Book | Educating for Purposeful Living in a Post- Traditional Age | Philip Hughes
One of the fundamental pillars of wellbeing is the feeling that we matter, that our very existence and our contributions have made a positive difference in this world. In the field of positive psychology this is labelled as ‘positive purpose’. Philip Hughes explores this theme in his insightful book Educating for Purposeful Living in a Post- Traditional Age.
Hughes’ thought-provoking analysis highlights issues that need to be addressed in a Western post-traditional world. Purpose is no longer assigned by the community; nor is it dependent on gender or social class. Similarly, tradition and religion no longer define a person’s purpose. Hence, Hughes advocates for a new way of conceptualising notions of purposeful living for our youth.
Based on years of research and experience, Hughes explores the notion of what purposeful living entails and its immense benefits not only for society but for the individual who contributes to something greater than themselves.
Hughes also looks at the crucial need for purposeful living to be included explicitly into the school curriculum.
The wellbeing of our youth and our communities depend on this. This is what makes this book such an important addition to any school, family or organisation seeking ways to provide meaning for our youth.
While the book contains sound theoretical underpinnings, it also provides clear direction for schools in their attempts to formulate a curriculum for the education of purposeful living from Years 7 to 10. In an educational context, this is one of the book’s greatest strengths.
Hughes forces us to question our current modes of operation in schools and in society-at-large while still offering practical suggestions and a sense of hope.
His book is a bold and challenging work that should be widely read, discussed and implemented in our schools.
Lucinda Malgas is a chaplain and teacher at Kingswood College.
Available at: cra.org.au