Well-being and Humanities Education in Singapore , pp. 10 of 11

The value of Humanities education resists easy measurement. Instead of the almost exclusive focus on economic productivity and the instrumental development of human capital, Humanities education prepares young people to think critically about social issues, political decisions, and public policy, and the impact they have on personal and societal well-being. And, it can prepare students to take on the hard work of social responsibility, in which responsibility is taken for the well-being of others who may be different, marginalized, less fortunate, and lacking in the basic conditions necessary for decent lives. These are commitments that can be enacted in Humanities classrooms. They require checking in with each other to make sure we're taking care of each other and our well-being. They require making our own well-being and the well-being of our colleagues, our students, and others more of a priority in our day-to-day interactions. These everyday commitments can “enlarge the humanity of all of us” (Boggs, 1998, p. 255) to create individuals and societies that are humane, caring, and just.

Works Cited

Baildon, M., & Ho, L.-C. (2013). A note from the editors. HSSE Online: Research and Practice in Humanities & Social Studies Education, 2(1).

Boarini, R., Comola, M., Smith, C., Manchin, R., & de Keulenaer, F. (2012). What makes for a better life? The determinants of subjective well-being in OECD

countries – Evidence from the Gallup World Poll, OECD Statistics Working Papers, 2012/03, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k9b9ltjm937-en

Boggs, G. (1998). Living for change: An autobiography. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Burkeman, O. (2012). The antidote: Happiness for people who can’t stand positive thinking. New York: Faber and Faber.

Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly (1990). Flow: The psychology of optimal experience. New York: Harper and Row.

De Mel, S. (2014). GDP still relevant in assessing well-being. Straits Times, May 8 2014, 27.

Dewey, J. (1902). The child and curriculum. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Diener, E., Ng, W., Harter, J., & Arora, R. (2010). Wealth and happiness across the world: Material prosperity predicts life evaluation, whereas psychosocial prosperity predicts positive feeling. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(1), 52–61.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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