Ideas for celebrating International Day of Happiness (20 March)
- Ideas for celebrating International Day of Happiness (20 March)
Did you know that the tiny Himalayan state of Bhutan has a national goal of greater happiness instead of wealth? Gross National Happiness (GNH) is considered to be more important than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Bhutan.
Founded by the United Nations in 2012, International Day of Happiness is celebrated annually throughout the world on 20 March. Why not take a look at the following ideas from the Global Learning Programme (GLP) that could help you celebrate this day in your school in 2018?
Are some parts of the world happier than others?
The World Happiness Report for the UN lists countries according to their level of happiness:
- In 2018 the happiest country in the world is reported to be Finland, closely followed by Norway, Denmark and Iceland. They scored well for caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.
- The UK has been ranked 19th.
- People in China are no happier than 25 years ago, though on average they are much better off. Happiness in the USA has fallen, mainly due to social causes.
- 80% of differences in happiness are found within countries, rather than between countries. Between rich and poor countries there are some differences in what makes people happy or unhappy, but mental health and work are big factors in most places.
What about the UK?
In the classroom
- Visit Gapminder’s Dollar Street to investigate people’s lifestyles around the world; you can filter by topic (such as teeth and toilets) to compare rich and poor – both within and between countries, continents or the world. How far does material wealth equate with happiness?
- Coolmaps has a world map animation that cycles through countries in order of the 2013 happiness rankings.
Support from the GLP
The world community has signed up to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UN’s roadmap to economic, social and environmental well-being.
- The GLP’s SDG collection includes background briefings and activities to explore development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
GLP-approved CPD – book by 29 March 2018
You can use GLP funding* worth up to £500 to pay for attendance at a wide range of accredited CPD courses until 1 June 2018. Our CPD Calendar offers a variety of courses to help you incorporate global learning into your classes. The deadline to book onto any of these courses is 29 March 2018, so please make sure that your school is registered for the GLP, and has completed the online questionnaire, before this date.
- 5 steps to well-being through global outdoor experiences, on 23 May 2018, aims to help teachers understand the five steps to mental well-being recognised by the NHS to contribute towards the development of a more sustainable society. Discover how global outdoor experiences can be key to encouraging well-being, and explore how outdoor mindfulness activities link to global learning.
- (Re)connecting people and planet: learning and well-being, on 22 March 2018, aims to (re)connect teachers with the bigger picture of education. If you are a teacher looking to find greater purpose in your teaching and learning and you want to prepare young people to survive and thrive in an uncertain future, this course will help you to focus, and inspire you to make greater cross-curricular and local to global connections.
- Building resilience skills in our young people through multicultural education using Shiatsu massage and Mindfulness is a ‘flexible’ course, meaning that it can be arranged for a time that suits you. The course aims to explore the questions: 'What does it mean to be well?’; ‘What is resilience?'; and ‘How can Shiatsu and mindfulness skill our students to stay well?’. It will help school staff to feel more confident in self-regulation of their own well-being, classroom management and build a stronger more supportive staff team.