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ERIC Number: EJ1137871
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
"Happiness Education": A Pedagogical-Political Commitment
Guilherme, Alex; Souza de Freitas, Ana Lucia
Policy Futures in Education, v15 n1 p6-19 Jan 2017
The topic of "happiness education" has received considerable attention in recent years in educational discourse, not just in academia but also in the public sphere. This movement understands that there is a "widespread incidence of psychological harm caused by damage to the child's sense of self-worth" (Smith (2008) "The long slide to happiness." "Journal of Philosophy of Education" 42(3-4): 560), including damage done by the educational system, and as a response to this, it seeks to make use of "happiness education" to repair this damage. In the light of this, some commentators, such as Smith (2008), Suissa ((2008) "Lessons from a new science? On teaching happiness in schools." "Journal of Philosophy of Education" 42(3-4): 575-590) and Cigman (2008) have criticised this "science of happiness" as being reductionist and not taking into account the richness of life. We join these commentators in criticising this approach to "happiness education" and refer to Paulo Freire's thought, arguing for a "rich conception of happiness" in education (cf. Cigman (2014) "Happiness rich and poor: Lessons from philosophy and literature." "Journal of Philosophy of Education" 48(2): 308-322). This article is divided into two parts. Firstly, we argue that education should be understood as a political act and put forward a critical view of the simplistic notion of "happiness education". Secondly, we present the topic of "happiness" in the works of Paulo Freire and Georges Snyders, who defended that we must strive for a fuller, richer understanding of "happiness" in education, bringing back the pleasure to teach and to study, and transform educational settings in places that strengthen and encourage "happiness" in our lives, especially of those who suffer outside the school or university.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A