Happiness curriculum aims at making students lifelong learners, says Sisodia – education
“The happiness curriculum is not a ‘values education class’ that preaches moral values to students. Instead, it focuses on developing the mindset of students to embrace the values in their everyday attitude and behavior, ”said Delhi Senior Deputy Minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia in an online panel discussion conducted by Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).
Sisodia was invited as a guest speaker at an online panel discussion on the ‘systematic socio-emotional learning’ of the happiness curriculum by the Harvard School of Education (HGSE) during its international education week to celebrate the successful implementation of the ‘happiness classes’ in the Delhi government schools.
Speaking on the occasion, Sisodia further said that the Delhi government wanted to design a curriculum for students that would prepare them to become lifelong learners.
The panel included Professor Fernando Reimers, Ford Foundation professor of international education practice at HGSE, Dr. Anil Teotia, chair of the Happiness Committee, and Richa Gupta, co-founder of the Labhya Foundation, who moderated the discussion.
“I am just a politician who thinks that education is the only way to reform society and I believe that politicians should work as facilitators of education through better education,” Sisidia said. He further said that education, globally, is being used to fill unemployment gaps and reduce poverty, but it still does not address more human problems facing society.
“Until now, successful educational models around the world have produced professionally strong people, but not emotionally strong people. The happiness curriculum works to build a safe and holistic mindset towards caste, creed and religion so that students become more self-aware and open to each other, ”said Sisodia.
The discussion further examined the understanding of the need for socio-emotional learning (SEL) programs in systems around the world.
Sisodia said: “The happiness curriculum provides the toolkit for children to scientifically observe and understand their emotions. It is the science of emotions because once students are able to understand and recognize their emotions well, they will grow to become better human beings ”.
“The role of the happiness curriculum becomes fundamental in the development of the mentality of students and teachers in the adoption of these ethical values in their behavior. Students must be prepared when they leave school ready to live in the world as lifelong learners, ”Sisodia said.
Professor Reimer said: “In a world that is changing very rapidly with an uncertain future with this pandemic as a reminder, it is important to question the deeper purposes of schools and education.” He added that it is important for educators to help students develop a sense of agency, ethics and compassion for others, and happiness plays an equally important role in this.