Course Catalog

Positive Psychology

  • Semester 1

    Sept 4 - Dec 20, 2019 For Members Registration closed
  • Semester 2

    Jan 15 - May 1, 2020 For Members Register

Course Overview

This course is a GOA Learning Studio. Learning Studios explore interdisciplinary topics through student-driven learning. Led by a teacher who designs the overall structure, these courses ask students to craft their own projects based on their interests and develop strong relationships with classmates through frequent conversation and feedback. Students can expect to learn how to identify relevant local and/or global issues to explore deeply, how to craft their own plans for structuring and exploring the issue, how to test new ideas both in and out of class, and how to be an active part of a community of learners. Learning Studios demand a high level of organizational and interpersonal skills, curiosity, determination, and flexibility.

What is a meaningful, happy, and fulfilling life? The focus of psychology has long been the study of human suffering, diagnosis, and pathology, but in recent years, however, positive psychologists have explored what’s missing from the mental health equation, taking up research on topics such as love, creativity, humor, and mindfulness. In this course, we’ll dive into what positive psychology research tells us about the formula for a meaningful life, the ingredients of fulfilling relationships, and changes that occur in the brain when inspired by music, visual art, physical activity, and more. We’ll seek out and lean on knowledge from positive psychology research and experts, such as Martin Seligman’s Well Being Theory, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s idea of flow, and Angela Lee Duckworth’s concept of grit. In exploring such theories and concepts, students will imagine and create real-world measurements using themselves and willing peers and family members as research subjects. As part of the learning studio format of the course, students will also imagine, research, design, and create projects that they’ll share with a larger community. Throughout the development of these projects, they’ll collaborate with each other and seek ways to make their work experiential and hands-on. Students will leave the class with not only some answers to the question of what makes life meaningful, happy, and fulfilling, but also the inspiration to continue responding to this question for many years to come.

NCAA-approved course

Course Outline

View Course Outline