Happier students tend to have higher GPAs
A correlation between students’ happiness and their motivation and achievement has been found by Christina Hinton, an adjunct lecturer at the Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. The research conducted at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland, on 450 students suggests that student’s happiness depends upon the relationships they form with teachers and classmates. It confirms that a happy student tends to be high-achieving student. Hinton says “It’s often seen as you have to sacrifice happiness in order to do well”; “In fact, if you support students’ happiness, they’re more likely to do well.”
Hinton’s Harvard colleague Daniel Gilbert, identify happiness “as frequent positive feelings accompanied by an overall sense that one’s life has meaning.” He finds a close connection between happiness and workplace success.
Ellen Condict defines happiness as, “having intrinsic desires and motivations that drive us to achieve. … Wanting something worthy and then working to achieve it. Those desires make us actively participate in life.” Condict elaborates that an unhappy student at school also exhibit low motivation, which leads to lower grades — even when the student may be very bright.
As an advice for parents, Condict says, “Give them external motivations and expectations to live up to, and encourage and reinforce in them the desire to work hard,”
As per experts, “Parents should cultivate and cradle their child’s curiosity and creativity. There are no columns for these on a report card, but they are the cornerstones of a love of learning,” “If a child truly loves the process of learning, they will value their work and it will be reflected in their performance.”
Hinton, the author of the study says she wanted to test her hypotheses in a real school setting, instead of a laboratory, which made her select St. Andrew’s for its Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning.
Experts say that it has often been found that, grades kill the intrinsic motivation in learning. It is important to know as “There are plenty of students and parents with an unhealthy obsession with GPA,” Obsessing over grades does not help.