Developing ‘Happiness Engineering’ Subject for the Schools in India: Designing the Pedagogical Framework for a Sustainable Happiness Curriculum


  • Ashraf Alam Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India
  • Atasi Mohanty Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India



Wellbeing, Sustainability, Pedagogy, Happiness, School Education, Teaching, Learning, Indian Schools


The aim of this research was to develop the ‘Happiness Engineering’ subject by designing a ‘sustainable happiness curriculum’ and ‘pedagogical framework’ for the schools of India by adopting the whole school approach. Happiness Engineering subject is modelled like any other traditional school subject, e.g., History, Chemistry, or Computer Science. The researchers have prepared it by adopting the scientifically proven ‘global best practices’ exercised in different schools, colleges, and university departments across the globe in ‘sustainability education’, ‘adjectival education’, and ‘well-being education’. It has been adapted and contextualised to be implemented in Indian schools by considering the available infrastructural resources in existing Indian schools and bearing in mind the feasibility of its effective transaction. Experiences of 129 experts from India that included senior secondary school teachers, school counsellors, pedagogical scientists, learning theorists, health experts, people from NGOs, and professors of education, were used to modify and contextualize the prepared curriculum framework for the ‘Happiness Engineering’ subject to effectively cater the needs of Indian senior secondary school students.


Download data is not yet available.


Bennett TH, Holloway KR. Drug misuse among university students in the UK: Implications for prevention. Subst Use Misuse. 2014;49:448–55.

Brown, K., & Kasser, T. (2005). Are psychological and ecological wellbeing compatible? The role of values, mindfulness and lifestyle. Social Indicators Research, 74, 349-368. doi:10.1007/s11205-004-8207-8

Busari AO. Evaluating the relationship between gender, age, depression and academic performance among adolescents. Sch J Educ. 2012;1:6–12.

Cain, G., & Carnellor, Y. (2008). ‘Roots of empathy’: A research study on its impact on teachers in Western Australia. Journal of Student Wellbeing, 2, 52–73.

Chandramouli C. Release of Social and Cultural Tables: Age. Data Highlights. Census of India; 2011. 2013. Aug, [Last accessed on 2018 Nov 18]. Available from: 2014.

Chida, Y., & Steptoe, A. (2008). Positive psychological well-being and mortality: a quantitative review of prospective observational studies. Psychosomatic medicine, 70(7), 741-756.

Clonan, S., Chafoulea, S., McDougal, J., & Riley-Tillman, T. (2004). Positive psychology goes to school: Are we there yet? Psychology in the Schools, 41, 101–110.

De Neve, J. E., Diener, E., Tay, L., & Xuereb, C. (2013). The objective benefits of subjective well-being. World happiness report.

Deb S, Strodl E, Sun J. Academic stress, parental pressure, anxiety and mental health among Indian high school students. Int J Psychol Behav Sci. 2015;5:26–34.

Diener, E., & Chan, M. (2011). Happy people live longer: Subjective well-being contributes to health and longevity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 3, 1-43. doi:10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x

Fan C, Chu X, Wang M, Zhou Z. Interpersonal stressors in the schoolyard and depressive symptoms among Chinese adolescents: The mediating roles of rumination and co-rumination. Sch Psychol Int. 2016;37:664–79.

Fielding, M. (2001). Beyond the rhetoric of student voice: New departures or new constraints in the transformation of 21st century schooling? FORUM, 43, 100–112.

Fonseca-Pedrero E, Aritio-Solana R, Chocarro de Luis E. Stress assessment during adolescence: Psychometric properties and measurement invariance of the student stress inventory-stress manifestations across gender and age. Eur J Dev Psychol. 2016;13:1–16.

Guo H, Yang W, Cao Y, Li J, Siegrist J. Effort-reward imbalance at school and depressive symptoms in Chinese adolescents: The role of family socioeconomic status. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014;11:6085–98.

Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., Asplund, J. W., Killham, E. A., & Agrawal, S. (2010). Causal impact of employee work perceptions on the bottom line of organizations. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(4), 378-389.

