How does teacher well-being affect student learning?

Assignment type: Essay
Author: Fiona Marsh
Submitted: November 2017

Teacher well-being is predominantly explored in terms of its deficits, due to reports of stress and burnout being highly prevalent across the teaching workforce. Teacher well-being (and lack of) is considered to have a small influence on student learning and achievement. The research on mechanisms which underlie this influence mostly report indirect links, through teacher engagement, teacher student relationships (TSRs) and teacher quality. However, there are massive gaps in the literature, and concerns over methodology (especially causality and generalisability), defining constructs (teacher quality) and weak links to student learning (teacher engagement). Currently TSRs appear to be the most plausible mediator between well-being and student learning. EPs are in a good position to support teacher well-being and facilitate positive effects on student learning. Helping to foster positive TSRs and school climates, promoting the use of supervision, and delivering stress management programmes may be particularly useful. Future research should focus on how teacher well-being can positively influence student learning. By knowing what works, this may then aid interventions to help stressed teachers and develop positive environments for learning.

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