Research topic: THE ROLE OF GRATITUDE IN EDUCATION
Description: Gratitude can be defined as a generalized tendency (life orientation) at perceiving and appreciating life’s positive aspects (Wood, Froh, & Geraghty, 2010). The Australian researcher, Kerry Howells (2012), suggests that incorporating gratitude into a school environment is a very important—albeit still neglected—task of a contemporary school, which may significantly improve the relationships between teachers and pupils, and enhance well-being of all members of educational process.
Our cross-sectional study will involve at least 250 teachers from different schools. The participants will be asked to fulfill the questionnaires measuring various aspects of gratitude (i.e., the overall level of gratitude, gratitude towards particular people, perceived gratitude of other people), burnout, well-being, and job satisfaction. Although our study will be primarily quantitative, we also plan to extend it with qualitative aspects (i.e., semi-structured interviews with teachers). The main purpose of the study is to test the model, in which being grateful and receiving gratitude of other people is negatively related to the teacher’s burnout, in this way enhancing teachers’ well-being and job satisfaction. We will also examine the teachers’ attitude and different kind of experience related to expressing gratitude or receiving gratitude of others in a school environment and investigate whether teachers shape a culture of gratitude in their workplaces. The results of our research may provide the scientific basis for preparing workshops for teachers which will help them to boost own gratitude, and model this prosocial characteristic among their pupils.
Keywords: gratitude; teachers; pupils; school; well-being
Research team: Irena Polewczyk, Edyta Charzyńska, Joanna Góźdź, Małgorzata Kitlińska-Król