Societal Independence and Mental Health: Teacher Perspectives

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Despite the accolades heaped upon our inclusive Canadian schools, we still serve our students in two categories: those who qualify for specialized services, and those who do not. Rather than focusing on diagnoses, codes, and individualized supports, this research examined an educational
    structure acknowledging the individuality of each student. In our classrooms, all students have needs and challenges which change regularly, regardless of labels and diagnoses. All students have strengths and skills as well. Teaching students to accept differences, recognize challenges, and support each other builds a culture referred to herein as societal independence. Societal independence is an original term coined in this research. It describes the ability of individuals to perceive themselves and each other as valued member of a productive and collaborative community. This qualitative study addresses the impact of school principals on teacher perception of societal independence.
    Data were collected through teacher interviews, employing professional observation, accessing government documentation, and completing a literature review to determine how principals can engender a culture of societal independence. After examining the data, it became apparent that
    accessing mental health services and mental health education is essential. Furthermore, four areas for development emerged: personnel, support for teachers, mental health education, and school culture. When principals can effectively manage school personnel in collaborative teams, provide adequate support for teacher wellness and ongoing teacher education, access time and resources for mental health education for students, and foster a diverse, welcoming, and proactive school culture, teacher perception of societal independence will increase.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International