Online Workshops


Art & Science of Happiness for Teachers

3 Units
Everyone wants to be happy, or at least we all think we do. But what is happiness? Why do advertisements, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, parents, and teachers all think they know the big answer? We know it when we feel it, and certainly when we don't. We want to maximize it for ourselves and for those we care about. For many people, it is the ultimate aim in life that motivates everything they do. Yet despite our familiarity with the concept, happiness is still difficult to define, hard to measure, and even more troublesome to explain or predict.

This course fronts up to this challenge by exploring the scientific evidence, methods, and models that can be used to investigate happiness and its relation to learning and memory. The course will begin by introducing the major problems of happiness including the personal problems we face in optimizing it in everyday life, the philosophical problem of how to define happiness, and the scientific problems faced by attempts to quantify, model, and explain it. We will be exploring and interrogating recent work in the current field of psychology often referred to as "happiness studies/happiness factor." The course will include the relation to learning in a wide variety of texts, with an emphasis placed on looking at scientific studies and newspaper articles alongside literature (both contemporary and canonical). This course is geared for teachers and their students.