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Happiness, Hope, and Despair

Rethinking the Role of Education

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Peter Roberts

In the Western world it is usually taken as given that we all want happiness, and our educational arrangements tacitly acknowledge this. Happiness, Hope, and Despair argues, however, that education has an important role to play in deepening our understanding of suffering and despair as well as happiness and joy. Education can be uncomfortable, unpredictable, and unsettling; it can lead to greater uncertainty and unhappiness. Drawing on the work of Søren Kierkegaard, Miguel de Unamuno, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Simone Weil, Paulo Freire, and others, Peter Roberts shows why these features of educational life need not be feared; to the contrary, they can be seen as a source of hope and human fulfilment.
After years of negotiating an education system dominated by the language of competition, performance, and economic advancement, students and teachers often long for something different; they seek not just measurable success but also opportunities to ask searching questions of themselves and the world they encounter. Happiness, Hope, and Despair makes an important contribution toward meeting this need. It fosters a rethinking of the nature, purpose, and value of education, and opens up possibilities for further scholarly and professional inquiry.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Roberts, Peter.Happiness, hope, and despair: rethinking the role of education /Peter Roberts.pages cm. — (Complicated conversation:a book series of curriculum studies; vol. 43)Includes bibliographical references and index.1. Affective education. 2. Education—Philosophy.LCC LB1072 .R64 370.15’34—dc23 2015024543ISBN 978-1-4331-2098-5 (hardcover)ISBN 978-1-4331-2097-8 (paperback)ISBN 978-1-4539-1706-0 (e-book)ISSN 1534-2816

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “DeutscheNationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are availableon the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.

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