Kate's Blog
News and views about Roamer and educational robotics

What is happiness?

Today I heard of research that showed that medical procedures have better outcomes in people who are happy.  At one level this seems ludicrous – how can the outcome of something as scientific as medicine depend on something as transitory as mood? On the other hand it seems  very obvious; it’s difficult to put into words, but somehow  it makes sense that a “positive” body will respond better than a “negative” body.

A  recent study in Singapore found that Confidence was a useful predictor of academic achievement. And we are all aware of how markets react to “confidence”.  We mustn’t talk something down because then it will go down.

So self belief, confidence and a happy persona ( not to be confused with over confidence , self absorption and arrogance) seem to be of greater benefit to the long term prospects of an individual than academic achievement .

So why do we concentrate so much on academic achievement and so little on the softer skills of happiness and positivity? When we were in Oldham last year working on the Peace Program we developed an activity that focussed on what the children had in common with each other – we created a network of commonality.  The teacher commented afterwards that the children had probably learn more about each other in that hour than they had in their previous five years because the timetable was so full that there wasn’t time to get to know how they felt about things. And yet more and more we are learning that feelings can trump logic.  We know that when children are emotionally engaged in their learning it is far more powerful and long lasting.  Here at Valiant we also know the power of Roamer for engaging those feelings and empowering and motivating children in their learning.  So although the timetable is indeed crammed full perhaps we should be exploring ways of delivering it that will also help develop a child’s confidence and positivity because to my mind they equal happiness.

We don’t want to abandon scientific thought and reason all together, when you rely on just “feelings” without thought you end up with Brexit, Trump and anarchy but I think we do need to give more emphasis on creating happy children.

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