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Happiness and Education

reviewed by Stacy Otto - 2005

coverTitle: Happiness and Education
Author(s): Nel Noddings
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
ISBN: 0521807638, Pages: 316, Year: 2003
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Happiness may seem an unusual topic for educational philosophy to some, but to many it rings true, a long overlooked and provocative topic of considerable interest, a thoughtful, fresh line of inquiry. The reticence of some may be due to the nature of the term. A word like happiness may well be one of those that has “lost” its meaning to a multitude of meanings, lost like a reply to “How are you?” when answered by “fine.” But in Noddings’ work happiness is pushed beyond the level of mere platitude because it is adults and children alike (and perhaps especially parents) who consistently state that happiness is what they most want from life, what they seek for themselves and their loved ones. So, if happiness is a major aim and desire of American culture, why is it absent from the theory and practice of schooling, the discourse of educational reform and policy? And why do so many aspects of current-day American schooling work systematically against... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 2, 2005, p. 250-254
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11403, Date Accessed: 7/24/2021 7:34:41 PM

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About the Author
  • Stacy Otto
    Oklahoma State University
    E-mail Author
    STACY OTTO is an artist, writer, and researcher who currently instructs doctoral students in qualitative research methods at Oklahoma State University where she is an Assistant Professor of Social Foundations of Education. Her major research focus is on the importance of solitude and loss in an individual's decision to begin to pursue, in a full way, a creative life, and the implications for pedagogical theory and practice. Recent research includes a chapter in Postcritical Ethnography: Reinscribing Critique (2004, Hampton Press, George Noblit, Ed.), an article in a forthcoming issue of the journal Discourse entitled "Nostalgic for What?: The Epidemic of Images of the Mid-Twentieth-Century Classroom in American Media Culture and What It Means," as well as work on James T. Sears' current project Sexualities, Education and Cultures (forthcoming, Greenwood Publishing Group).
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