Gross National Happiness, British values, and non-cognitive skills: the role and perspective of teachers in Bhutan and England

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Paro College of Education, Royal University of Bhutan


One of the fundamental debates in education is on what schools should teach, and in the balance between academic content and the role of the school to teach non-cognitive skills and traits. This article explores how teachers think about, and experience, their roles and responsibilities beyond merely deliverers of curricular academic content. We conducted focus groups and classroom observations of teachers in England and teachers in Bhutan. In each case, we discuss the policy and curricular context surrounding the role of schools to society, and in how this translates to the teachers themselves. In this comparison we found some convergence in the expression of stress to deliver an ‘over-subscribed’ curriculum and in the shared nationalistic goals of some sort of values education being offered, but we also found divergence in how teachers thought about their role and relationship to students, school culture, and if educational trends related to non-cognitive skills should be measured and assessed.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages34
JournalEducational Review
Early online date8 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jun 2018