Teachers’ Voices Season 3 Episode 5

Join educational researcher Nina Alonso for this podcast series as she shares powerful stories from teachers around the world, talking in their own words about their own experiences.

What  if schools were places of wellbeing where all students thrive? How do you define and measure wellbeing? What should a wellbeing school policy look like?

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In this episode, Nina talks to two experts from International Baccalaureate (IB) in Washington DC. Nicole Bien, Chief Schools Officer at IB, tells Nina that since the start of the pandemic, the IB has ensured wellbeing is at the core of the learning experience in their schools. “Wellbeing is so central to learning. Without it, there’s little space in a student’s mind and body to focus on learning”, Nicole says.

Jennifer Merriman, Global Director of Research, Policy & Design at IB, tells Nina about how the IB worked with Oxford Wellbeing Research Center to come up with a definition and framework for wellbeing. “Where they landed with the definition was student life satisfaction”, Jennifer says, and there are three components within that. One of their biggest insights is that there is “no trade-off to be had between wellbeing and academic performance”.

Nina also speaks to Charlotte Hankin, a teacher based in Bali. Charlotte describes the psychological, cognitive, social and physical components of wellbeing that she sees in the classroom. She believes that wellbeing is complex and dynamic, and that  “everyone is part of the student’s wellbeing”. Charlotte explains that it’s not all about being happy all the time. Children need to know that “it’s okay to feel disappointment, loss, grief, anxiety”. Those are normal emotions, and children need to be given the tools to work through those.

“Everyone is part of the student’s wellbeing.”

Charlotte Hankin, teacher.

Lastly, Nina speaks to Yvette Larsson who works in an IB school in Sweden. Yvette tells a story about the changes her school made to support wellbeing when the pandemic hit and schools remained open while the rest of the world seemed to be in lockdown.

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Listen out for

  • Designing curricula for holistic learning.
  • Student and teacher agency.
  • The four drivers of wellbeing: health, people, environment, skills.

Find out more on BOLD

What makes a happy school? Julia Mori describes how people, processes, and places can help children overcome challenges in a learning environment.

Transforming education to help children thrive together – Ross Hall argues that weaving people and projects together can develop the whole child and improve holistic wellbeing.

“Psychosocial wellbeing is necessary to reach one’s full potential” – Noreen Huni talks about helping children in sub-Saharan Africa feel good about themselves.

How nature can play a role in children’s wellbeing – In this episode of Teachers’ Voices, Nina explores how schools around the world are connecting children to nature for their wellbeing.

Guests and resources

Mamadou Diakhaté
Mamadou’s association building new schools, water wells and toilets for schools: Twitter

Ingrid Delange

Nicole Bien

Jennifer Merriman

Charlotte Hankin

Yvette Larsson
AHA! Wellbeing

International Baccalaureate
LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook
Festival of Hope: LinkedIn, Community Guide, YouTube trailer
Wellbeing research: What is well-being?, Supporting student well-being in a digital learning environment, Why well-being matters during a time of crisis, Well-being in education in childhood and adolescence, Join our student wellbeing learning journey with schools

Digital Promise
Designing an Intervention for Enhancing Student Wellbeing

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