After spending years in World War II concentration camps, Viktor Frankl emerged to develop a psychology of hope and meaning that emphasized what Abraham Maslow later called the human momentum for "self-actualization". More recently, leading scholars have taken these ideas further. Since 1998, "positive" psychology has amassed an understanding of humans at their best. A worldwide collaborative effort now attempts to balance psychology's early focus on psychopathology with empirical science and sound practical strategies that promote wellbeing, quality of life, and resilience. Students will engage in active experiences related to gratitude, hope, savoring, altruism, etc. Objectives for this course are for students to develop a general body of knowledge (and experience) about the new social science regarding the more positive aspects of human existence, as well as specific strategies for change at the individual, social, and cultural levels. We will be “living” much of this material, so this information should be directly applicable to your personal and professional development.
50% of this course will be on-line (using Slack chatrooms, watching my lectures, posting your work to the Canvas site, and responding to peer papers). On the first night of class during Week 1 you will gain proficiency using the on-line technology. It should be possible to schedule weekly seminars taking students’ preferences into consideration. The seminar schedule will be created by the start of the second week. If you have any questions about this use of hybrid learning, you can contact the faculty. The in-class portion of the course will include 12 hours the first week (Tuesday night and the first Saturday) and 8 hours the final week of the quarter (the Saturday at the end of Week 10), with the remainder of instruction on-line. Faculty will be available on a regular basis throughout each week to guide your learning.