Promoting the Occupational Well-being of Teachers for the Comenius Program

Terhi Saaranen, Kerttu Tossavainen, Eva Ryhänen, Hannele Turunen


This article reports the development and results of a project within the Comenius program to promote teachers’ occupational well-being, in which Finnish, Irish, Italian, and German school communities participated between 2003 and 2006. The project made use of participatory action research, in which the occupational well-being of staff was developed in accordance with the ideas and operational models of the learning organization. The occupational well-being of teachers along with its development requirements were evaluated using a quantitative index questionnaire distributed in four schools in 2004 and 2005. Finnish teachers experienced improvements in the functionality of their work community, based on all of the sum variables measured during the follow-up year. Positive development was less significant in the partner countries. Based on the results of this research and the practical experiences gained through this project, we conclude that it is important to get school staff involved in actions that develop their occupational well-being by encouraging participation and cooperation, develop the pedagogical leadership skills of the school head, and stimulate cooperation between researchers and school staff. In addition, a project coordinator is required; if she/he has good interaction skills and is socially competent, this individual will be a key foundation for the success of the project. This article contains evidence-based information for school staff, school administrators, researchers, health care staff and educators that is valuable for developing the occupational well-being of school staff within the school community. The results gained through this study cannot be generalized, but they can be considered indicative of comparable situations.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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