Monday, 14 May 2007

Despite everything research suggests that we are no happier now than we were 50 years ago...

In his book 'Authentic Happiness' Martin Seligman argues that happiness is not the result of good genes or good luck and that we can teach people to be happy by cultivating and using many of the strengths and traits colleagues possess including kindness, originality, humour, optimism and generosity. by identifying the very best in ourselves Seligman argues that we can improve the world around us and achieve new and sustainable levels of commitment, contentment and meaning.

Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-being Programme in the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics, argues that the key to success is to give higher priority to promoting better human relationships. He believes that the revolution to build character should be a major aim in every school with expert teachers of PSHE for whom that is their full-time mission and passion. Richard argues that PSHE is an extraordinarily difficult subject to teach but that we increasingly know what works and what does not. PSHE teaching must be based increasingly on evidence based research about what changes children and young people and what does not!

Both Martin Seligmana dn Ricahrd Layard use the example of the Penn Resiliency Programme in Pennsylvania which focuses on children understanding their own emotions and caring for others. I am not saying that this programme is the answer but it has had incredible outcomes and you can find out more at

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