Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Toward a Theory of Child Well-Being

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

What is child well-being? This has become a more and more central question in education as behaviourist and instructivist approaches give way to pedagogies based in care and nurturing. But there's no single account of well-being; as Raghavan and Alexandrova note (18 page PDF), it can be divided into three consequentialist approaches: mental states theories, desire-based theories and needs-based theories. The authors offer a type of developmentalism as their own proposal: "child well-being is invariably a developmentally-situated notion." At the same time, "well-being is inherently an "ecosocial" or contextual notion, rooted within the social ecology of the particular child." It's also worth reading Jennifer Hawkins's response to Alexandrova's book on the topic. Hawkins, " trying to understand her concerns as linguistic concerns," argues "dfferent explanations seem appropriate depending on whether we are studying the claims of social scientists or the claims of ordinary people," but suggests "what I want to know is not how we currently talk, but how we ought to talk, and that is really at bottom a question about the value of concepts and conceptual clarity." Image: Carter and Andersen.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 21, 2024 8:33 p.m.

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