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Centre for Children and Young People

Improving Approaches to Wellbeing in Schools: What Role does Recognition Play?

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This study is the largest in Australia to date to invite students' views about wellbeing in schools and, importantly, to identify similarities and differences between teacher and student views, and how these broadly align with current policy perspectives.

The aim of the research was to generate new knowledge about 'wellbeing' in schools.

Drawing upon insights from principals, teachers, students and existing policies, together with key ideas offered through recognition theory and Childhood Studies, the research:

  1. Develops a detailed understanding of how 'wellbeing' in schools is currently understood by students, teachers and educational policy makers;
  2. Investigates the potential of recognition theory for advancing understanding and improvements in relation to student wellbeing;
  3. Generates new knowledge about how educational policy, programs and practices in schools could more positively impact on student wellbeing.

The research was conducted in four phases:

Phase 1 - Policy Analysis: Analysis of key relevant local (system), state and Commonwealth policy regarding wellbeing (N =80)

Phase 2 - Qualitative: Semi-structured interviews with teachers and principals (N=89); focus group interviews with primary and secondary students (N= 606)

Phase 3 - Quantitative: Interactive online survey with primary students (N=3906) and secondary students (N=5362) and staff (N=707 comprised of principals, teachers and non-teaching staff) across three Catholic school regions

Phase 4 - Synthesis of findings and professional development for schools

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Download Project Components

Phase 1 Summary:

Summarises the findings from Phase 1 of the research, which is an analysis of relevant national, state and system level policy pertaining to wellbeing in schools.

Phase 2 Summaries:

Three summaries were created for primary school students, secondary school students, and teachers and principals. These summaries include findings from Phase 2 of the research, which consisted of in-depth semi-structured interviews with principals and teachers and focus group interviews with students.

Phase 3 Summaries:

Three summaries were created for primary school students, secondary school students, and teachers and principals and other school staff. These summaries include key findings from online surveys with principals and teachers, primary school students and secondary school students.

Phase 4 Wellbeing in Schools Professional Development Resource:

This presentation reports key findings from the Wellbeing in Schools research for professional development purposes in schools.