Education and the Good Life

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Education and the Good Life

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    At the end of the course students

    • Have insight into:
      • ways in which the concept of the good life can be interpreted, with particular attention to happiness and flourishing
      • ways in which parents and schools can contribute to the development of children into flourishing persons
      • the importance and role of ideals in education
      • the danger of ideals for the good life
      • the concept 'worldview'
      • differences between teaching about and teaching into religion/worldviews
      • the way in which public and denominational schools can give form and content to worldview education o the possible relations between citizenship (education) and worldview (education)
    • Are able to analyse the texts and to raise critical questions
    • Are able to apply philosophical and empirical insights to practical cases related to education for the good life
    • Are able to develop their own position with regard to the way in which education should contribute to children’s development of a conception of the good life
    • Are able to present their views in the meetings
    • Are able to write a paper about a topic related to education and the good life

    In the Netherlands there is diversity in ideas about what it means to live a good life. These ideas range from strict religious views to agnostic and materialistic or hedonistic views on life. In this course we discuss the way in which education can best contribute to children’s development of a conception of the good life. What is the role and position of parents? How can schools contribute?

    We begin with an exploration of the concept of the good (life) and focus on two interpretations of well-being, i.e. happiness and flourishing. We continue with an exploration of the importance of ideals in living a good life and pay attention to family upbringing and education in schools. The second part of the course focusses on ‘worldview’ and 'religion' in relation to education and schools. We investigate the various possibilities in which schools and the curriculum can be influenced by worldviews.

    The course is theoretical in character and will pay attention to philosophical research and arguments. However, it also has an empirical and practical dimension in which we investigate the practical implications of the theoretical explorations.

    Lectures and seminars

    Paper 75% of the assignments for the meetings have to be submitted in time and of sufficient quality

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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