Title: A Strategy for Resilience: Strengthening Teachers’ Mental Health to Promote the Flourishing of the Whole School Community
Stream: Teaching and Learning
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Debra J. Phillips, Australian Catholic University, Australia
The presentation will focus on the ethical, theoretical and scholarly perspectives that underpin the design and development of Australian Catholic University’s newly launched Graduate Certificate in Mental Health for Teachers and Educators. The four subject course is a response to address increasing teacher burnout and attrition rates before and during the Covid-19 pandemic and developed to build resilience in teachers and their school communities. Teacher mental health and well-being has been an international concern for several decades. As part of their duty of care teachers tackle the challenges of competing priorities, and the additional role of their students’ mental health care. The link between schools, teacher workload and burnout; and of student academic outcomes is established. During the pandemic teachers also shouldered the burden of teaching large groups of students via digital technologies as well as having to manage their own domestic situation. The cumulative effect of stressful circumstances reduces coping mechanisms and erodes well-being, preventing the strengthening of resilient attitudes and activities. Currently, the only available academic Education-specific course about teachers’ mental health for educators offered by an Australian university is through Australian Catholic University online delivery platform launched in April 2022. ACU’s post-graduate degree course builds teachers’ mental health resilience through an examination of teacher specific, psycho-social-cultural factors inclusive of their professional work context. It seeks to promote concepts of social justice, the common good and human dignity as it explores the complexities of mental health issues that have emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic.
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