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Developing Well-Being and Capabilities as a Goal of Higher Education: A Thought-Piece on Educating the Whole Student

Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)

Abstract

The role of well-being in higher education has received increased attention from both researchers and practitioners in recent years. In this thought piece, we argue that a eudaemonic well-being approach represents an important lens through which to examine well-being in the educational context. Moreover, such an approach is consistent with the progressive school of thought in educational theory and child-centered approaches to teaching and learning. A wide range of traits, skills and abilities that arguably count as eudaemonic youth outcomes are currently designated by education researchers as important “non-academic” outcomes. These have been labeled “character”, “character virtue development”, “social emotional learning”, “pro-social behavior”, “positive youth development”, “learning mindsets and skills”, “capacity for accomplishment”, “thriving”, “non-cognitive skills” and “personal success skills”. We review a number of relevant eudaemonic approaches and research findings relevant to education, and offer suggestions for how an educational system that has as its goal the expansion of eudaemonic well-being—depending on how well-being is defined—can contribute to a more just society and world.

Keywords

  • Happiness
  • Well-being
  • Eudaimonia
  • Education

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Jayawickreme, E., Dahill-Brown, S.E. (2016). Developing Well-Being and Capabilities as a Goal of Higher Education: A Thought-Piece on Educating the Whole Student. In: Vittersø, J. (eds) Handbook of Eudaimonic Well-Being. International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-42445-3_31

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