Understanding the factors that contribute to Educator Flourishing





Recent research supports the use of positive psychology in education and sets out ideas for educators and leaders to promote and guide student flourishing in schools. There is significantly less research on how educators flourish. This study explores the conditions needed for educators to flourish by applying Constructivist Grounded Theory to uncover the experiences of people who identify as flourishing educators. The researchers conducted 13 interviews with self-identified flourishing educators and educational leaders and sought feedback from experts on a proposed theory. Participants included educators and educational leaders in various locations throughout the U.S.A., Europe, the Middle East, and the U.K. This resulted in the Ecological Model for Flourishing Educators which included these elements: authenticity, integrity, agency, autonomy, professional and personal growth, positive relationships, receiving recognition and acknowledgment, being treated as a professional and feeling seen, valued and trusted. The term ‘flourishing educator’ is used to be inclusive of all types of educators, not merely teachers. Based on the research, the researchers posit a new definition of flourishing educators: A flourishing educator is an educator who feels seen, trusted and valued. They are treated as a professional and encouraged to be authentic. They have autonomy, integrity, agency and experience positive relationships along with personal and professional growth. This study has implications for educators and educational leaders, and will hopefully encourage further research on educators within the field of positive education.


Keywords: flourishing educators, educational leaders, grounded theory, ecological model


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