Key Competence Happiness

A New Horizontal Theme in Adult Education and Counselling

"We believe that a psychology of positive human functioning will arise that achieves a scientific understanding and effective interventions to build thriving in individuals, families, and communities."

(Seligman, Martin E.P.; Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly (2000). "Positive Psychology: An Introduction".

What is happiness? How do you define it? How do you increase it? Does true happiness really exist? And how does happiness deal with education and counselling?

Several humanistic psychologists — such as Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Erich Fromm — developed theories and practices that involved human happiness. Recently the theories of human flourishing developed by these humanistic psychologists have found empirical support from studies by positive psychologists.

The main objective of the project is to establish “Happiness” as a horizontal theme in adult education and to consider the pursuit of happiness as a major key competence in order to adapt to changing society and the requirements of the labour market; and to strengthen adults' self-confidence and promoting their personal fulfilment.

Empirical happiness research has gained wide acknowledgement recently and offers a promising new access to central questions to both ethics and economics. In our project, we will investigate what this perspective can contribute to aspects in adult education, and for the skills requirements that the European workforce needs to become more flexible in order to meet the demands of economic developments and for the continuous change.

The main didactic products of the project are” Guidelines for Introducing Happiness into Adult Education and Counselling” that demonstrate how to introduce aspects of happiness into the framework of existing teaching schemes, with relation to the specific demand and need of individual users, to the specific learning cultures and to the requirements of vocational training providers, and a “Toolbox”  that will contain exercises, methods and/or didactic approaches for learning contents where the subject of happiness and wellbeing will be additionally imparted,  e.g. in language courses, personal development, integration of immigrants, and in guidance measures focusing on the acquisition of personal competences.

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