The aims and content of the Well-Being Curriculum
The broad aim of the Well-Being Curriculum is to enhance happiness. This is achieved through a set of smaller objectives, which include: understanding the factors that contribute to happiness; development of stable authentic self-esteem (sometimes also referred to as self-worth); development of an optimistic attitude, of a sense of control and of hope; and cultivating good relationships, as well as wider social commitments. Well-Being Curriculum is compatible with SEAL (Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning requirements)
The content of the Well-Being Curriculum is firmly grounded in the research findings on happiness. Thus, for example, a significant proportion of the curriculum is devoted to relationships, which are known to be the best predictor of well-being. All three basic psychological needs: competence, autonomy and relatedness (satisfaction of which is essential for happiness) are addressed. Students are also introduced to the notion of flow – an optimal experience of deep engagement, when a high challenge is met with an appropriately high skill.
The Well-Being Curriculum is adaptable to easily suit the needs of each particular educational institution. Although twenty two 1-hour lessons are suggested (see the next page), the number and content of sessions can be modified depending on available time and resources.
The Well-Being Curriculum in the classroom
The Well-Being Curriculum is applicable for primary and secondary school pupils and for students in post-compulsory education. It can also be used in adult groups and for recreational, in addition to educational, purposes.
The curriculum can be delivered through a variety of methods, including direct teaching, group discussions, individual and pairs-based work. Teachers and facilitators will become familiar with a battery of self-assessment measures, that would allow them and/or students to evaluate their happiness levels, discover their signature strengths and evaluate other characteristics. Depending on age, this data can be used to monitor one’s own progress through the course.
Pupils are introduced to a variety of activities and techniques, designed to enhance well-being, including keeping a “thank you” diary and disputing catastrophic thinking. Active enquiry is encouraged through carrying out practical research projects, e.g. an interview study on what does and does not make people happy. This project will undoubtedly raise questions such as whether money contributes to one’s well-being.
THE WELL-BEING CURRICULUM
01. What is happiness? Different facets of happiness.
02. What doesn’t make us happy?
03. What makes people happy?
04. Feeling good (positive emotions)
05. Managing negative emotions
06. Happy body (relaxation, exercise, balance, care)
07. Accepting yourself, others and the situation
08. Feeling good about yourself (self-worth and self-esteem)
09. Knowing what you are good at (character strengths)
10. Feeling competent
11. The power of enough (maximising versus optimising)
12. Feeling in control (developing internal locus of control)
15. Knowing what and knowing why (motivation and autonomy)
16. Being in flow
17. Saying thank you
18. Happy relationships
19. Good friends
20. The facets of love
21. Helping others
22. Happy school and community
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