The Cultivation of Wisdom in the Classroom: Does the Glück Curriculum Cultivate Wisdom in Adolescents?
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In this thesis it is my concern to inquire into the possibility of the cultivation of wisdom in an educational setting. In order to find out more about that I have focused on exploring the subjective impressions from several adolescents who participate in a particular school subject called Glück at a school in Germany. The curriculum lasts about two years and the research participants are in their first semester of attending class. Glück (English: happiness) is in this thesis explored with a specific focus on wisdom. Therefore the fields of happiness and well-being literature are only briefly mentioned. This thesis illuminates the life tasks and challenges young persons are exposed to in this particular phase of life. I draw on the theoretical background of Glück. The German term "Glück" has a slightly different meaning than the term "happiness". In German, "Glück" includes the intentional and the unintentional kind of happiness we perceive, while current happiness and flourishing literature illustrates the kind of state of happiness as something that one has to be actively creating for oneself. I also draw on constructive-developmental theory and recent wisdom literature discussing the importance of fostering wisdom-related skills. Reading wisdom literature, gathering and analyzing the data led to the conceptualization of a model exploring the stages in the evolution of wise acting presented in chapter 5. The empirical data that arose from this research study alludes to the research participants perceiving the Glück curriculum generally speaking both as useful for their development and applicable in everyday situations. They also perceive it as a learning arena beyond their traditional school curriculum. The key findings in this research study are:The Glück curriculum helps the adolescents to use and refine tacit knowledge which suggests that Glück teaches for gaining a higher degree of wisdom-related knowledge.The process of reflection, generalization and development of self-awareness changed the adolescents’ subjective perception of their own outcome of their attendance in Glück.The process of reflection, generalization and development of self-awareness also helped to develop their understanding of lived key experiences in a larger life context.Developing more self-awareness and understanding for the impact of the Glück curriculum revealed developmental growth going on in a parallel mode