More schools decide to teach happiness

More schools decide to teach happiness

The headmaster of Wellington College, a prestigious Berkshire public school, has made the case for a more holistic approach to teaching school children that incorporates learning how to “live and be happy”.

Writing in the Guardian, Anthony Seldon argues that pushing children to achieve good academic results needs to be balanced out by helping them to make the most of their linguistic, logical, social, personal, spiritual, moral, creative and physical faculties.

He gives three reasons for teaching children these life skills, primarily that they simply may never learn them anywhere else if they are not taught in schools.

Mr Seldon also notes that depression, self-harming and anxiety are on the rise among young people.

He believes that following the “development of the positive psychology movement under Martin Seligman”, there is empirical evidence of the effectiveness of wellbeing teaching in combating these social blights.

Educationalist Alistair Smith backs up this point of view, telling the Yorkshire Post last month that “research shows children with a positive mind learns faster” and suggesting that the values of happiness can be taught.

With their small class sizes and good resources, private schools may be well-equipped to offer this kind of broad approach to learning and teaching.