Initial teacher education in school students’ social and emotional wellbeing and mental health in Australia

Year: 2013

Author: Cefai, Carmel, Askell-Williams, Helen

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:


Social and emotional wellbeing and mental health have been making deep inroads into the school curriculum in recent decades. As the educational agenda broadened, classroom teachers have become under increasing pressure to effectively address both the cognitive and the social and emotional needs of their students. One of the implications of this development has been the focus on teacher education in promoting and supporting the students’ social and emotional wellbeing and mental health through their classroom practice at both taught and caught levels. This paper explores Australian teacher educators’ views on initial teacher education (ITE) in school students’ wellbeing and mental health, including content areas, teaching methods and assessment modes. Their views on the student teachers’ own wellbeing and mental health as part of ITE was also examined. Thirty teacher educators from eight universities in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, participated in semi structured interviews. About60 student teachers in South Australia (10% response rate) completed an online questionnaire on their ITE in school students’ wellbeing and mental health, and in their own wellbeing, and ontheir perceived competence and confidence in promoting student wellbeing as classroom practitioners. This paper presents the main themes emerging from both sets of participants, including the practices taking place, the challenges being faced, and recommendations made for a more effective ITE in student wellbeing and mental health.

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