Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Early Childhood Special Education Teachers' Wellbeing through a Multidimensional Framework: A Mixed Methods Study
by Walter, Heather Lynn, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2020, 230; 27672616
Abstract (Summary)

Mental health continues to be an important issue in the teaching profession. Significant numbers of teachers in the United States have experienced pervasive symptoms of psychological distress, stress, and burnout that effect their own personal wellbeing and the academic and social-emotional experiences of the students they teach (Jennings, 2017; Roffey, 2012). Recent models have emphasized wellbeing as an important component of mental health, and the PERMA model of wellbeing, the dual-factor model of mental health (DFM), and the person-environment fit model may help to understand how teachers’ positive traits, experiences, and institutional factors influence their intent to persist in the field. Recent research illustrates several gaps in understandings about positive indicators of teacher functioning as well as how teachers define overall teacher wellbeing as it influences them to persist in the field. Given the limited understanding and the omission of theoretical models that enhance understandings of positive experiences, traits, and institutions, it is critical to investigate the usefulness of applying positive psychological wellbeing perspectives to understand optimal teacher functioning, as well as what contributes to overall early childhood special education teacher wellbeing. This study uses an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design to explore teacher wellbeing and how it influences them to persist in the field (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2018). Latent Class Analysis (LCA) is used to analyze survey data. Interviews then help determine confirmation or discrepancies within the quantitative results. The results of this study address several gaps in the research and provide practical information for practitioners, researchers, and policymakers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tuckwiller, Elizabeth D
Commitee: Howard, Lionel C, Frey, Jennifer R, Rice, Elisabeth K, Spencer, Karin H
School: The George Washington University
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Special education
Keywords: Early childhood education, Positive psychology, Special education, Teacher wellbeing
Publication Number: 27672616
ISBN: 9781658498937
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