1st Edition

Education and Schmid's Art of Living Philosophical, Psychological and Educational Perspectives on Living a Good Life

By Christoph Teschers Copyright 2018
    176 Pages
    by Routledge

    186 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Instead of simply following the current neoliberal mantra of proclaiming economic growth as the single most important factor for maintaining well-being, Education and Schmid’s Art of Living revisits the idea of an education focused on personal development and the well-being of human beings. Drawing on philosophical ideas concerning the good life and recent research in positive psychology, Teschers argues in favour of shifting the focus in education and schooling towards a beautiful life and an art of living for today's students.  

    Containing a thorough discussion of the ideas of contemporary German philosopher Wilhelm Schmid, this book considers the possible implications of developing a more humanistic and life-centred approach to educational policy, research and practice, showing that Schmid’s concept of Lebenskunst provides a firm philosophical basis for this endeavour. Among others, this book draws on analytical and continental traditions to challenge current views and assumptions in regard to education and the role of schooling for contemporary societies. As a result, Teschers’ work is sure to spark a debate about the direction of educational policy and practice in the 21st century.

    Education and Schmid’s Art of Living is essential reading for academics and students with an interest in education. Given the importance of such topics as the relationship between education and society, teacher education and how best to structure schools and learning environments, Teschers’ work will appeal to academics and students in a diverse range of fields, including education, philosophy, sociology and psychology.

    List of Figures  Acknowledgements  Preface  1. Introduction  2. Philosophical Concepts of the Art of Living  2.1 Various Interpretations of the Art of Living  2.2 Relevant Philosophical Concepts Explored  The Philosophic Life – Socrates  Hedonism – Epicurus  Eudaimonia – Aristotle  The Morally Good Life – Kant  The Care of the Self – Foucault  3. Emotions and the Good Life  3.1 Defining Feelings, Emotions and Affects  3.2 A Classification of Emotions – Past, Present, Future  3.3 Defining Relevant Emotional Concepts  Sensational and Attitudinal Pleasures  Happiness and Eudaimonia  Joy and Enjoyments  Satisfaction and Contentment  Well-Being and Subjective Well-Being  3.4 Positive and Negative Emotions  3.5 Suffering and Despair  3.6 The Good Life  4. Positive Psychology and the Art of Living  4.1 The Relevance of Positive Psychology for an Art of Living  4.2 The Usage of Terms  4.3 Subjective Well-Being and Positive Emotions  Emotions About the Past  Emotions About the Future  Emotions About the Present  4.4 Enhancing Positive Emotions and Enduring Happiness  Positive Emotions  Enduring Happiness  Signature Strengths and the Six Core Virtues  4.5 Flow  Why Flow?  What is Flow?  Social and Cultural Perspectives  Limitations of Optimal Experience  4.6 Meaning in Life and Harmony  Purpose  Resolve  Harmony  5. “Lebenskunst” – Schmid’s Concept of the Art of Living  5.1 Schmid’s Approach  5.2 Choice and Freedom  Problems of Choice  Choice and the Art of Living  Education and Choice  5.3 The Quest for a New Art of Living  Philosophy of the Art of Living  Ethical Considerations  Descriptions of the Art of Living  Fundamental Questions  5.4 The Care of the Self  The Subject of the Care of the Self  The Labour of Care  5.5 An Educational Perspective  Hermeneutics  Techniques for an Art of Living  Education for the Art of Living  6. Lebenskunst and Positive Psychology in Dialogue  6.1 The Relevance of the Art of Living and Positive Psychology Today  6.2 Concepts and Definitions of a “Good Life”  6.3 Concepts of the Self  6.4 Social Influences on Individual Human Beings  6.5 Control Over Consciousness and the Care of the Self  7. An Educational Approach to the Art of Living  7.1 Reasons for an Educational Approach  7.2 An End of Education  7.3 The Importance of the Art of Living for Education  7.4 An Educational Critique of Schmid’s Concept “Lebenskunst”  8. Beyond Schooling  8.1 Education and Schooling – a German Perspective  8.2 De-Schooling and the Art of Living  The De-Schooling Critique  Possible Ways Out  8.3 The Art of Living and Schooling  9. Life-Pedagogy – An Education for Life Concept  9.1 Pedagogical Content and Practice  Skills and Knowledge  Hermeneutics  Bildung  Wisdom  Spirituality and Education  Mindsets and Attachments  9.2 Requirements for Teaching the Art of Living  The Teacher, His or Her Personality and Developing an Art of Living  Pedagogical Approaches for Teaching the Art of Living  Teaching Settings and School Context  Implications for Teacher Education  10. Conclusion  Bibliography


    Christoph Teschers has held a range of positions at New Zealand tertiary institutions since 2012 and is currently faculty member at the College of Education, University of Canterbury. Following a period of study at the Friedrich-Alexander University, Germany, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy in education at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Dr Teschers’ research interests include well-being, the art of living, positive psychology, and philosophy for children. 

    ‘Teschers introduces the reader to the work of Wilhelm Schmid, a German theorist who urges us to develop our own art of living in order to live a beautiful life. With this pedagogical aspiration in mind, Teschers takes seriously the idea that we are individuals living in a social context and that learning is something we do throughout our lives, and not solely in the classroom. Using a clear and accessible writing style, Teschers offers practical and theoretical suggestions as to what a contemporary education should look like, and invites us to reflect upon individual and societal values as we aim at developing practical wisdom. This book will be of interest to a wide audience, particularly those interested in philosophy, education, psychology and well-being.’ – Laura D’Olimpio, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, The University of Notre Dame, Australia. 

    ‘Teschers’ Education and Schmid’s Art of Living is a welcomed perspective to education at a time that tends to be dominated by narrow economic interests. Teschers’ book reinvigorates the ancient but perennial quest to seek a happy and good life – or in today’s terms, a sense of well-being. This rich and holistic notion of the good life involves engaging philosophically with emotions, feelings, attitudes, cognition, meaning-making, purposefulness, wisdom and spirituality, both for individuals and for society more generally. He explores these mainly through a dialogue between positive psychology and Schmid’s approach to a beautiful life. The result is a formulation of an art of living for education which is able to empower individual persons and all of society. Not only does an art of living require students to take a responsible role, but Teschers also explains how teachers might be able to offer a pedagogy that is able to educate for such an artful enterprise. I thoroughly recommend this book for those who are seeking how to make human life more meaningful and how education may once again serve this quest.’ – Scott Webster, Senior Lecturer in Curriculum and Pedagogy, Deakin University, Australia

    ‘In this scholarly and readable work, Christoph Teschers brings the thoughts and ideas of contemporary German philosopher Wilhelm Schmid to an English–speaking audience. Drawing on rich philosophical traditions, which include the classical thinkers, Kant, and Foucault, Teschers argues that an education for the art of life is valuable, as it challenges the instrumentalist and economistic discourses dominating education, particularly at school level. Teschers builds a convincing case for showing that suffering and despair are part of human life, and can indeed be educative. The context of twenty-first century life that challenges traditional approaches to knowledge, opens the way to thinking differently about how to live life. How one may wish to live, rather than what it is one will do in life, is a central concern for Christoph Teschers, and this book makes a commendable contribution to addressing that concern.’ Leon W. Benade, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Research, School of Education, AUT University, New Zealand