School: A Healthy Workplace? Health Promotion and Prevention in the Teaching Profession

Friday, 20 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Christina MOGG, University of Vienna, Austria
The teaching profession is a challenging one for many reasons: Teachers have to deal with current societal changes due to migration processes, social problems and behavior changes in children. Teachers’ working hours, work tasks and their field of responsibility are not clearly defined and their profession is broadly discussed in public – often negatively biased (Rothland, 2013). Teachers are exposed to a high level of physical and psychological stress as well as to an ongoing change of the educational system. This research project deals with the question which measures of health promotion and prevention could be taken to reduce stress factors for teachers. Therefore 20 guided interviews with experts in health promotion at schools, principals and teachers of different school types in Austria have been conducted and analyzed using a summarizing content analysis. The results show different organizational and individual measures of health promotion for teachers. These include training and supervision programs for supporting them in reflecting their professional life, increased team teaching, allocating social workers and psychologists at schools and relieving teachers of administrative tasks. Health promotion for teachers is also seen as one of the management’s tasks and is not perceived as being the teacher’s personal responsibility exclusively. These required management tasks include enhanced social support of teachers and fostering their collegial cohesion, providing training and support programs for personal and professional matters for developing skills to manage the professional life in a health promoting way as well as to enable teachers to change their profession if necessary.