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Using a Digital Learning Platform to Enhance Wellbeing Education for Preservice Teachers in a Global Context

Teacher education programs prepare teachers for meaningful careers and success in today’s diverse classrooms (UK Government, 2016; U.S. Department of Education, 2011). Advances in educational technology have benefited these programs, with increased access to develop global awareness, collaborative problem-solving skills, and self-directed learning experiences (Groff, 2013). This collaborative project addresses the use of a digital learning platform to initiate an online learning community between international universities engaged with teacher preparation and computer science. We report on the platform’s use to educate preservice teachers on the dimensions of wellbeing (social, physical, emotional, cognitive, spiritual) to develop professional identity and wellness in global contexts.

Each month a dimension of wellbeing will be explored by the preservice teachers through digital material posted on the platform. Bronfenbrenner’s (1979) ecological systems theory will support the participants’ interactions with the dimensions. The layered interrogation of wellbeing possible through Bronfenbrenner’s levels (microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, macrosystem) ensures that wellbeing is extensively critiqued and understood.

Data collection will engage mixed methods, including pre- and post-experience surveys. Butler and Kern’s (2016) PERMA-Profiler Wellbeing Survey will be adapted with teacher standards to analyse participants’ wellbeing states. Additionally, participants will follow the inquiry model (Stimulus, Reflect, Question, Plan, Act) for each dimension and the platform will capture actions and interactions at various points in the cycle that will be analysed using data science techniques, lexical semantic analysis, and other types of discourse analysis to assess the participants’ collaborative reflection and inform future enhancements of both the platform and the digital materials.

References

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1979). The ecology of human development: Experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Butler, J. & Kern, M. L. (2016). The PERMA-Profiler: A brief multidimensional measure of flourishing. International Journal of Wellbeing, 6(3), 1–48.

Groff, J. (2013). Technology-rich innovative learning environments. OECD–CERI Working Paper.

UK Government Policy Paper. (2016). Educational excellence everywhere.
Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/educational-excellence-everywhere

U.S. Department of Education. (2011). Education Department proposes reforms to improve teacher preparation programs and better prepare educators for classroom success. Retrieved from https://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/education-department-proposes-Reforms-improve-teacher-preparation-programs-and-b.