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Home » Educating For Happiness and Resilience: Dr. Ilona Boniwell (Transcript)

Educating For Happiness and Resilience: Dr. Ilona Boniwell (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Dr. Ilona Boniwell’s talk titled “Educating For Happiness and Resilience” at TEDxHull 2013 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:

TRANSCRIPT:

Hello and welcome. I would like to start this talk by posing a very simple question, which is originally posed by Martin Seligman, who is the father of positive psychology. In two words or less, what would you most want for your children? Think about it and try to answer.

Think as educators, think as teachers, think as parents. What would you most? I think probably the answer will be very simple. The majority of you would say happiness. I would like my children to be happy. Perhaps somebody would say well-being, perhaps somebody would say achievement, but I think happiness would probably win.

And the next question, what do the schools actually teach? And they don’t teach happiness, well really, they teach achievement, yes, they teach thinking skills, yes, they teach conformity, yes, they teach math, English, everything, but not well-being, but not resilience, but not happiness. So there is actually something to do, there is something to do in preparing our kids for life.

If you imagine the future for your kids, what is the future going to look like? This future, do you think they’re going to have a job for life? Chances are not. Do you think they’re going to stay in the same place? Probably not. Do you think they’re going to have periods of unemployment? Probably yes. Do you think they’re going to be absolutely confused at some point in this crazy mad world they’re actually facing? Probably chances are yes.

So how are you, how are we as a system, as a society, as academics, as parents, how are we really preparing our kids for life? What skills can we actually teach them? So I propose that actually what is fundamental is to teach these kids the skills of happiness, the skills of well-being, and the skills of resilience.

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