Happiness in democratic schools and… Switzerland
HAPPINESS PROSPERS IN DEMOCRACY
ABSTRACT. An econometric analysis of a happiness function, based on a survey
of 6,000 persons in Switzerland, indicates that:
(1) the more developed the institutions of direct democracy, the happier the individuals
(2) people derive procedural utility from the possibility of participating in the direct
democratic process over and above a more favorable political outcome;
(3) the unemployed are much less happy than the employed, independent of income;
(4) higher income is associated with higher levels of happiness.
Sorry, I’m not talking about Fuji Kindergartern
I’m talking about Sudbury Valley School.
Except it’s not just a kindergarten. It’s also a pre-school, elementary school, middle school, junior high and high school.
I’ve started a “Negative attitudes about school” youtube playlist. If you know of any videos to add to my list, let me know! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgujPLkhFHkxu3-ZhfaunkGIH9TdqBsD7
This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of how my kids feel about school. But that’s because they go to http://sudval.org/ . Instead they are:
1. Happy when school starts in September.
2. Sad when it stops in June.
3. A bit bummed when there is a snow day.
Sure they enjoy a fun dumping of snow every now and then, but generally they really like going to school because they get to do their own thing for 5 or 6 hours without their parents bugging them. Not that we bug them much at home, but kids like to do their own thing. Even 4-year-olds!
“We learn to think by thinking. We think even as small children, amazingly, without the help of algebra or art history. What happens is that people stop kids from thinking by telling them the truth and failing to have conversations with them that might challenge their beliefs or force them to defend their ideas. We learn to think through intellectual engagement and intellectual combat, not through indoctrination.”
— Roger Schank
“Schools will probably eventually wither away. In the meantime, for safety reasons and because the adult world is still so crabby about children, we’ve got to create environments in which kids can grow up. The only environment that makes sense now is one where we treat them the way we treat adults where we let them be free, where we let them pursue happiness and give them liberty, where we let them figure out what they want to do, what their life dream is at any given age, whether they’re 4 or 8 or 16, and where we treat them as equals.”
— Daniel Greenberg, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”
“We’ve got one of the most ridiculous and paradoxical ideas at large in modern society – is this idea of work-life balance. In other words, you can be a success at work, and you can be a success at home with your family. … The bad news for listeners is that you can’t.” — ALAIN DE BOTTON
and click the audio link (not the video)
or transcript here: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=240782763
“DE BOTTON: You know, there’s a problem because – well, you know, as anyone who’s ever tried to do anything well and wholeheartedly knows, there’s only so many hours in the day. So we have to make some choices. What do we want to be successful at, and as? Do we want to be a successful parent? Do we want to be successful financially or in terms of reputation, or in terms of changing the world or – you know, there are many, many criteria. And I think we’re not given enough of a guidance by our schools, families, the surrounding environment, at the idea that there’s going to have to be a choice around that word “successful.” So don’t get me wrong. I’m not against success. It’s very important to strive to be successful. But before you do that, I think it’s even more important to try and tighten up the definition of what success might be for you ’cause it’s unlikely to be something that will be, you know, a one-size-fits-all.”