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Wellbeing and Schools: Exploring the Normative Dimensions

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Rethinking Youth Wellbeing

Abstract

This chapter develops a critical analysis of wellbeing as an educational aim. While the goals of schooling have become increasingly concerned with the promotion of wellbeing, the philosophical dimensions of such a move remain largely unexplored. This chapter examines the relationship between wellbeing and schooling, drawing attention to some implicit normative dimensions. It does so through an analysis of educational aims in Australia as well as the normative claims that buttress the contemporary focus on wellbeing. This analysis prompts consideration of whether wellbeing represents an acceptable goal for schooling. Further, it questions how wellbeing might compete or align with a range of other educative and social goals and agendas. These include not only the achievement of academic outcomes, but also a variety of other important educational goals, such as equity, citizenship, economic prosperity and social cohesion. In exploring these issues, the chapter seeks to contribute to both the conceptualization of wellbeing in educational settings and longstanding debates about the purposes of formal schooling.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Mr. Antoine Mangion for his excellent research assistance in the preparation of this chapter.

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Correspondence to Amy Chapman .

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Chapman, A. (2015). Wellbeing and Schools: Exploring the Normative Dimensions. In: Wright, K., McLeod, J. (eds) Rethinking Youth Wellbeing. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-188-6_9

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