a.The core theme of this project is wonder-full education and human flourishing.
b.This project is needed because while the sense of wonder is widely acknowledged to be an important human strength, and it is also widely recognized that the sense of wonder tends to diminish as we grow older, we have very little insight into a) what exactly – if anything – makes wonder important to individual human flourishing, b) how children differ in their sense of wonder; and c) what schools (can) do to promote wonder, and thereby human flourishing.
c.The project addresses two Big Questions: What does it mean to flourish as a human being? and How can education promote human flourishing? We aim to contribute a partial answer to these questions by investigating the following Research Question: Does wonder-full education promote human flourishing?
d.To answer the research question we will carry out two types of activities: research projects (projects 1-7) and cross-cutting and overarching projects (projects 7-14) that will ensure wide dissemination and feedback.
e.Deliverables (projected Outputs): 13 academic papers, 2 instruments (questionnaires) + validated translations, 1 monograph, 1 international conference, 1 edited volume, 2 seminars, 1 conference for teachers, 15 conference papers, 17 popular/professional publications, 14 popular talks, a website and Twitter account, teaching materials.
f.Likely impact (projected Outcomes): 1) advances in insight in wonder’s role in education, and its relation to various character strengths and human flourishing; 2) more academic interest in the educational importance of wonder; 3) school administrators and teachers will be more aware of the potential of (wonder-full) education to promote human flourishing; 4) the importance of wonder and of flourishing as an aim of education will play a more prominent role in public debate; 5) education students at Vrije Universiteit will be thinking about the educational importance of wonder.