Sustainable Happiness: A Values Based Approach to Education


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"Sustainable Happiness: A Values Based Approach to Education and Our Planet."

Jessica Tudos, Clean Air Champions
August 10, 2012, 3:30 - 4:30

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  • It takes energy and a lot of fossil fuels to live large – to move ourselves around, to move our resources around (including our garbage), and to get the power we need. For some reason in North America, we live large.... in large houses, with supersized cars, and we eat high protein diets too often!Do you recognize some of the advertising here that encourages us to choose unhealthy, wasteful or energy-intensive lifestyles?
  • YOU shape your worldYOU choose your lifestyleYOU make choices about what to wear, what to eat, how to transport yourself, where to live, what careers you’ll have, and how you’ll use energy in your home, or what type of building you’ll call home. The choices can seem overwhelming, but if you choose happiness and health as your ultimate goals, suddenly your choices become a lot simpler, and naturally tend to be sustainable.
  • Olympic, Paralympic and National Team athletes Inspiring Action for the Environment – A national charity established in 2001 and based in Ottawa, ON. Our message is consistently one of reducing environmental impacts and enhancing personal health – focus on air quality, climate change and their interconnections with healthExcel at taking complicated issues (aq/cc/health/transpo) and put into simplified concepts geared to age appropriate and curriculum appropriateRecent national study of environmental/health education organizations found that CAC is the only organization in existence today delivering curriculum connected programming that integrates environment (air quality/climate change) and health/sport
  • We have over 200 athletes and these champions have joined for many reasons Some have asthmaSome work in the fields of environment or healthSome are committed cyclists and would love to see more people cycling as a form of transportation – one of our main messagesSome work with children and seen obesity and asthma rates rising (both considered epidemics by Cdn Medical Association )Some are seeing environmental issues affect their sport They are proven and inspirational role modelsWhy Champions make the perfect messenger – embody a message related to physical activity and health – they get the need for better air quality and other environmental conditions. Top Societal Role Models – Great Impact on youthMessages are focused on athletes integrating their personal experiences into the program messages…POSITIVE MESSAGING with CONSTRUCTIVE and REAL ACTIONS that can be adopted by Canadians of all ages.
  • The issues now and how they are all interconnected…and the vision we see for the future.
  • We all have things in our lives that give us natural highs and make us happy. Here are some common natural highs.
  • Think about the things that make you happy – this is your bliss list. Turn to someone and talk about what makes you happy. (Give a few minutes and then come back together)Ask people to share their bliss list or one thing that makes them happy. Talk about the mood in the room while they were doing the activity and their body language. Often people mention: Relationships with family and friends…Appreciation of our genuine wealth…Feeling engaged with our work, or other commitments…Leading a meaningful life…This is an example of an activity that we do with our High School Climate Challenge presentations that I’ll speak about later. Credit: Dr. Catherine O’Brien – Sustainable Happiness (will talk about later)
  • Overlapping of some terms that are used interchangeable– we will focus on sustainable wellbeing & Happiness
  • Nature Deficit Disorder, a term coined by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods, refers to the alleged trend that children are spending less time outdoors,resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems.A growing group of psychologists believes that many of our modern-day mental problems, including depression, stress and anxiety, can be traced in part to society's increasing alienation from nature. 
  • You may recognize some of these images from an earlier slide, but they represent the fact that everywhere we look, the media or large corporations are promoting ‘happiness’. Happiness is becoming more about material things and what we can buy to make us happy vs. being happy with what we have.
  • Rex here thinks he has a pretty great home – he’s got a nice, decorated box with a really comfortable cushion.But then he sees what Fido’s got – check out that palace! We see these social comparisons happening all the time and often youth learn this quite young.
  • Genuinely happy people generally have better health and/or health outcomes when faced with medical conditions, and we are learning that they tend to have a higher level of care for the environment, too. This has important implications for realizing sustainability at all levels of society, from individuals to organizations to governments and any other form of enterprise."We reviewed eight different types of studies," Diener said. "And the general conclusion from each type of study is that your subjective well-being -- that is, feeling positive about your life, not stressed out, not depressed -- contributes to both longevity and better health among healthy populations."
  • This award winning documentary is just one way the true meaning of happiness is being researched and shared widely around the world. This is a short clip about one man’s happiness as discussed by the Director RokoBelic.
