Education and the Good Life


Course Objective

At the end of the course students
• Have insight into:
o ways in which the concept of the good life can be interpreted, with
particular attention to happiness and flourishing
o ways in which parents and schools can contribute to the development of
children into flourishing persons
o the importance and role of ideals in education
o the danger of ideals for the good life
o the concept 'worldview'
o differences between teaching about and teaching into
o 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
• 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

Course Content

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.

Teaching Methods


Method of Assessment

Exam (essay questions)

Entry Requirements

This is a course for third year bachelor students. First and second year
(international) students will not be admitted, unless relevant knowledge
and experience can be submitted.
As this is a third year course in the bachelor programme 'Pedagogische
wetenschappen' students are expected to have (basic) knowledge of
education and educational theories as well as philosophy and
philosophical theories. Moreover, as the course is in English, the
students are expected to be able to read, speak and write in English. It
is allowed to write your final paper in Dutch.

Recommended background knowledge

The course builds onto two courses of the first two years of the
Bachelor programme 'Pedagogische wetenschappen': 'Leerling, Onderwijs en
Begeleiding' and 'Samenleving, Opvoeding and Onderwijs'. However, it is
not required to have followed these courses.

General Information

Course Code P_BEDGL
Credits 6 EC
Period P1
Course Level 300
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M.C.M. Ehren
Examiner prof. dr. M.C.M. Ehren
Teaching Staff dr. G.D. Bertram-Troost
prof. dr. M.C.M. Ehren

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Seminar*

*You cannot select a group yourself for this teaching method, you will be placed in a group.

Target audiences

This course is also available as: