would highly recommend it for anyone who educates students.”

-      Peter Pashen, Principal, All Saints Primary School.


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“It gives me great pleasure to strongly endorse this outstanding book written by Luke McKenna, who as an experienced educator has tapped into his extensive knowledge of school culture, to provide a clear and constructive narrative about some of the key barriers to students achieving personal excellence and how to address these effectively. What the text conveys is Luke’s passion for making a difference in the lives of young people, which is a common driver for educators across the globe. Teachers and parents can easily fall into the trap of limiting our expectations for students and Luke provides practical advice to address this issue through intelligently reviewing the educational research and highlighting common themes. He has thrown out the challenge to educators to refocus on what really matters and his articulation of the importance of a growth mindset, grit (persistence and resilience) and well-being will resonate with educators. All school leaders want every student in their care to thrive, how best to achieve this is the admirable focus of this work.”

 -      Stephen Webber, Headmaster, Guildford Grammar School.

"Thrive provides us with the tools necessary to unleash potential and enable our students to develop a growth mindset that gives them the much needed confidence to know they can learn new skills and overcome perceived limitations in their learning. This change in mindset is the key to greater personal resilience, which in turn will reduce the prevalence of serious mental health issues which severely inhibits growth. 

Thrive encapsulates Luke’s passion and commitment to improving the lives of our students by helping them to see that they are far more capable than they realise, and highlights the importance of a far broader view of education; one that goes beyond academic education to include vital social and emotional learning which is essential for people to cope in our increasingly complex world.”

-      Steve Centra, Principal, Lumen Christi College.


 “Passion, dedication and persistence are evident in children who are best able to cultivate their intelligence and talents. This text presents both a credible summary of the science behind guiding children to thrive, and also a range of practical strategies to help parents and teachers assist children on their life journey. This book is about understanding and application and particularly turning proven theory in proven practice.”

-      Dr Ken Avenell, Principal Education Officer – Professional Learning, Formation and Leadership, Brisbane Catholic Education.