Listening to student voices
: factors affecting well-being in school

  • Deasyanti .

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Indonesia’s education system is characterised by teacher-centred approaches and rote learning, and learning in school tends to focus on achieving academic standards and requirements of the curriculum. Pressures are placed on students from teachers and parents to achieve good academic results – particularly in urban settings. Teachers also tend to focus on effective ways to produce better test results rather than on student well-being and learning. Within this educational context, this study addressed the issue of student well-being in school, often measured in terms of school satisfaction or school happiness. Student happiness in school is important because happier students have been shown to learn better. In researching this topic, a mixed methods approach was used to investigate student perspectives on their school experiences and learning environment. Student voice about their school experiences is a critical focus in this study, expressing a communicative power that highlights the realities of school life. Emerging themes of this study identify the learning environment factors that impact student well-being in school. Self-determination theory is used as a theoretical lens to differentiate school well-being in terms of hedonic perspectives – measured by level of school satisfaction and positive and negative affect, and eudaimonic perspectives – indicated by school happiness, and also by the fulfilment of basic psychological needs. Furthermore, this theory is used to analyse the extent to which school provides a psychologically healthy school experience for students. Despite most students reporting they are happy in school, their feelings of dissatisfaction also indicate that school experiences have not provided sufficient opportunity for them to satisfy their basic psychological needs. Students in this study may experience happiness in school, but this may not necessarily yield the fulfilment of their need for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGreg Shaw (Supervisor)

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