Blue Classrooms: A snapshot of mental wellbeing education in Aotearoa New Zealand state secondary schools.

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dc.contributor.advisor Deane, Kelsey
dc.contributor.advisor Le Fevre, Deidre Hooker, Ngawai 2020-11-05T03:16:37Z 2020-11-05T03:16:37Z 2020 en
dc.description.abstract High national prevalence rates of poor youth mental wellbeing and Aotearoa New Zealand’s consistent global ranking in having the highest youth suicide rates have led to a strong government interest in national mental wellbeing. Accordingly, this focus on mental wellbeing is seen in current government strategies, policies, and the budget. This focus should also be evident in school policies, strategies and curricula as literature suggests that secondary schools are well-placed to access adolescents to support their lifelong positive mental wellbeing through education of the relevant information and skills. However, there is a lack of published empirical research on current secondary school approaches to mental wellbeing education or the perceptions of these approaches in Aotearoa New Zealand. This research therefore aimed to address this gap in research on mental wellbeing education in Aotearoa New Zealand and the approaches that state co-educational secondary schools are using to support student learning in this area. Through qualitative research, this study draws on school leader and student experiences to provide a snapshot of the current mental wellbeing education in state secondary schools across low, middle and high socio-economic communities. Semi-structured interviews with three school leaders and four semi-structured focus groups and interviews with 28 Year 12-13 students provided rich data about mental wellbeing education in their three schools. A reflexive thematic analysis highlighted a shared understanding of the holistic nature of mental wellbeing and the evolving needs of today’s students who require fresh approaches. Mental wellbeing education was perceived to be high stakes with respect to its impact on educational achievement and social and economic outcomes, and suggests an impetus for schools to enhance youth access to effective mental wellbeing education. The findings revealed that beyond the junior-only compulsory curriculum, mostly one-off universal approaches were used where transmission-focused pedagogy was common practice. Participants were concerned with low student engagement, the focus on simplistic messages and a lack of embedded skill building. Participants felt that the resources to input mental wellbeing learning were insufficient. This included teachers with a lack of mental wellbeing training, heavy workloads and limited appropriate teaching time for mental wellbeing. Leaders were also concerned about the constrained counsellor resources and external services, which left many students unsupported. Given that key people, relationships and trust were highly valued by the participants, these resources were considered crucial to effective mental wellbeing education. Participants also revealed that the generation gap between students and their teachers or parents distanced these adults from the key issues that young people face today which resulted in youth relying on their peers and online platforms for this education and help.
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99265307713002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Blue Classrooms: A snapshot of mental wellbeing education in Aotearoa New Zealand state secondary schools.
dc.type Thesis en Educational Leadership The University of Auckland en Masters en 2020-10-08T07:34:27Z
dc.rights.holder Copyright: the author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
dc.identifier.wikidata Q112952377

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