  • UN Happiness Resolution – aim is to to establish Gross National Happiness (G.N.H.) as an alternate model to Gross National Product (G.N.P.) as a measure of national progress. March 2012 - Kingdom of Bhutan to convene meeting on happiness as part of 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Bhutan has a population under 800,000, the average income is about $110 per month. Most Bhutanese do not earn enough money to pay taxes, which are only levied on annual incomes in excess of $2,000. Despite these limitations, Business Week has ranked Bhutan the “happiest” nation in Asia and the eighth happiest in the world.
  • The 8 domains of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing. As of last week, this is where we stood in the 8 domains based on recent data. Let’s take a look at one category important to all of us.
  • The Education domain is up by 18.7% - listed as some of the good changes and the few bad changes.
  • At CAC, we have adopted the concept of Sustainable Wellbeing.We can teach youth to choose sustainable wellbeing as a way of life for themselves, their community and the world. CAC encourages youth to live this way through participating in our programs.
  • A long time CAC advisor, Dr. Catherine O’Brien developed the term Sustainable Happiness. Catherine is an Associate Professor of Education at Cape Breton University. Her Sustainable Happiness concept is gaining much support and she presented at the UN Conference in April. Catherine also has developed an online course on the concept of Sustainable Happiness –
  • We must share the responsibility for learning and action with students, make real-world connections, encourage inquiry and consider alternative perspectives. If we do this, we will connect the dots between environmental education, sustainability and citizenship.
  • Objectives: 1)Recognize interdependence with other people and the natural environment (in the past, present, and future).2) Identify opportunities to contribute to their own wellbeing, the well-being of others and the natural environment.This map can help students to respect the value of a single piece of paper. Prompt them to express any sentiments that arise when they consider all of the things that are needed to create that paper. Hopefully, some will suggest that it means we should try not to use somuch, should try not to waste it, should recycle, and should buy paper that has been made from recycled materials to reduce some of that loop.Create their own interdependence map. They may use words and/or pictures to create their own web of interconnection. Prompt them to consider what supports their existence – food (and where it comes from), liquids (and where they come from), their house, their parents, their ancestors, their siblings and friends, clothes, the vehicles that transport them, stores they go to, recreation centres theygo to, parks they play in, etc. Encourage students to complete as much detail as they can.We use an example of this map in our Air Aware program.
  • Example of a sustainable wellbeing activity that can be connected to CAC presentations and has been used in Air Aware in the past (similar to the interdependence map activity we did):We are going to see how everything fits together, everything counts on something else for being here. We’re going to take one topic – YOU ( a happy healthy you) and map out all the things that needed to exist (inventions, resources, places, people, food, conditions, things) in order for you  be here today, right here, right now – and they are all connected. Let’s focus on today... the activities and experiences you’ve had TODAY.Getting up (bedroom, bed, house, construction, wood, energy to light your house, energy to heat it, resources to build it… how did it come to be)Eating Breakfast (Food – fruit, cereal, toast, toaster, electricity, bread, peanut butter, peanuts, farmers, is it local, organic, fair trade / Liquids – water, coffee, tea, pop, reusable containers, fresh, clean, fair trade, sugar)Having a shower (water, hot water, water heater, pipes, indoor plumbing, soap, shampoo, conditioner, facecloth, towel, hair dryer, electricity)Brushing teeth (tooth paste, tooth brush, fluoride, mint, plumbing, sink, dentist)Getting Dressed (Clothes – factories, people, cotton, farms, vintage, new, organic, warm)Getting to School (Transport – school bus, bus driver, oil, gas, machinery, factories, resources, car, license, gas, oil, snow tires, public transportation, bus driver, bus pass, money, paper, gas, oil, bike, skateboard, etc.)School – (building, lockers, stairs, desks, chairs, wood, industrial design, construction, steel, wood)
  • A quick glimpse of the type of messages we convey.
