Learning is joy — wellbeing challenges in pandemic higher education

An intervention pyramid to support wellbeing in universities
  • The connection between wellbeing & learning: these concepts are connected because we cannot learn if we are not feeling well, while the way we teach and learn in turn impacts the way we feel. Wellbeing and learning are also intrinsically connected. True learning is a joy.
  • Wellbeing and human connection are related because we feel better when we are connected to other humans (see for example Seligman’s PERMA model). Wellbeing can also be considered a characteristic of a community, not just of an individual. Community wellbeing is about healthy relationships and feeling positive energy in a group or in a room (see this article for an example of how we used that perspective in previous work about the ‘healthy university’)
  • Learning and human connection are interrelated in peer learning and social learning. Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning cycle tells us how we learn in cycles of acting, experiencing, reflecting, and abstracting. Learning tends to be stronger when we (act and) reflect together in peer learning. Social learning means that we learn from observing each other, for example first year students learning from the behaviour of more experienced students.

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I'm a researcher, educator, and designer with an interest in systemic design, complexity, transdisciplinarity and public & social innovation - views are my own.

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Mieke van der Bijl

Mieke van der Bijl

I'm a researcher, educator, and designer with an interest in systemic design, complexity, transdisciplinarity and public & social innovation - views are my own.

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