Module 08: Authentic Happiness ENG 2018

taught by Dr. Mary E. Sanders & Eric B. Hamilton
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Dr. Mary E. Sanders & Eric B. Hamilton
Dr. Mary E. Sanders & Eric B. Hamilton
Senior Instructors

About the Instructor

Dr. Mary E. Sanders and Eric B. Hamilton have combined their strengths to develop a unique, research-based program for schools, teachers, and students to increase wellbeing and happiness. To create our curriculum, we have curated the findings of Dr. Martin Seligman, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Dr. Angela Duckworth, Dr. Sonja Lyubomirsky, Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD., among other leading positive psychology experts, into practical strategies that can be integrated into teachers’ personal lives, as well as their classrooms, enabling teachers and students to thrive.


Eric B. Hamilton is a veteran director for international schools around the world. Eric has spent his entire career enabling schools to be happier, more compassionate environments where both students and teachers thrive. His extensive experience in curriculum development and school leadership have enabled him and Mary to develop their courses using the most contemporary and research-based pedagogical methods.

Eric has over 25 years experience in education as a teacher and leader. He attended the University of Delaware where he earned his B.S. in elementary education and middle school math. Later, he completed the master’s program at the University of Colorado in curriculum and instruction. He has been a dedicated practitioner of mindfulness, meditation, and yoga for the past 10 years.


Dr. Mary E. Sanders has been involved in the world of positive psychology, health, and wellness for more than 20 years. With certifications from the Wholebeing Institute in Positive Psychology and as a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practitioner, she is highly qualified to lead teachers towards happier, more holistic classrooms.

Dr. Sanders attended Eastern Illinois University and earned her B.S. in zoology and chemistry. She then attended Logan College of Chiropractic to earn her doctorate in chiropractic. Dr. Sanders is a certified yoga Instructor and has been a mindfulness, meditation, and yoga practitioner of over 25 years.

Module 08: Authentic Happiness


The Authentic Happiness model is the intersection of what brings one enjoyment, what the world needs and what the individual's strengths and skills are. In addition, finding meaning involves working on something bigger than self. There are three types of happy lives: a meaningful life, an enjoyable life, and an engaging life.

Flow can be described by the words of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, "The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." There are certain strategies that teachers can use to increase the amount of "Flow" time in their classroom.

Essential Questions:

Can you create authentic happiness in your own life? What is required to thrive in life? What is your purpose in life?
What are some global movements to increase authentic happiness? How are other schools creating authentic happiness for their students? How can teachers foster a sense of Flow in their classrooms? Can teachers help students find a sense of purpose and meaning?


  • Understand the Happiness Model and it's four categories: The Rat Racer, Nihilist, The Hedonist, and the Happy Person.
  • Discover the balance between meaning and purpose.
  • Define Purpose.
  • Explore the three kinds of happiness.
  • Learn strategies to personally increase FLOW.
  • Apply the strategies of Flow into the classrooms.
  • Become aware of global trends or movements to increase authentic happiness.

Course Contents

20 Videos
4 Quizzes
9 Texts
5 Disqus

Course Curriculum