Will I Be Happy? Who Cares?

Lewis Davidson, Mathematics, Mallard Creek High School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


This Curriculum Unit, intended for experienced teachers’ use at the start of a course, proposes a teaching framework to enhance student engagement. It provides activities to address specific knowledge requirements and to inspire collaborative group projects. Human Agency is applied to Education beginning with considerations of Classical to modern day Philosophers and Psychologists and their work particularly on the Pursuit of Happiness. Findings include that seeking Happiness and understanding Caring may provide strong motivational factors at the heart of increasing student engagement and inspiring higher levels of achievement in underperforming students. Learning activities are included that provide means to enhance student engagement and achievement. The first is to motivate students through an examination of why they are involved in a course. The second provides an exploration of Aristotle’s belief that “happiness is the ultimate end and purpose of human existence.” The third facilitates student consideration of factors that lead to ultimate happiness. The fourth facilitates student consideration of the question: “Who will take care of me?” It is the author’s belief that the concepts and activities shared in this unit provide means for building foundations to close achievement gaps and/or continue sustained high performance.