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Thursday, July 4 • 3:10pm - 4:25pm
Developing Novel Approaches to Support Science Teacher Well-being

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A recent NFER report (Worth, Lynch, Rennie, and Andrade, 2018) has highlighted the acute teacher recruitment and retention crisis and emphasised that the challenges are particularly severe for science teachers. The report argues that, because teachers report threats to their well-being as a significant factor in deciding to leave the profession, proposed solutions such as increasing salaries and benefits will not remedy the crisis. In response to this crisis of teacher well-being, well-intentioned schools have adopted a well-being agenda which seeks to support teachers by providing a range of interventions, such as yoga and Pilates classes (Stanley, 2019). We argue that such support can be problematic because it places the responsibility of fostering well-being on the individual when teachers’ well-being is often threatened by structural causes beyond teachers' control. This year, we have introduced sessions to support the well-being of trainee teachers on an initial science teacher education course. To develop these sessions, and to develop approaches to supporting teacher well-being more widely that acknowledge the structural causes of stress, we have received funding to carry out research exploring teacher well-being. The study involves interviewing 18 teachers in primary and secondary schools to understand the well-being support being offered to them and to examine teachers’ views on the appropriateness of the support. The teachers were selected using a purposeful sampling strategy to maximise variation in the role, type of school and years of experience. The semi-structured interviews ask teachers to describe the well-being support they currently receive and how effective they feel it is in supporting their well-being. We intend to present data from the initial stages of data collection and report how practitioners’ views can be used to develop new approaches to support teacher well-being.

avatar for Richard Brock

Richard Brock

Lecturer in Science Education, Kings College London
After teaching in Japan and working in a special school, I taught secondary science in Essex for eight years. I currently teach on the PGCE, and MA programmes and supervise doctoral students at King's College London. I am deputy director of the MA in STEM education. My  research... Read More →

Alex Manning

Lecturer in Science Education, Kings College London

Emma Towers

Teaching Fellow in Education Policy, Kings College London

Thursday July 4, 2019 3:10pm - 4:25pm BST
Owen 943 https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Sheffield+Hallam+University/@53.378081,-1.4708524,16z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x487982831b2243e9:0x37add1086f57be4f!8m2!3d53.3780778!4d-1.466475
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