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Studiegids

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Flourishing, The Science and Practice of Wellbeing

Vak
2020-2021

Deze informatie is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar.

Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes.

Topics: Personal leadership, self-insight, authenticity, connection.
Personal development, social relations and societal impact.
Disciplines: Integral and applied approach on positive psychology.
Skills: Self-insight, stress management, dealing with difficult emotions, compassion and kindness, empathy, savouring, mindfulness, building positive relationships and cultivating strengths.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Note: In this course and the Honours Classes 'Effectief Besturen door het vergroten van je persoonlijke vaardigheden' we will discuss similar topics and you will develop similar skills. Therefore we advise students to attend only one of these courses.

Description:

“Flourishing is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” – Aristotle

No matter what you are studying, you are likely being challenged academically on a regular basis. But what is needed to thrive in today’s complex world, both professionally and personally? Modern-day organisations look beyond academic achievements when hiring new colleagues. Increasingly, they look to willpower, self-reflexivity, empathy, discipline, proactivity, cooperativeness, resilience and self-confidence.

Fortunately, such skills are trainable. During this project, you will experience and explore these personal and interpersonal domains, cultivating a set of important life skills and engaging in personal growth.

Researchers Ready, Conger and Hill argue that, if you wish to flourish as a young adult, it is essential to: 1. Increase self-insight; 2. Healthily manage stress and 3. Utilise your potential.

During this project, we will experiment with various techniques to help you develop these skills. The learning is based on academic rigor and research whilst simultaneously practical and experience-based.
It focuses on:

  • improving mental resilience and emotional stability

  • learning to cope with adversity through relaxation, meditation and perspective-shifting

  • increasing empathy and compassion towards self and other

  • exploring your passions, talents and meaning in life

You will engage in a group project focused on improving education. You will ask: how might we re-imagine education to (more significantly) enable students and staff to flourish? Beyond expanding your imagination, you will also be challenged to put your ideas into action. As a result, you will enhance your own wellbeing and of those who surround you in daily life.

The learning activities of this project are structured along three levels:
1. The I – Increasing one’s own wellbeing by reflecting and acting on three core questions: What do I love doing? What is meaningful to me? What am I good at?
2. The WE – Strengthening interpersonal relationships within and outside the classroom. Gain insight in other people’s perspectives, preferences, personality traits and worldviews. Reflect on the impact of personal growth on academic performance.
3. The ALL – Reflecting on the role and responsibility of academia in increasing the wellbeing of students and staff. What is/should/could be the role of education in improving human flourishing?

Students are asked to be open-minded towards new ways of learning, which includes a variety of experience based exercises and sharing personal experiences amongst each other.

Course objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students are able to:

  • Reflect on his/her life and personal development

  • Apply techniques to increase his/her own wellbeing and resilience and that of others

  • Share and present his/her own personal story authentically

  • Formulate his/her own values and mission in life and act accordingly

  • Work constructively and respectfully with others to make a positive contribution to society.

Programme and timetable:

The program will look as follows:

Class 1
Starting the journey: Introduction and practicalities. Getting to know each other. Setting intentions. The most important (mis)understandings about happiness.

Class 2
Positive emotions. What brings you joy and energy?

Class 3
Strengths. What are you good at? What’s your challenge?

Class 4
Relationships. The power of connection.

Class 5
Meaning. What makes your life meaningful?

Class 6
Compassion and Kindness. Practice compassion and dealing with difficult emotions.

Class 7
Your fit. Motivation for behavioural change. Formulating your own personal challenge.

Class 8
Individual presentations

Class 9
Individual presentations

Class 10
Final session: Presenting group work on Flourishing within Education

Exact dates and times TBA.

Location:

The first and last session of this course will take place in Leiden, if possible. The other lectures will take place online.

Reading list:

Examples of literature that will be used in this course:

  • Empathy and Compassion – Tania Singer

  • Gratitude and Relationships in everyday life – Sara B. Algoe

  • Happier – Tal Ben-Shahar

  • Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life – Emmons & McCullough

  • Flourish, a new understanding of wellbeing – Seligman

This is just a small selection of articles and books that will be provided. There are readings a week based on your own interest.

Other possible literature will be announced in class or via Brightspace.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours:

  • Seminars: 10 seminars of 2 hours (participation is mandatory)

  • Literature reading: 2 hours/week = 20 hours

  • Practical work: 4 hours/week = 40 hours

  • Assignments & final product: 60 hours

Assessment methods:

The assessment methods will look as follows:

    • 10% Participation assessed continually through participation in seminars
    • 30% Two personal reflections of 700 words (15% each)
    • 10% Individual presentation (not graded)
    • 50% A group assignment consisting of 3 parts: written vision statement (1500 words), intervention, presentation

Students can only pass this course after successful completion of all partial exams.

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the class.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Students can register for the Brightspace module one week prior to the start of the course.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:

Enrolling in this course is possible from Monday 17 August 2020 up to and including Thursday 3 September 2020 through the Honours Academy. The registration link will be posted on the student website of the Honours Academy.

Contact:

Pieternel Boer: pieternelboer@gmail.com