  • An example of an exercise Champions initiate you in their presentations that get students thinking about what they are doing to contribute to the environment and their health already:Let's stop here a couple of minutes and take a poll, because there are lots of things we could be doing to ensure a healthier environment and also healthier lifestyles! Stand if you...Walked or biked to school today?   Compost your food waste at home? Grow your own food?Are vegetarian? Typically eat at least 3 meat-free meals every week?  Exercise 3X or more per week? Have a clothes line at home?  Have ever shopped at a farmer’s markets? Typically drink tap water instead of bottled water? Have Energy-Star appliances at home? You (or your parents) have switched to only CFLs or LED lights at home (no incandescent)?   Great! So those are some of the things we can do at home, starting right now. But what about some of the bigger changes that need to happen? What role will you be able to play in creating a more sustainable future when it comes to your career choices?
  • This report shows: Percentage improvement in GHG reductions and Increase in physical activity (measured by total km traveled by Active Transportation)
  • So here’s how the Climate Challenge works:-Students take action on various themes (in slide) and are challenged to complete as many of 140 ‘acts of green’ as they can, with points being awarded for action comleted. Some actions involve learning, others measurement, and also deeper challenges.-Students submit all completed actions on the website by April 30, and top schools will win a prize of $1000 to put towards green initiatives. Second place prize of $500, as well as a ‘Champions Choice Award’, which is a $500 prize that will be given to a school with a small team that puts in an exceptional effort.
  • Once you’ve entered the data, you can produce a number of different charts and graphs to display your results in terms of GHG emissions. The table on the right hand side is provided as a summary on your school’s page on the website.
  • Bilingual program
  • Clean Air Champions is carrying the torch for these issues within Canadian schools and the sport/recreation sector.
  • Questions?
  • Sustainable Happiness: A Values Based Approach to Education

    1. 1. Sustainable Wellbeing: A Values-BasedApproach to Education and Our PlanetJESSICA TUDOS, M.SC., M.ED., OCT, CLEAN AIR CHAMPION
    2. 2. Living Large
    3. 3. Living Sustainably Happy
    4. 4. Presentation Outline• Introduction of Clean Air Champions (CAC) & presenter Jessica Tudos• Showcase how CAC integrates SW into its programming & outreach• Discuss impact of SW and future of education• Engage in an experiential activity to demonstrate SW in action• Discuss how SW can be used as an innovative & engaging educational tool across disciplines• Highlight trends and future possibilities for CAC and SW movement
    5. 5. Clean Air Champions’ Mission….Improve air quality by workingwith respected athletes toeducate and inspire Canadiansto adopt practices and lifestylesthat enhance both environmentaland personal health.
    6. 6. The Heart and Soul of CAC… Our Champions Dedicated, passionate athlete role models inspiring Canadians of all ages
    7. 7. Clean Air Champion Jessica Tudos
    8. 8. Way Back When...
    9. 9. Educator & CAC Champion Jessica Tudos• Clean Air Champion since 2003• 1984 Olympian, Gymnastics, Los Angeles• Educator, OCT secondary teacher, Facilitator• Founder of kika creative – Ideas into Action through Education & Community Engagement“We must understand our shared fate, and embracesustainable development as a common commitment todecency for all human beings, today and in the future.” ~ Jeffrey Sachs
    10. 10. Now… Our Vision for the Future Clean Air Active, Healthy Sustainable Citizens Happiness Minimal Climate Change
    11. 11. CAC Programs and ServicesThree Curriculum Programs: Other: • Partner Events and Campaigns • Collaborative Programs • Media – PSAs, videos, web & social media Property:
    12. 12. What Makes Us Happy?• Smell of citrus• The first snow fall• A good conversation• The smell of lilacs• Hearing my favourite song• A special glance• Skiing a fresh line of perfect powder• Watching a thunderstorm on the porch• Hugs from those you love
    13. 13. What’s on your Bliss List?Credit: Dr. Catherine O’Brien
    14. 14. Terminology Authentic Positive Happiness Psychology Gross 21st Sustainable National Century Wellbeing Happiness Learners & Global Citizens
    15. 15. Youth and Happiness The average pre-schooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day. That number drops to 15 times a day by age 35.
    16. 16. Youth Mental Health and Wellbeing• It is estimated that 10-20% of Canadian youth are affected by a mental illness or disorder - the single most disabling group of disorders worldwide• Today, approximately 5% of male youth and 12% of female youth, age 12 to 19, have experienced a major depressive episode• The total number of 12-19 year olds in Canada at risk for developing depression is a staggering 3.2 million Canadian Mental Health Association
    17. 17. Nature Deficit Disorder?
    18. 18. Who is Teaching Happiness?
