Happiness in Education
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Education should aim at happiness; however, the achievement of happiness cannot solely depend on teaching about it (White 3). In life, we prosper through experiencing prosperity. Similarly, education should take place in the environment which encourages happiness. This means that the teachers need to be satisfied with their job in particular and their way of life in general in order to construct a productive learning environment.
Learning environment needs keen attention in order to facilitate happiness in education. It is the environment that provides an opportunity for learners to experience the atmosphere of hospitality, openness and boundless opportunities. The teacher and the learner need to create a healthy environment by eliminating everything that can jeopardize the learning process; hence, happiness. The destructors may include obstructive feelings, words with no meaning, or pressure to produce results. The individuals need to exercise openness in the learning environment; however, this has to be defined within the strong boundaries. The learners need to feel they are getting through the learning process and are not confused. Without proper attention, learning can become painful with negative outcomes. To avoid such situations, the learning environment has to be hospitable. Hospitality will enable people within the learning environment to treat each other warmly. This will give an opportunity for the individuals to share their struggles, ideas, and much more, care and openness. Therefore, hospitality enhances happiness in education. The learning environment is filled with individuals who are ready to share their inner feelings, making truth the focus of attention. Openness of the learning environment enables strangers to share their thoughts being sure that their opinions will be accepted.
Shahar talks about the two models that motivate students to learn. These are the drowning and the lovemaking models (83). The drowning model shows that students, who do not enjoy school, force themselves to learn in order to avoid failure. At the end of the term, they feel relieved from books and confuse their freedom with happiness. However, the lovemaking model gives a different perspective on learning (84). The model ensures that the learning process is enjoyable, and the learner gets satisfaction from every step of it. The teachers though need to believe that happiness is essential in education. This requires parents to support the aspirations of their children, even though they might be different from their desires. This ensures that the children follow their own paths of success that ultimately leads to happiness.
Pepellashi disagrees with the fact that education should be pursued with the purpose of getting a job. She argues that such view is not only restrictive but can also turn out to be tragic. Pepellashi claims that the Jefferson’s model of education should have provided more satisfaction to individuals. He believed that education should enhance the intellectual freedom. The current system of education, adopted from the Prussian system, prepares individuals to be faithful workers. It does not consider Jefferson’s concept that takes into account individuals’ personal development. This has made learners choose careers depending on the market requirement rather than on their own preferences. People, therefore, blindly follow what is required by authorities, instead of pursuing careers that will bring satisfaction to their lives. The situation is worsened by the society, which still encourages individuals to obey the authority unconditionally.
As argued by Pepellashi, education should investigate the human nature and the definition of oneself first, before introducing the possible careers. This will give an opportunity to individuals to choose careers that suit their interests. The new conceptualization of education will enable individuals to lead a happy and fulfilling life. They would also respect authority while upholding the highest human values.
David Crabtree claims that specialized education is the key towards happy and fulfilling career. He advocates for great books as the solution for career development and productive future. On the contrary, many people believe that the great books in college are not practical in the real world. Crabtree is convinced that the modern education is focused on providing skills and knowledge tailored for the job market. He believes that the changing world requires an education system that puts individuals’ needs before career development. Crabtree also compares the high pace at which the world is changing to the development of computer software, layoffs at the workplace, and changes in the field of medicine amongst many others. The recent developments are also pushing people out of employment due to their out-of-date training. The revelations show that no occupation is secure with a likelihood of the conditions getting worse in future.
Crabtree suggests that learners need to widen the scope of their undergraduate studies to accommodate the unpredictability of the future. The learning process has to be generalized to include transferable skills that will increase flexibility of a worker in the changing job market. The education based on the great books seeks to utilize more resources, which will be advantageous in the long run. The small size of the classes facilitates an increased level of individual attention. Thus, the learners are able to discuss their personal concerns. As a result, people live wisely and experience more satisfaction in life.
Daniel Bruno agrees that students who get high grades for little effort may end up being cheated in the long run. This happens because they are likely to fail in operating at the workplace due to their weak knowledge. Another point of the debate concerns the individuals who cannot rely on their intelligence at work unless they have the strong knowledge. Intelligence helps to collect the knowledge required for a given work. However, education system should identify the potential of individual learners. This will ensure the effectiveness of the learning process, which in turn will result in more happiness in life.
It is common knowledge that happiness constitutes best homes and schools (Martin 12). The people who run the best homes and schools recognize it as being one of the aims of education and life. Happiness serves as both means and ends in all situations. If children understand the true meaning of it, hey will remain satisfied and seize educational opportunities with enjoyment. This will make them to contribute to the happiness of others, as this feeling is contagious. Children who are happy to be learning in school will make their teachers happy as well. The happiness in education ends up making the whole world better. The cultivation of happiness in the young minds will remain engraved later in adulthood.
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