The Science of Happiness and Well-Being

From: $76.00 / month for 5 months

Grades: 9th–12th

Live Class: Tuesday and Thursday 11:00–12:00 p.m. ET
(Thursday is class lab.)

Dates: August 23–December 17

Price: $329

Instructor: Bonnie Gonzalez, M. ED.

See Reviews of Instructor Bonnie Gonzalez


Course Description

See Reviews of Instructor Bonnie Gonzalez


This class meets twice a week.

Everyone wants to be happy, and there are countless ideas on what happiness is and how we can achieve it. But, can we learn how to have a meaningful life? Are there practical lessons from science that we can apply to our own lives to develop meaningful relationships and contribute to the greater good of others? The answer to these questions is yes.

Through research-backed evidence and activities, it is my goal to teach strategies for developing both happiness and social-emotional well-being. The Science of Happiness and Well-Being is a class which is designed to teach the new research into the field of positive psychology. Students will study the practical lessons from this science and discover how this research can be applied to their own lives.

Through a series of 12 educational modules on the Canvas website, students will focus on important findings in positive psychology: that happiness is linked to social connections, how religion and spirituality are connected to well-being, and how investing in goals greater than ourselves contributes to not only our happiness but also to the greater good of everyone. Modules will include readings and videos to enhance the live lecture content. Students will be required to complete weekly exercises to practice new skills.

Class time will include both lecture material and discussion. As a teacher, I am committed to crossing the virtual divide which occurs in an online class. My “office door” is always open and both parents and students can feel free to communicate with me.

Course Structure

This class is structured as a series of 12 modules. Each module will be covered in 2 weeks or less. Students will be required to complete readings on the topics, listen to short videos related to the concepts, and then attend both one-hour live class components each week. On Monday of each week, an email will be sent to students introducing the topics, assignments, and quizzes. Assignments will include journal entries, personal reflections, and exercises to practice the new skills. There will be several quizzes to measure comprehension of the material. A final rewiring project will be required where the student will use newly taught strategies in a real-life application.

During a typical week, the student will spend about 3-4 hours on this class. All live portions of the class will be recorded and posted by Thursday afternoon of the week of recording.

Who should enroll?

This course is primarily for 9th–12th graders, but I will consider mature 8th graders as candidates for the class.

Technology Requirements

  • High speed, broadband Internet
  • Sound card and microphone (for live sessions)
  • Streaming video capabilities to watch recorded lectures

Evaluation and Feedback

Work will be graded promptly, within a day or two of submission. Grading is based on effort as well as accuracy. Parents will be sent mid-year and final grades and be informed if the student is not participating in the work required. I communicate promptly with both parents and students via email.


If the student is in 8th grade before registering for the class, parents should contact me first. Students in 9th-12th grade can simply register for the class. You will hear from me promptly once you register. The best way to contact me is through email.

Required Texts


  • Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Flourishing, ISBN 13: 978-1111834128


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Instructor Bio

Bonnie Gonzalez

The field of psychology is not only my career; it is also my passion. You might even call me a “psychology nerd.” Much of my free time is spent reading about new and interesting developments in the field. I have taught Introductory Psychology classes to homeschool students and college students and have taught AP Psychology for the past 13 years. Over the past four years, I also developed a series of self-improvement classes for junior high and high school students on the topics of GRIT, Growth Mindset, Getting Things Done for Teens, and Conquering Procrastination.  My teaching has also taken me into the corporate world where I have developed online seminars for healthcare providers on the topics of stress, communication, job burn-out, anger assessment and management, and boundary setting. I have 39 years of experience as a counselor in the field of individual, marriage, and family counseling where I had the opportunity to instruct individuals in developing new and more productive behaviors.  When I am not reading something new about psychology I enjoy gardening, running, and taking care of my dogs and fainting goats.  My degrees include an M.ED. in Counseling Psychology and a B.A in Psychology, both received from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

Course Taught by Bonnie Gonzalez

Science of Happiness and Well-Being
Secrets of Success: Developing Self-Control, Grit, and a Growth Mindset


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