Keeping happiness at the center of the Republican school

The major health crisis we are facing with the Kovid-19 epidemic has revived questions about the health of education, with the observation that many children and adolescents are suffering emotionally from the condition.

Doesn’t school require a certain standard of living to ensure education? Wasn’t it wrong to resist the long-standing effort to learn and the joy of going to school? Wouldn’t Mars be the most basic need to build an educated, full and happy citizen?

In most definitions given by philosophy, happiness is not a personal good, it is given as a principle that applies to as many people as possible, it is better to create it together. It is social and relatable. Of these, the construction of public schools, during the second XIXAnd Century, part of the search for common happiness.

January 2020, High school students protest against the New Graduation Exam (E3C).
Damien Mayer / AFP

Read more: Debate: And what if we consider young people as citizens of education?

But offensively, in France, the organization considers “school weather” (fighting school discomfort, bullying and school violence) only to delay and in a negative way to arouse joy.

In the school of the republic which seeks to be egalitarian and meritocratic, effort and labor are more or less explicitly regarded as conditions for academic success and social heights.

Change the school model

It is only recently that the institution has introduced the concept of “Mars” for the “quality of life” of students and national education workers in its lessons. For example, in 2015 the decree defining nursery school programs addressed the notion of wellness and the fact that “nursery school is a caring school”.

To bring this reflection to the center of well-being, the National Higher Institute for the Education and Teaching of Versailles Academy, sponsored by researchers at the Bonhaeurus Laboratory at CY Sergey Paris University, has set up a “Health Day”. Inside and Out of the Classroom “, which follows Happy School Week around March 20 each year.

For the final edition of this day held on 13th April, 150 primary school, college and high school teachers, college principals, principals, principal education advisors, trainers, trainers and six different masters met for primary or continuing education training. Participants were presented with all the wellness devices that they had applied in their class or in their organization. Happiness Engineering has been implemented in hundreds of organizations across France, from Rennes to Sergei, Reunion to Carpentras and New Caledonia to Genevilliers.

Empathy cannot be declared, it requires education.

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At the theoretical level, attitudes consist of thinking about happiness through relationships with others and it is expressed through knowledge, which we call knowledge-relationships.

This approach seems essential when short-sighted reasoning opposes pleasure and learning, a structural imagination that opposes academic knowledge and pedagogy, mind and body, reasoning and emotion. Indeed, the question of influence and emotion has long been ignored in schools, and is largely centered on the French public school, the “school form.”

Our school is inclined to make a rational person through learning and academic knowledge, leaving the so-called “new” pedagogy from Montessori to Frenet to think about the joy and perfection of learning through knowledge. This perspective is particularly significant in the French education system because of the history characterized by a republican model embedded in the vertical transmission of values. This school model is based on the propagation of a rational person through the “transmission” of school knowledge and the excessive denial of influence in the school environment.

However, many research studies have shown that academic achievement scores and life satisfaction are significantly and positively correlated.

Social relations

There is evidence that students’ academic achievement is significantly and positively related to social relationships with family, peers and teachers, mental health, feelings towards school and feelings related to school. Outside of academic performance, students’ success (also) depends on their well-being in the school setting.

Thus, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) combines several key indicators of children’s well-being, such as the quality of school life, education and health, in international comparisons between countries. In the school context, Mars is perceived through the school climate, which not only preserves the individual level of well-being, but also the relative dimensions, as well as the outcomes of learning or safety.

Documentary: Educational game presentation “Tere de Joy”, conceived by Sandra Munier, Art Therapist, Clown for 15 years (

For their part, Conu and Rimpella researchers based school wellness on four essential dimensions:

  • “Staying” includes the material conditions given to students (especially the organization, environment, learning space);

  • “Being” combines conditions that allow students to be autonomous, to propose, to be able to make decisions, to be confident;

  • Concerns about the interaction between individuals in “loving” institutions: the quality of relationships between students, between students and adults; Communication between individuals;

  • Levels of health include students’ physical and mental health (fatigue, stress, etc.);

Field initiatives

On the day of wellness inside and outside the classroom, benevolent measures focus on taking into account new ways of supporting students, taking into account the body and emotions in the classroom, improving school spaces. Collective

Installed systems are formed around 5 axes:

  • Student support;

  • Body and emotion;

  • School life and community;

  • Empty space;

  • Projects inside and outside the classroom.

Considering the body and emotions, for example, has been worked out by a system of micro-nap or even facial yoga. Other devices encouraged relaxation, breathing, non-violent communication, sophistication, and more. These devices had a common purpose: to teach students to recognize and control their emotions, and to encourage children and adolescents to work through concentration and their participation in class.

The “School Life and the Combined” axis was nurtured by organizations that are involved in their founding, school fun week, diversity day, group eloquence competitions, the process of involving parents in their children’s school.

Read more: School bullying: Towards a better awareness?

The Axis of Student Consistency makes it possible to promote the happy day of mathematics. Another example: a device for deconstructing ethnic stereotypes related to academic success. It allowed a meeting between secondary school students and primary school students in the same district, scheduled for academic success and selective study, with the intention of showing them that it was possible, at a time when school isolation was the most inherent evil among us. Method.

Measurements need to be designed in the classroom and in the institution, but their effects need to be measured in the short, medium and long term, for example on the students’ movements or school weather. A postgraduate degree opened its doors a year ago for education professionals in the joy of learning and teaching entirely remotely.

At this price, education, which is regularly reaffirmed as a national priority, can indeed become the main tool to transform our society, which is capable of building a just, more egalitarian and happy society.

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