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Teachers’ and principals’ application of positive psychology strategies: impacts on wellbeing, professional practice and student learning

Employee mental health School principals Teachers Psychology Australia

Australian teachers and school principals are increasingly experiencing workplace stress and burnout.

Building on the findings of the researchers pilot study, this study aimed to explore the effect of principals and teachers use of four positive psychology strategies on their perceptions of wellbeing, teaching practice and students’ learning.

This study demonstrated that teachers’ perceived that their wellbeing, pedagogical practice and student learning was positively enhanced through their application of positive psychology strategies.

In addition, principals reported feeling more engaged at work and creative in problem solving at work. Principals also reported that using these positive psychology strategies positively impacted their ability to perform at work, enabling them to better understand, appreciate and support staff, students and parents.

Providing teachers’ and principals’ with the time and training to apply positive psychology strategies in their daily professional practice is an effective strategy in supporting teacher and principal wellbeing. In addition, this may have flow on benefits for student learning.

The findings of this study may inform changes to organisational and pedagogical practices which are supportive of teacher and principal wellbeing.

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