Exploring Absolute Happiness Through Experiential Education

Nai Cheng Kuo, Tomohiro Kawaguchi, Yu Fen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Happiness is an important but less-explored topic in higher education. This calls for examining courses in higher education on happiness and how college students perceive happiness through experiential learning activities. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to analyze the development of a happiness course in higher education and understand students’ perspectives toward their experiential learning activities. Methodology/Approach: The course materials (e.g., the syllabus), teaching logs, students’ reflective observations, and final projects were collected. Content analysis was adopted to analyze the course design. Findings/Conclusions: The concrete experiences in this happiness course involved field trips, hands-on activities, dialogue, inquiries, and shared reading. These activities were associated with good relationships, art, and the human spirit, a healthy life, peaceful coexistence with nature, as well as harsh realities and optimism. Evidence from reflective observations demonstrates students’ personal unique perspectives toward the experiential learning activities on absolute happiness. The final projects as active experimentation deepened students’ understanding of absolute happiness. Implications: Converging evidence across intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup domains, our study suggests the possibility of using Ikeda’s six life conditions for absolute happiness and Kolb’s experiential learning model to help college students develop knowledge and wisdom for creating absolute happiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Experiential Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • absolute happiness
  • Daisaku Ikeda
  • experiential education
  • higher education
  • Kolb’s experiential learning model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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