This blog has been designed most for the benefits of my students. I am interested in spiritual intelligence because I believe it leads to happiness and resilience. If you want copies of my published research (conference papers or articles in journals), feel free to contact me.
Since early February 2014, my students have been working with students at SMK Hillcrest and SMK Sri Gombak. Having read the literature since 2010, I have an idea of the theory behind happiness. With IIUM students, I can get them to listen to Islamic talks once a week and they - as an indirect consequence - become happier in 75% of the cases. But how to apply this in secondary schools? My conclusion is that Project-Based Learning (PBL) can help. Many kids at secondary school have a choice: To have an easy life or to have a good life. Happiness requires some sort of planning and this is what most kids at secondary school lack. PBL - in our case, getting secondary school kids to make videos - forces them to consider alternative life options. It helps them to think about the difference between having an easy life and a good life. Sounds simple right? Believe me, it is a lot of work and I have to thank my facilitators for doing most of it.
Since 2010, I have - alhamdulillah - quite a clear idea of happiness from an Islamic perspective. Helping my students become happier is quite easy. Their lack of happiness is rooted in a lack of understanding of Islam. By asking them to listen to Islamic talks every week, I am "forcing" my students to improve their knowledge - and this helps them to develop a more optimistic and happier outlook on life. As an incentive, I dangle very good coursework marks to push them forward.
The trick is whether I can use a similar (but different) approach with school kids who I cannot reward by giving them coursework marks. One idea is to get teenagers to make videos about other successful teenagers. I launched this project today with two schools in Gombak. Hopefully, through a process of vicarious learning, they will find that their life (and level of happiness) improves.
I am teaching management and organizational behaviour at the International Islamic University Malaysia. Since 2010, I have been researching anything related to Happiness in Islam. This blog documents my reading, my hypotheses,s and the data I collected.