Educating for happiness is about starting with the end in mind. What is our ultimate goal as individuals and as a society? What is it that we want most in life?
Whilst the extent to which there can be an agreed upon end goal common to all humanity is questionable, I propose that you would be hard pressed to find someone who said they didn’t want the following trait for themselves or their next of kin. The trait? Happiness.
I am not trying to claim that there is a universal definition of what happiness is, and I am most certainly not suggesting that happiness is the same for all people or that it is obtained through the same channels, I am merely posing the notion that people at their core want to be their own version of happy.
Assuming this to be true, and acknowledging that a formal education is, in our context, an inescapable part of life’s journey, as an educator I wonder what some successful strategies for schools might be, in ensuring that a child’s time at school is spent consciously and intentionally working towards the ultimate end goal of being happy. What barriers might schools face in achieving this, and how might those barriers might be overcome?
In this blog, I hope to begin unpacking the ultimate backwards plan. I will start with the end in mind and attempt to articulate an educational philosophy that uses that utilizes the notion “everybody wants to be happy” as a central driver in all decision making processes.
Over the next few posts I plan to explore the following…
- The process of backwards planning
- Some of the ways in which people define happiness?
- Exploring research around what makes people happy.