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Critical viewpoint to early childhood education teachers’ well-being at work

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Author(s): Outi Ylitapio-Mäntylä | Satu Uusiautti | Kaarina Määttä

Journal: International Journal of Human Sciences
ISSN 1303-5134

Volume: 9;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 458;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: early childhood education | early childhood education teacher | well-being at work | stress | memory-work method

ABSTRACT
Early childhood education teachers’ happiness at work reflects in children. Finnish day care system has faced plenty of changes and they can also reflect in well-being at day care. The aim of this article to dissect the state of well-being and thriving at work in Finnish day care centers from early childhood education teachers’ point of view and to discuss how well-being could be promoted. The data comprises group interviews (N=9) collected with memory-work method among North-Finnish early childhood education teachers (N=4). The results revealed that several factors were reported as threatening early childhood education teachers’ well-being. These kinds of factors were, among others, increasing amount of administrative tasks as well as concern about their educational task becoming narrower, the sufficiency of one’s own resources, and how the economic measures for efficiency have started to extend to day care as well. Perceived well-being increases when early childhood education teachers have time to encounter an individual child and concentrate on their basic work, rearing and teaching children. Based on the findings, suggestions how to enhance early childhood education teachers’ well-being are discussed. Promotion of well-being necessitates development actions both at the level of society, day care system and early childhood education teachers’ personal level. In this article, we highlight how organizational structures enhance or hinder well-being.
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