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Exploring the role of gratitude in the professional experience of pre-service teachers


Howells, K and Cumming, J, Exploring the role of gratitude in the professional experience of pre-service teachers, Teaching Education, 23, (1) pp. 71-88. ISSN 1047-6210 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2012 Taylor & Francis.

DOI: doi:10.1080/10476210.2011.638370


The burgeoning body of empirical research in the area of positive psychology points to the beneficial effect of gratitude on factors that could be relevant to some of the challenges faced by pre-service teachers. Although the topic of gratitude has also long been discussed in other fields, there has been a noticeable absence of mention in teacher education research, and in education more broadly. The present article presents a theoretical framework for considering gratitude in the context of pre-service teachers’ professional experience. It then outlines a small qualitative pilot study of outcomes reported by six pre-service teachers when they consciously applied gratitude in their second practicum. The practicum was undertaken in a variety of primary- and secondary-school settings. Each participant reported positive effects in the areas of improved relationships, enhanced wellbeing, and improved teaching outcomes. Although this was a small exploratory study, the findings align closely with wider empirical work on gratitude. We propose that the outcomes reported by participants in this small study point to the value of further research on the role of gratitude in educational contexts and of considering practices of gratitude in teacher education pedagogy.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:teacher thinking and knowledge, gratitude, positive psychology, teacher wellbeing
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Teacher education and professional development of educators
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teacher and instructor development
UTAS Author:Howells, K (Dr Kerry Howells)
ID Code:75540
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2012-02-02
Last Modified:2016-10-19
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

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