Pre-service teachers’ perception of wellbeing

Year: 2019

Author: White, Mathew

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The 2018 Mission Australia Youth Survey Report highlights that 43 per cent of young people believe mental health is the top issue in Australia today. Consequently, over the past decade, Australian schools and education systems have responded in a myriad of ways. These strategies include the introduction of wellbeing education, targeted interventions, policy reforms and the uptake of positive education. Initial teacher education has been hesitant to integrate wellbeing across the pre-service teacher education program, courses, and pedagogy. In 2018 the University of Adelaide developed the Adelaide Wellbeing for Learning Framework applying Gilly Salmon's Carpe Diem process. The outcome is a research-informed Wellbeing for Learning Framework integrated across initial teacher education programs. This framework, the first of its type, was accredited in 2018 by the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia. First, this paper outlines the Carpe Diem process by Gilly Salmon adopted by the School of Education to create the Adelaide Wellbeing for Learning Framework. Second, initial findings of 54 Bachelor of Teaching and Master of Teaching students' perception of character and wellbeing in education will be critiqued. These responses were collected before explicit teaching based on the Adelaide Wellbeing for Learning Framework, which will also be discussed. The paper will outline the online survey creation, which included several Likert scale questions, categorical questions with drop down responses, and open-ended questions. The survey generated descriptive data displayed by bar plots and open-ended responses. The paper will examine the respondents understanding of the relevance of student wellbeing and academic accomplishment, the importance of teacher wellbeing to engage and motivate students, and where wellbeing education for students happens. In addition, the paper will critique pre-service teachers' understanding of character and wellbeing with several influential definitions from the literature.