Hope and Joy in Education

Engaging Daisaku Ikeda Across Curriculum and Context

Edited by Isabel Nuñez and Jason Goulah

Foreword by Cynthia B. Dillard

Published by Teachers College Press in Association with the Ikeda Center, April 2021
Paperback ISBN: 9780807765104
Hardcover ISBN: 9780807765111
Ebook ISBN: 9780807779446

Winner of a 2022 Society of Professors of Education
Outstanding Book Award!

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Students, parents, and educators are increasingly frustrated, demoralized, burned out, and discontented with education and schooling today. At no time has it been more necessary to revitalize hope in the promise of education or to reestablish joy in teaching and learning. In this timely and inspirational volume, authors from diverse disciplines consider and affirm the many places across curriculum and context where hope and joy are or can be strong and vibrant. Grounded in the life-affirming ideals of renowned education philosopher and school founder Daisaku Ikeda, Hope and Joy in Education will reenergize educational research, theory, and practice. Ultimately, the book reminds readers that the classroom is still a magical space, brimming with the brilliant and creative energy of young people.

Book Features

  • Illustrates the power of Daisaku Ikeda’s ideas to confront the challenging societal contexts and conditions that schools and educators face day in and day out.
  • Shares narratives that employ critical and antiracist lenses to examine the authors’ own activist work with different populations across multiple contexts.
  • Considers Daisaku Ikeda’s contributions relative to established and emerging trends in education, including the Deweyan tradition, ecojustice education, critical race feminism, and others.
  • Provides cross-cultural examples and insights bolstering the current resurgence of humanistic, qualitative aspects of teaching and learning.
  • Shows how the essential qualities of hope and joy fortify fields and themes that have been squeezed out by political agendas and standardized testing.


Isabel Nuñez is professor of educational studies and director of the School of Education at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Jason Goulah is professor of bilingual-bicultural education and director of the Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education at DePaul University in Chicago.

Advance Praise

“This is a necessary text at a necessary time if we are to revitalize hope in the promise of education.”
—From the Foreword by Cynthia B. Dillard, University of Georgia

“A beacon of light toward desirable collective futurities in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and vulnerability.”
Ming Fang He, Georgia Southern University

“These essays are just what we need in these turbulent, uncertain times.”
Denise Taliaferro Baszile, Miami University

“How do we go on hoping after witnessing trauma? Hope and Joy in Education grapples with that question, one of special urgency in our post–George Floyd moment.”
Awad Ibrahim, University of Ottawa

“This insightful book urges educators to center hope and joy in our work by fostering dialogue, seeking connection, and remembering that the true aim of education is to become more fully human.”
Gregory Michie, Chicago public school teacher, and author, Holler If You Hear Me


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