‘Hope and Joy in Education’ Debuts
by Mitch Bogen
Special to the Tribune
The Ikeda Center’s newest book, Hope and Joy in Education: Engaging Daisaku Ikeda Across Curriculum and Context, launched in virtual but grand style on April 15. Nearly 300 attendees from 20 countries heard editors Isabel Nuñez and Jason Goulah offer thoughts on their motivations and hopes for this groundbreaking multi-author volume, published with the center by Teachers College Press.
Nuñez said her vision for the book goes back to her years as a first-grade teacher, when she found that if kids aren’t having fun, they’re not learning either. Today, joy remains central to her teaching and in her position as director of the School of Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
Goulah, who is director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University, said another motivation was their conviction that today’s educators, who face many social and institutional challenges, could benefit from engagement with Daisaku Ikeda’s deeply intentional approach to hope and joy.
Commenting on the roster of accomplished contributing authors, Nuñez said that these are scholars whose work exhibits emotional resonance, coming from the heart as much as from the head. Goulah added that the contributors have all been forging “new ways of making meaning,” positioning them to offer fresh insights on Ikeda’s vision of education as value creation and mutual growth.
When asked how educators can keep hope and joy alive after the painful, tumultuous year of 2020, Nuñez said that for her, it has been the Buddhist teaching of turning poison into medicine that reveals how true good might come from the pain of these preceding months.