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The Power of Happiness and Connection in Education

Happiness and Learning

Does your child show happiness in learning?

One of the most significant factors influencing happiness is not wealth or physical health but rather the strength of our social connections. This truth holds for people of all ages, including adults and children.

According to studies, happiness also plays a key role in how well students learn.

The Link Between Happiness and Education

Research from Christina Hinton, founder and CEO of Research Schools International, shows that happiness is positively correlated with motivation and academic achievement.

During her doctoral studies, Hinton explored the relationship between happiness, motivation, and academic achievement among elementary and high school students. She discovered a positive correlation between happiness and both motivation and academic performance. Furthermore, her research emphasized the importance of solid relationships with teachers and peers in fostering student happiness.

3 Ways to Promote Happiness in Education

Wide shot of a group of smiling students and their teacher gathered around a table in a technology classroom. They are all wearing casual clothing and are situated in a secondary school in Gateshead, England.

Hinton emphasizes that promoting happiness can be achieved through simple yet impactful actions. Here are some of her suggestions:

1. Keep Students Challenged

When students are bored, they are not happy or engaged in learning. Learning challenges are a great way to engage students. But the challenge can’t be too hard or too easy: too hard leads to discouragement, too easy leads to boredom. Optimal engagement lies in the “Zone of Proximal Development.” It is crucial to set realistic goals, understanding that students may progress at a different pace. Challenge goals should be adjusted to accommodate individual circumstances.

2. Provide Social Connection

A sense of community is vital to feeling part of the learning process, helping students feel engaged and connected to the learning process. Participating in activities in school, both academic and social, keeps students engaged and motivated. Parents and teachers can foster social connections and build community with students during academic or social events, inside or outside the school. 

3. Help Students Flourish

Students flourish when they feel capable and can handle a task with competency and mastery. Students who flourish are not only more motivated but also more effective learners. By setting small goals and taking small steps toward achieving the goal, students develop a sense of growth and fulfillment.

To encourage students to flourish, consider the following strategies:

  • Practice Gratitude: Encourage students to express gratitude. Research suggests it significantly impacts happiness. A simple exercise like having students write down one thing they are grateful for can make a difference. Read more about gratitude and learning.
  • Support Others: Happiness and flourishing are closely tied to supporting others. Encourage your student to engage in acts of kindness in their daily lives, whether inside or outside of the classroom. 
  • Incorporate Humour: Finding humour can be challenging, but it is worth the effort. Laughter not only boosts well-being and happiness but also positively affects physical health.

By prioritizing social connections, understanding the significance of happiness, and implementing simple practices, we can create more meaningful and fulfilling learning experiences for students.

Small Changes Can Lead to a Big Impact

One small change that is easy to implement is investing in a specialized tutoring program for your child. Oxford Learning’s small class sizes and personalized learning programs can boost student engagement in the learning process as well as boost grades for this school year and every year.
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