Jones, C., Hadley, F., Waniganayake, M. & Johnstone, M. (2019). Early childhood educators’ workplace well-being: A case for using self-determination theory to understand and support workplace well-being in early childhood services. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal. Special issue presenting early childhood position papers, 22(2), pp. 9 - 17.
Further articles that may interest you are:
- Jones, C., Hadley F., & Johnstone, M. (2017). Retaining early childhood teachers: What factors contribute to high job satisfaction in early childhood settings in Australia? NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal: Special Issue "Educators and their Work", 20(2), 1-18.
- Jena-Crottet, A. (2017). Early childhood teachers’ emotional labour. NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, Special Issue: Early Childhood Teachers and their Work, 20(2), 19-33.
- Hodgkins, A. (2019). Advanced empathy in the early years – a risky strength? NZ International Research in Early Childhood Education Journal, 22(1), pp. 46-58.
Original Position Paper
Early childhood educators’ workplace well-being: A case for using self-determination theory to understand and support workplace well-being in early childhood services
Catherine Jones, Fay Hadley, Manjula Waniganayake and Melissa Johnstone
Macquarie University, New South Wales
Current conceptualisations of Early Childhood (EC) educator workplace well-being are problematic due to large gaps in the workplace well-being literature. Gaps include a dearth of research examining healthy well-being, limited qualitative studies to understand the complexity of workplace well-being and a focus on hedonic well-being (happiness at work) without the inclusion of eudaimonic well-being (meaningful work). Moreover, attention in the literature is mainly given to external conditions influencing well-being such as poor pay and working conditions. This article begins with a critique of EC workplace well-being literature and then provides an argument that asserts Self-Determination Theory (SDT) has the potential to provide a more suitable conceptualisation of EC educator well-being. Key principles of both SDT and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) are provided to highlight the suitability of using SDT to understand and also support the healthy well-being of those working in prior to school settings in the Australian ECEC context.
Key words: Self-determination theory, well-being, work-place stress, job satisfaction.
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