Jackson, A., & Davis, G. A. (2000). Turning Points 2000: Educating Adolescents in the 21st Century. Williston, VT: Teachers College Press.

Jayanthi P, Thirunavukarasu M, Rajkumar R. Academic stress and depression among adolescents: A cross-sectional study. Indian Pediatr. 2015;52:217–9.

King KA, Vidourek RA, Singh A. Condoms, sex, and sexually transmitted diseases: exploring sexual health issues among Asian-Indian college students. Sex Cult. 2014;18:649–63.

Liu Y, Lu Z. Chinese high school students’ academic stress and depressive symptoms: Gender and school climate as moderators. Stress Health. 2012;28:340–6.

Liu Y, Lu Z. Longitudinal analysis of Chinese high school student’s stress in school and academic achievement. Educ Psychol. 2011;31:723–9.

Lyubomirsky, S., King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success?. Psychological bulletin, 131(6), 803.

MacDonald, G., & Hursh, D. (2006). Twenty-first century schools: Knowledge, networks and economies. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

McCombs, B., (2004). The learner-centered psychological principles: A framework for balancing academic achievement and social-emotional learning outcomes. In J. Zins, M. Bloodworth, R. Weissberg & H. Walberg (Eds.), Building academic success in social and emotional learning (pp. 23–29). New York: Teachers College Press.

Noddings, N. (1995). A morally defensible mission for schools in the twenty first century. The Phi Delta Kappan, 76, 365–368.

O’Brien, C. (2010a). Sustainability, happiness and education. Journal of Sustainability Education, 1.

O’Brien, C. (2010b). Sustainable happiness and health education: Teacher’s guide.

Palmer, P. (2003). Teaching with heart and soul: Reflections on spirituality in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 54, 376–385.

Priller, E., & Schupp, J. (2011). Social and economic characteristics of financial and blood donors in Germany. DIW Economic Bulletin, 1(6), 23-30.

Ricard, M. A. (2003). Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important skills: Happiness.

Rosa MC, Preethi C. Academic stress and emotional maturity among higher secondary school students of working and non-working mothers. Int J Adv Res. 2012;1:40–3.

Royal Government of Bhutan (2012). The report of the high-level meeting on wellbeing and happiness: Defining a new economic paradigm. New York: The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Bhutan to the United Nations. Thimphu: Office of the Prime Minister.

Sapna D. Prevalence of Stress among School Children in Kerala. 2010. Feb 17, [Last accessed on 2019 Feb 22]. Available from:

Scrimin S, Mason L, Moscardino U, Altoè G. Externalizing behaviours and learning from text in primary school students: The moderating role of mood. Learn Individ Differ. 2015;43:106–10.

Seligman, M. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary new understanding of happiness and well-being. New York: Free Press. Positive Education Interventions

Solutions (2011). Teaching happiness: The Prime minister of Bhutan takes on education.

Sonali S. Impact of academic stress among adolescents in relation to gender, class and type of school organization. Int J Appl Res. 2016;2:317–22.

Talwar R, Kumar V. Determinants of psychological stress and suicidal behavior in Indian adolescents. J Indian Assoc Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2014;10:47–68.

UNESCO. (2005). Guidelines and recommendations for reorienting teacher education to address sustainability. Education for sustain-able development in action. Technical paper No. 2.

Wickramaratne, P. J., Weissman, M. M., Leaf, P. J., & Holford, T. R. (1989). Age, period and cohort effects on the risk of major depression: Results from five United States communities. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 42, 333–343.

Yates, L. (2007). Learning to ‘become somebody well’: Challenges for educational policy. The Australian Educational Researcher, 34, 35–52.



How to Cite

Alam, A., & Mohanty, A. (2023). Developing ‘Happiness Engineering’ Subject for the Schools in India: Designing the Pedagogical Framework for a Sustainable Happiness Curriculum. Qubahan Academic Journal, 3(4), 1–20.