Research Seminar: Professor Faye McCallum

 Photo of presenter: Professor Faye McCallum, Head of School of Education, University of Adelaide

Teachers’ Wellbeing During Times of Change and Disruption

Abstract: Teachers are the most important in-school factor influencing student academic achievement and satisfaction (Hattie & Yates, 2014) and during times of crises, like the global COVID-19 pandemic, the work of teachers has been more critical than ever. Teachers’ wellbeing has gradually emerged as a growing concern, however, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schooling was being realised, Viac and Fraser’s (2020) OECD Education Working Paper, A teachers’ well-being: A framework for data collection and analysis, raised the concern for teachers’ wellbeing and warned that it requires urgent attention to better understand its effects on teaching and learning. This study asked two research questions: What is the wellbeing of teachers? What do teachers’ value about themselves, their teaching and their schools? This presentation discusses the thoughts, feelings and impact on the wellbeing of teachers (n = 271) from Australia, Asia, South Africa, North America, and UK, as they planned for and implemented effective teaching and learning in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The discussion takes an ecological perspective to show that teachers’ work and their wellbeing exists across many levels, and highlights the importance of teachers’ roles in supporting future student learning during times of disruption. The scientific contribution of the study relate to policymakers who have the opportunity to enact change for the better, governments to fund and focus on the sustainability of the teaching workforce, and educators who take heart from thriving through a very difficult time in history. The pandemic has highlighted how complex and interconnected countries across the world are and how integral education is with social, political and economic systems. A recovery, by its very description, should never return the same, so it is timely to acknowledge the value and contribution of teachers across the globe who have been at the forefront of this pandemic.

Faye McCallum PhD is Head of the School of Education and a Professor of Education at the University of Adelaide. She has worked in higher education for 30 years across Australia. Faye’s research interests include wellbeing education; attraction, retention, and sustainability of teachers in rural areas; education policy and systems; and initial teacher education. She has published extensively with over 100 publications, including 4 books with her most recent being Wellbeing and Resilience Education (2021) with Assoc Prof Mathew White through Routledge. Her research has been cited in the 2019 Global Happiness and Wellbeing Policy Reports tabled at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Faye is an expert consultant to the OECD on teacher wellbeing.

To discover more about Professor McCallums research interests:  

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