Happiness and well-being
The course is based on the book Learning to Ride Elephants by Ian Morris, published by Continuum Books. Ian Morris is a psychologist who has developed and has been teaching the course named Well-being in Wellington College (High School) in England since 2006.
This is what he says about the course:
At face value, deciding to teach happiness and well-being seems bold, but in many senses, it is an obvious and some might argue fundamental requirement in a schools educational provision. Our course has a very simple aim: to promote the flourishing and excellence of the young people at Wellington. Instead of focusing on disaster prevention, we educate about how our students might capitalise upon their human resources and make the best of their potential.
Well-being is defined by the Government Office for Science Foresight Report as a dynamic state, in which the individual is able to develop their potential, work productively and creatively, build strong and positive relationships with others, and contribute to their community. It is enhanced when an individual is able to fulfil their personal and social goals and achieve a sense of purpose in their society.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence on the causal factors around happiness and well-being, which can then be applied in work with individuals and institutions. Having a better understanding of how to increase the likelihood of happiness with life, and how to channel the emotional pains of set-backs en route, are the sort of skills that can substantially improve an individuals progress.
Previous research has shown, for example, that becoming involved in challenging and absorbing activities is important to peoples ability to cope better with life. As a successful independent boarding and day school which focuses on an all-round education, Wellington already offers its pupils a wide range of such activities.
Our course is based on 6 elements which serve to promote well-being:
Perspective (developing a psychological immune system)
The world (living sustainably)
Meaning and purpose
During our meetings in High School No 5 we will follow Moriss curriculum and cover the following areas:
1 Care of the body
-caring for our emotions
-dealing with stress
2 Care of the mind
-putting things in perspective
-the mind diet, the philosophers mind
-the moral mind
3 Care of others
-listening and being present
-naive realism, judgement, kindness, trust
4 Care of our passions
-strengthspotting, character strengths
-impediments to our passions: extrinsic motivation, the fixed
5 Care of our place in the world
-consumerism and emotions, ethical consumption
-habitual and the hedonic treadmill
-choice, delaying gratification
-virtue and technology, technology and remembering our humanity
If you are interested, join us and learn how to be happy
We meet on Thursdays at 3.50 p.m. in Classroom 10.
Everyone is welcome!
prof. Ewa Pałka