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Happiness and Education

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521614726
ISBN-10: 0521614724
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Happiness and Education is especially commended to the attention of public and private school teachers, and administrative policy makers as informed, thoughtful, and thought-provoking reading."
--Library Bookwatch, The Midwest Book Review


"Happiness and Education is ultimately a critique of American culture, not just its educational system. But Noddings shows how the narrow curriculum found in most classrooms helps shape a culture with misguided priorities. Perhaps today's educational leaders would benefit from reading her book and exercising some critical thinking of their own."
--Greater Good


"With her special combination of tenderness and sharpness of vision, Noddings makes us look squarely at some not so obvious truths. Happiness as a goal is much derided, except when it comes to our own lives and our own children. The painful contradictions that we force on our children and their families in order to avoid asking what truly matters are obvious as we confront children in their daily eagerness to find both happiness and meaning--in schools carefully designed not to answer either. Growing up and being educated today takes a very different look when seen through Noddings's careful perspective. Those of us trying to create schools that respond to her questions will read this book carefully many times."
--Deborah Meier, Principal, Mission Hill School, Boston


"Nel Noddings's beautiful book Happiness in Education is an incandescent joy to read. The educational landscape of the past ten years would be a very different one if voices as humane and wise as hers had been more widely heard. I have been hungering for a book like this and am grateful to Nel Noddings for providing it."
--Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities and Ordinary Resurrections


"The most important and influential philosopher on the concept of caring in education, Noddings beautifully synthesizes her admirable corpus in this new book.... In sum, reading Noddings is akin to earning a condensed, invigorating form of liberal education in philosophy, psychology, literature, and theology. Highly recommended."
--Choice


"Noddings' thesis and argument that happiness and education not only can but should coexist must be taken seriously by everyone concerned about preparing children and young adults for a truly satisfying life in our democratic society."
--Catholic Library World

Review

"Happiness and Education is especially commended to the attention of public and private school teachers, and administrative policy makers as informed, thoughtful, and thought-provoking reading."
--Library Bookwatch, The Midwest Book Review


"Happiness and Education is ultimately a critique of American culture, not just its educational system. But Noddings shows how the narrow curriculum found in most classrooms helps shape a culture with misguided priorities. Perhaps today's educational leaders would benefit from reading her book and exercising some critical thinking of their own."
--Greater Good


"With her special combination of tenderness and sharpness of vision, Noddings makes us look squarely at some not so obvious truths. Happiness as a goal is much derided, except when it comes to our own lives and our own children. The painful contradictions that we force on our children and their families in order to avoid asking what truly matters are obvious as we confront children in their daily eagerness to find both happiness and meaning--in schools carefully designed not to answer either. Growing up and being educated today takes a very different look when seen through Noddings's careful perspective. Those of us trying to create schools that respond to her questions will read this book carefully many times."
--Deborah Meier, Principal, Mission Hill School, Boston


"Nel Noddings's beautiful book Happiness in Education is an incandescent joy to read. The educational landscape of the past ten years would be a very different one if voices as humane and wise as hers had been more widely heard. I have been hungering for a book like this and am grateful to Nel Noddings for providing it."
--Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities and Ordinary Resurrections


"The most important and influential philosopher on the concept of caring in education, Noddings beautifully synthesizes her admirable corpus in this new book.... In sum, reading Noddings is akin to earning a condensed, invigorating form of liberal education in philosophy, psychology, literature, and theology. Highly recommended."
--Choice


"Noddings' thesis and argument that happiness and education not only can but should coexist must be taken seriously by everyone concerned about preparing children and young adults for a truly satisfying life in our democratic society."
--Catholic Library World
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (December 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521614724
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521614726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #872,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Asensio on November 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Nel Noddings absolutely hits the nail on the head with her discussion of how we need to reevaluate the aims of our educational system. As it is currently situated, education serves almost entirely an economic function, in preparing students to enter the workforce and become good consumers in a successful economy. Whatever social functions the school serves are relegated to the background, and in fact tend to be discouraged if they are ever considered to be possibly getting in the way of the true goals. Of course, Noddings is also right in that we seem to have even lost focus of our original economic aims. The need to compete with others in standardized testing has forced students to learn things that may be becoming increasingly less and less relevant - Noddings's point about how asking an algebra teacher says that the point of a lesson is always going to be related only to other algebra lessons is something that every student of the school system has been frustrated with at one point or another (75).

Fortunately, Noddings does not fall into the trap that I envisioned as possible - that she would instead declare that the defined goal of education should be happiness. Such a lofty but ultimately nonsubstantive goal would be, to put it quite simply, silly, and ultimately even worse than the economic goals of the current arrangement. Fortunately, Noddings avoids the mistake of trying to make a singular definition of happiness and then working toward it. Instead, the final two thirds of the book are devoted to various different parts of life that Noddings would like to see become more prominent as aims of education.
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Format: Hardcover
In Happiness And Education, author and academician Nel Noddings (Lee L. Jacks Professor of Education, Emerita, Standford University) draws upon her years of experience, expertise and research as a teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer in public schools to address the very specific issue of the relationship of happiness to that of the experience of education and why, although parental expectations are quite clear that happiness is a kind of byproduct of education, it is not normal mentioned as one of the principle aims of education. Professor Noddings explores what it means to be happy, and then goes on to address how educators can help children to understand what happiness is. Criticizing an almost exclusive focus on economic well-being as the approved outcome of educational accomplishment, Professor Noddings emphasizes the contributions education provides with respect to making a home, parenting, developing character and interpersonal growth, identifying and engaging in work that is satisfying, participating effectively in a political democracy, and ways in which we can make schools and classrooms happy places of learning and intellectual exploration. Happiness And Education is especially commended to the attention of public and private school teachers, and administrative policy makers as informed, thoughtful, and though-provoking reading.
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Format: Paperback
Even though I live in Norway where the educational system works differently than in the US, this book was a real eyeopener to me. In a time where the school focuses more and more on the student's achievements in basic subjects like math, reading and writing, and where there's been put more and more weight on testing the students in these skills, this book represent and alternative way of thinking. Do we all need an academic education? Why do we educate students in the thought that all of them should go on with their studies beyond a collegelevel? What about all those occupations where you don't need academic skills, those occupations where you need practical skills? (skills that you weren't taught in school because the weight was put on the teoretical subjects). Being a teacher or a parent, this book will give you a new perspective on how to raise and educate our children.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nel Noddings has always been on of my favorite writers in education! She captures the what I would call the 'spiritual' side of education and discusses the importance of looking past tests and teacher paperwork!
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By the time I read this book, I had already read several others by Nel Noddings. This one did not add much more to what I already knew. I purchased the book for my dissertation. I did not use this one at all.
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