    19. 19. Social Comparisons
    20. 20. Can Money Buy Happiness?Material wealth beyond a basicincome level does notcontribute significantly towellbeing and life satisfaction.Ed Diener and Martin Seligman, “Beyond Money:Toward an Economy of Well-Being”, PsychologicalScience in the Public Interest, 2004.
    21. 21. Wellbeing, Happiness and HealthResearch from eight different types of health and happinessstudies show positive emotions and enjoyment of life contributeto better health and a longer lifespan. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being
    22. 22. Happy: The Movie
    23. 23. Canadian & Global Wellbeing Initiatives UN Happiness Resolution – Establish Gross National Happiness (GNP) as measure of national progress – part of Millennium Development Goals UN Meeting New York April 2012 – Wellbeing and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm Canadian Index of Wellbeing (CIW) – 8 Domains of Wellbeing (University of Waterloo) The Happy Planet Index – Combines environmental impact with wellbeing to measure long, happy lives by countryStudies find a correlation between self-reported high levels ofhappiness and inclination to engage in environmentally-friendlybehaviour such as active transportation and recycling.
    24. 24. Choosing Sustainable Wellbeing Choices related to what we eat and drink How we transport ourselves What we wear How we relate to one another
    25. 25. SustainableSustainable Happiness Happiness Happiness that contributes to individual, community, and/or global well-being and does not exploit other people, the environment, or future generations. Dr. Catherine O’Brien Photo: Sean Murray
    26. 26. How to Engage Youth inWellbeing and SustainabilityBelieving is not enough:There is disparity between interest and involvement.Clear pathways:Provide direction, encouragement and flexibility.Activation strategies:Technology-based, social networks, fun projectswith friends, acting on learning, classroom ascommunity.
    27. 27. Activity: Interdependence MapFrom Dr. Catherine O’Brien’s Sustainable Happiness and Health Education Teacher’s Guide
    28. 28. Connecting the Dots
    29. 29. Three Curriculum-Connected Programs:
    30. 30. CAC Video
    31. 31. Stand up if you…
    32. 32. HSBC Clean Air Achievers Grades 5 – 9 (Bilingual)Program Goals:1. Educate – Transportation, air quality, climate change and health2. Increase – Sustainable and active transportation (biking, walking, carpooling etc.)3. Reduce - Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionsIncludes:• Unique website with GHG calculator (Trip Tracker)• 18 curriculum-linked activities• Champion presentation to launch the program• Winning schools get prize money and return visit from Champion
    33. 33. Measuring Behaviour Trip Tracker - Online C02 calculator
    34. 34. Individual Progress Reports
    35. 35. High School Climate Challenge Grades 9 to 12 Program Goals: 1. Educate youth about the environmental footprint of their school and individuals. 2. Empower and engage youth to take a leadership role in measuring (auditing) greenhouse gas emissions at their school. 3. Foster action via plans and activities Online HSCC carbon audit tool to support students in developing realistic action plans.
    36. 36. Measure & Action Themes Heating Paper Refrigerants Electricity Water Greens Transportation Bottled Water Community & Health Waste 140 ACTIONS
    37. 37. Data Reports
    38. 38. Air Aware Program Goals: EDUCATE – Air quality Includes: and lung disease, • Interactive Champion presentation primarily asthma and • Outdoor learning module allergy • Curriculum-connected activities • Science • Health PROTECT - Health by • Physical Education avoiding negative impacts • Social Studies (triggers) and using tools • Geography such as AQHI and Air Aware resources INSPIRE – Lifestyle changes - adopt healthier, more active, less fossil fuel dependent lifestyles
    39. 39. Air Aware Program Asthma/Allergies Three Target Groups Air Quality 1. Schools – grades 6- 12 & postsecondary Active Lifestyles 2. Sport and Recreation Groups Athletes 3. Coaches – all levels
    40. 40. A Positive Cycle Improved Health, Happiness and Wellbeing Healthier, Less Air Pollutants Happier, Safer Communities Less Global Warming & Climate Change
    41. 41. What Can We Do as Educators?Sustainable Wellbeing inEducation – Our Goals:① C② C③ C④ C⑤ C
    42. 42. Contact InformationJESSICA TUDOS, M.Ed., OCT, CLEAN AIR CHAMPION * *
    43. 43. Athletes Inspiring Action for the