Exploring Absolute Happiness Through Experiential Education

Nai Cheng Kuo, Tomohiro Kawaguchi, Yu Fen Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Happiness is an important but less-explored topic in higher education. This calls for examining courses in higher education on happiness and how college students perceive happiness through experiential learning activities. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to analyze the development of a happiness course in higher education and understand students’ perspectives toward their experiential learning activities. Methodology/Approach: The course materials (e.g., the syllabus), teaching logs, students’ reflective observations, and final projects were collected. Content analysis was adopted to analyze the course design. Findings/Conclusions: The concrete experiences in this happiness course involved field trips, hands-on activities, dialogue, inquiries, and shared reading. These activities were associated with good relationships, art, and the human spirit, a healthy life, peaceful coexistence with nature, as well as harsh realities and optimism. Evidence from reflective observations demonstrates students’ personal unique perspectives toward the experiential learning activities on absolute happiness. The final projects as active experimentation deepened students’ understanding of absolute happiness. Implications: Converging evidence across intrapersonal, interpersonal, and intergroup domains, our study suggests the possibility of using Ikeda’s six life conditions for absolute happiness and Kolb’s experiential learning model to help college students develop knowledge and wisdom for creating absolute happiness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-362
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Experiential Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Daisaku Ikeda
  • Kolb’s experiential learning model
  • absolute happiness
  • experiential education
  • higher education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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