The Science of Well-Being
On-Line for the 2020-2021 School Year
Teacher: Bonnie Gonzalez
THE SCIENCE OF HAPPINESS AND WELL-BEING
Instructor: Mrs. Bonnie Gonzalez, M.ED
No Text Required. All Required Readings will be uploaded as pdf. files to the class website
Class fees: $150.00. No application is necessary to join this class.
(A minimum of 5 students will be required for the class to run. Class is limited to 30 students)
Everyone wants to be happy, and there are countless ideas on what happiness is and how we can achieve it. But, can we learn how to have a meaningful life? Are there practical lessons from science that we can apply to our own lives to develop meaningful relationships and contribute to the greater good of others? The answer to this question is, YES. Through research-backed evidence and activities, it is my goal in this class to teach strategies for developing both happiness and social-emotional well-being.
The Science of Happiness and Well-Being is a class which is designed to teach the new research into the field of positive psychology. Students will study the practical lessons from this science and discover how this research can be applied to their own lives. Through a series of 3 educational modules on the class website students will focus on important findings in positive psychology: that happiness is linked to social connections, how our expectations negatively influence our happiness, how we can overcome our biases, the importance of flow in what we do, how religion and spirituality are connected to well-being and how investing in goals greater than ourselves contributes to not only our happiness but also to the greater good of everyone.
FORMAT: This is a highly interactive class where students will participate in a teacher-led lecture and a short discussion of the concepts presented in the lecture. Six different topics will be discussed which have been empirically related to the development of well-being and happiness. After the lecture students will be required to answer a discussion question and then devise a “rewiring exercise” for either themselves or for someone else to apply the weekly concept. The class will be taught in weekly modules. Along with participating in the live classes, students will be required to complete some outside readings which will be posted in the module on the class website by the instructor.
DATES AND CLASS TIMES Live lectures will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM. The class will run from July 27 – August 15, 2020
REQUIREMENTS Students will be required to attend live sessions. In the event of a conflict all live portions of the class will be recorded and posted by Thursday afternoon of the week of recording. Students will be assessed on their participation, discussion board posts and on the “weekly rewiring exercises”. A final class project will be completed by the end of class where students will put together all of their individual weekly rewiring exercises and develop a video presentation or PowerPoint presentation of how this could be used to help others improve their own well-being.
Earned Credits: Students can earn .50 credit hours if this class is taken in conjunction with the Neuroscience and the Brain course also offered by this instructor. Otherwise, this class will be .25 credit hours.
- High speed, broadband Internet
- Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
- Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures
- free Zoom download to attend live class lectures
Class Communication: In addition to the many forms of communication which occur in this class, students can expect to receive a Monday email which will include an explanation of the concepts which will be covered, discussion questions posted for the week, and the assigned exercises for the week.
My virtual office door is always open. Students can communicate with me via email, or through the discussion board, and I attempt to answer all email communication on the day I receive it (there are some exceptions to this, but they are infrequent). I encourage students to share information about the topics which they are learning and ask questions in order to improve their understanding.
Who Should Apply: This class is for students who are looking for an interactive class, and are interested in improving their own well-being. Qualified students will spend about 5-6 hours per week on this class. This accounts for reading assigned articles, completing work on the discussion board posts and the rewiring exercises, and attending the live online sessions of the class
Note: this course is open to 8th – 12th graders. No prerequisites for the class.
Instructor Qualifications: This is my 14th year teaching online with PA Homeschoolers. I teach AP Psychology with PA Homeschoolers and I have also taught Introductory Psychology and Developmental Psychology at local community colleges. My AP Psychology class is audit approved by the College Board, and 85% of my students have earned a score of a 4 or 5 on the exam. My teaching experience has also included classes for high school students on the topics of Grit, Self-Control, Positive Psychology and Time Management. I have also developed online seminars for healthcare providers on the topics of stress, communication, job burn-out, anger assessment and management, and setting boundaries. I have 39 years of experience as a counselor in the field of individual, marriage and family counseling where I have had the opportunity to instruct individuals in developing new and more productive behaviors. I have also earned over 150 hours in post-graduate continuing education class in various topics in psychology and counseling. My degrees include an M.ED. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A in Psychology, both received from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. I home-schooled my own three children and spent 8 years teaching in a home-school co-op.
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