Ethical capability trail: happiness

90 minutes
Year level
Year: 5–6
25 students

Program changes in 2018

In 2018, this program will be rested due to our exciting Vision 2020 redevelopment project.

For Year 5 and 6 students exploring the ethical capability curriculum, the Happiness Trail simultaneously investigates notions of happiness and history.

The program introduces students to Melbourne in its early years, asking them to contemplate: how do you build a happy city?

This program is created in conjunction with the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools, and relates to Ethical Capabilities and History in the Victorian Curriculum.

Student experience

Students will:

  • undertake a history-themed scavenger hunt through our heritage spaces, including the spectacular La Trobe Reading Room
  • discover historical items from the Library's collection and use them to stimulate conversation about competing concepts of happiness and place in colonial Victoria
  • explore the significance of 'means versus ends' in the context of colonisation and discuss how ethical principles are formed from world views and cultural background
  • record their thoughts using words and drawings in an accompanying activity booklet.

Skills development

This program links to the Victorian Curriculum and assists students to:

  • explore concepts of happiness, place and prosperity (VCECU009) and practise justifying their views with evidence and ideas (VCHHC083)
  • identify examples of continuity and change in colonial Victoria (VCHHC085) and discuss their ethical implications (VCECE012, VCECD013).

Note: for pre- and post-classroom activities, visit the Victorian Association for Philosophy in Schools website.

Embark on a journey of discovery at the State Library

Held in the inspiring heritage setting of Australia's oldest public library, our school excursions offer students a uniquely immersive, enriching experience, encouraging return visits and life-long learning. The Library has provided free access to information and education since 1856, and we invite students to become part of history as they tour the breathtaking dome and view our historic collections. All tours and workshops are developed by experienced teachers, aligned to the Victorian Curriculum and facilitated by expert staff.