There’s a lot of pressure on young adults to “discover their passions” and “live lives of purpose.” Why? Because we want you to be happy and whole, which are states of being that have to be cultivated. Positive psychology is the scientific study of what makes life most worth living (Peterson, 2008), so understanding the traits and actions that lead to well-being and fulfillment are the focus of this class. Students collaboratively explore the outcomes of behaviors such as learned helplessness and learned optimism so that they can identify practices that build resilience, compassion, and gratitude, and they have opportunities to research nuanced topics in the positive psychology literature and design activities that connect theory to lived experience.
WHAT STUDENTS SAY
Happiness: The Psychology of What Makes Life Worth Living is a new course for 20/21 school year at One Schoolhouse. To read what students have said about other One Schoolhouse courses, visit our What Students Say webpage!
WHAT STUDENTS DO
Learning is an active process at One Schoolhouse. Students design, create and apply. And, they engage with classmates and connect with their teachers through discussions, video conferences, and projects. Specifically, in this class students will:
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE SECOND SEMESTER?
Students wishing to pursue a positive psychology project may enroll in the course for the full year. For students continuing into Semester II, the course shifts into personalized, project-based work, where students engage in deep, sustained inquiry, authentic and iterative research, critical analysis, and rigorous reflection, revision, and assessment as they journey through a self-designed, long-term activism, design or research project on the topic of their choosing. Guided by a One Schoolhouse teacher, students pursue individual study/self-assessment or collaborative seminar/peer-review. Pathway options from which students choose include:
Upon completion of their inquiry-driven project, students will have gained academic maturity and expanded their ability to engage in a diverse and changing world. They will be able to draw and defend conclusions from theoretical underpinnings, contextual background, and mathematical analysis or source evaluation. Finally, they will have created and tested something useful of their own design or will be able to defend a position based on their own research. Check out the video below to hear from the facilitators and learn more about your seminar project!
One Schoolhouse is fully accredited with the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges through December 1, 2025; we are an approved online publisher for the University of California.
Social Sciences Teacher
AB Middlebury College
MEd Boston University
MA Vermont College