Study 10: Mathematics Teacher Wellbeing (MTWB)

Internationally one of the greatest challenges of today’s teaching profession is high teacher attrition. Added to this is the chronic shortage of mathematics teachers in many countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Teaching continues to be a demanding profession, the pressures of which contribute to growing levels of stress and teacher burn-out — aspects of teachers’ mental health and wellbeing we cannot afford to ignore. Whilst educational agendas over the last decade have attended to issues of wellbeing, these have often focused on student wellbeing leaving teachers’ wellbeing vastly underexplored. Yet still, the limited attention to teacher wellbeing tends to focus on the teaching profession more broadly, with little to no explorations of teacher wellbeing in individual subject areas – including mathematics. We see this lack of subject specificity as problematic because we expect that how wellbeing looks and operates can differ across contexts. If we hope to improve the wellbeing of mathematics teachers, we must first understand the unique challenges these teachers face, and the factors supporting teacher wellbeing specific to the mathematics classroom.

The focus of this interdisciplinary study is on conceptualising a comprehensive model of MTWB. The overarching goal of this work is to contribute to the design of innovative approaches to conceptualising ITE education programmes in mathematics teacher education— programmes which focus not only on teacher knowledge, enactive experiences, and reflective practice, but also on teachers as individual human beings, who feel, suffer and struggle. In that, we want to draw the focus back to the person who needs not only to learn how to look after the wellbeing of their students but also how to develop mechanisms for effective managing their own wellbeing in a very difficult and demanding profession. Consequently, the hope is to help address the issue of teacher burnout and hight levels of teacher attrition.


Julia HILL (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Prof Jodie HUNTER (Massey University, New Zealand)
Asst Prof Gosia MARSCHALL (University of Cambridge, UK)

Research teams:

AustraliaJulia HILL
The University of Melbourne
New ZealandProf Jodie HUNTER
Massey University
University of Cambridge

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