A staff well-being framework for the 21st century (SWF21)
Doctorate other than PhD
A staff well-being framework for the 21st century (SWF21)
|Type||Doctorate other than PhD|
|Author||Chee, Yan Hoon Shirleen|
|Supervisor||Teh, Mui Kim|
|Institution of Origin||University of Southern Queensland|
|Qualification Name||Doctor of Professional Studies|
|Number of Pages||235|
This Workplace-Based Learning (WBL) dissertation is the culmination of an in-depth study, which I have embarked upon as a mature student, and as a senior education officer, with more than ten years of experience as a school leader.
As an educator, I have always valued the opportunity for continued learning, and where learning is very much shaped by one’s attitude rather than any physical structure such as a school. I have always looked for opportunities to learn; through courses, conferences or through the acquisition of new roles, which inevitably bring
My desire to embark on a doctoral programme led me to explore different programmes offered by different universities. I was on the verge of signing up with another university, when I was approached to consider a Doctor of Professional Studies (DPST) with the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). What made the DPST attractive is its value in working on direct concerns that arise from the workplace. It focuses on projects that require one to acquire new knowledge to tackle issues emerging from challenges in the workplace. The DPST dictates that the candidate is disciplined and committed to learning, and the learning outcome is of meaning to:
As part of the requirements of the DPST, I needed to provide evidence of prior learning. This gave me a chance to reflect on the learning accrued in my entire career. This learning journey commenced with my appointment as a Beginning Teacher to that of a Senior Education Officer. My portfolio of learning (available for review upon request) traced the beginnings of my entry into the Education Service and how issues of working with stakeholders, catering to pupil differences and conflicting demands of family and workplace were managed. The portfolio continued to trace the changing landscape of an educator’s work from curricular development to innovation, and to learn and understand the need for an educator to deal with curricular designs and be constantly engaged in educational innovations.
The road to continuous learning has seen me embarking on a Masters Programme that explored the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in school. This took place during the late 1990s when ICT began to make its impact on education. In addition, the participation in a “Leaders in Education Programme” (LEP) in Singapore helped me to appreciate the multi-faceted role of a school leader; the need for ongoing innovations within a school with an engaged staff; and most importantly, a realisation that learning and innovations were integral to the teaching profession.
The Learning Proposal (available for review upon request) thus centred on an area of study that addressed the well-being needs of staff members in the schools, namely the teachers. With the many changes confronting teachers, and the heavy demands on them, the stress level would inevitably rise and threaten their well-being. One needed to explore if the well-being needs for the 21st century worker had changed when compared with the well-being needs of the workers from the previous century, which centred on fair financial compensation for work done, and to be adequately equipped to do the work, that is, a need for provision of relevant and sufficient job training for the staff.
A proposal was put forward to look at a meaningful staff well-being framework for the 21st century. It outlined four phases of work (see Figure A.1) that would lead to a twofold intent of the study for the DPST: the construction of a staff well-being framework, and the identification of domains and measures of staff well-being. The framework was to be implemented in at least one of the schools identified in the assessment of the well-being needs of the teachers.
The dissertation explored and identified well-being needs through literature reviews, a questionnaire survey and focus group interviews. It looked at empirical data and contextual understanding of the participants in the survey. As a qualitative study, I observed how the staff made sense of the information gleaned; designed the Staff
The methodology adopted for this study was the ‘survey method’ and the data collected is predominantly qualitative, although some quantitative data of the organisation was used to inform the direction of the study, and to provide feedback on the implementation of the well-being study. This had the benefit of seeing the reality in its complexities, and provided an understanding of why directions for implementation had to be changed because of staff feedback and other challenges often found in the workplace. The unpredictable and complex context demanded
More importantly, it highlighted the importance of the communication process and the collaborative skills needed in the 21st century workplace. Communication and collaboration were critical to a successful implementation of the framework and policies. This was even more so in the area of well-being, for the staff needed to see how theories, plans and policies could be translated to actions and practice that genuinely addressed and sufficiently impacted well-being issues.
In summary, the dissertation offered a description of an approach to address the wellbeing needs of staff in an educational institution in the 21st century. It explored the complexities involved in the understanding of well-being today, and it proposed a framework based on current understanding of organisations in the 21st. century. The
|Keywords||staff; well-being; teachers; educational institutions|
|ANZSRC Field of Research 2020||390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators|
|Byline Affiliations||School of Arts and Communication|
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