Wellbeing in teaching

Recently the higher education field and its teaching have been shaken by many changes. It makes us ask what is high quality teaching nowadays and how is it achieved? How can the wellbeing of the teachers and the students be taken into account at the same time? Pedagogical wellbeing entails both teacher and student perspective. Our aim is to support pedagogical wellbeing in all Aalto community.
teaching wellbeing

Good pedagogical planning can support the wellbeing of the whole community. According to several studies, the wellbeing of a teacher and the wellbeing of students at are inextricably linked. After all, teaching and learning are not separate things, but the work of a teacher is daily encounters with students and other teachers. Teacher wellbeing has a positive effect on the quality of pedagogical work and students' academic skills. In teaching, this is reflected in e.g. as a positive incentive and support of experimentation. An individual, who is doing well, is better able to regulate stress, recognize their own values ​​and ways of thinking, and take these into action. At the same time, they supports the well-being of their environment.

Both study and wellbeing at work are the subjective experiences of the individual and are manifested, for example, as feelings ofcoping and the effort given. Wellbeing at work is built on the content of work, the social and physical work environment, issues related to management and the connections between them. Study wellbeing refers to the wellbeing experienced by a student in their own institution and the connections associated with it. Instead of focusing solely on improving the wellbeing of individuals, we as a community must aim for community, holistic wellbeing, that as a multidimensional concept of wellbeing enables different lifestyles, empowers and supports participation. When social and structural challenges are addressed in the community, they do not become individual challenges.

According to research, the key factors for pedagogical wellbeing are inclusion and belonging, the opportunity to develop and receive support. Read more about these below.

pedagogical wellbeing

Pedagogical wellbeing has two levels - individual and community, that both are part of university level.

Inclusion is relevant to the sence of belonging to the community. A sense of inclusion can be brought through teaching methods and means of interaction. Consider appropriate methods for both teaching and assessment. Be open to students, strive to create a safe learning environment, listen and discuss. Tell students what your choices are based on. Let them set goals for themselves and support the achievement of goals. Give feedback throughout the course and support interaction.

At the same time, remember to take care of your own wellbeing. As the responsibility for learning and inclusion also shifts to the student, the workload of the teacher often decreases. Do you have a community to support you?

Competence development refers to the fact that the teacher has a feeling that they are in control of their own subject matter and methods. This however doesn't have to mean that the teaching is solely teacher-led. Competence in one's own teaching can be divided into pedagogical and content knowledge. These refer to the content and the choice of appropriate teaching methods. Today, this is also closely linked to technological knowledge, which means the use of technological devices that support teaching. It is important to note that if one of these changes, it is worth thinking about the others as well. A teacher who allows a student to experiment, fail, and develop supports a safer learning environment and study wellbeing. Also the teacher has the right to try and learn. This alignment also supports the wellbeing of students.

Even if the opportunity to experience independence, inclusion and success is reduced, the meaning of the work can still be experienced and supported. Encouraging leadership, a favorable atmosphere and social belonging can support the experience of meaningful work. A favorable atmosphere can at best be a situation where one teacher increases the enthusiasm of other teachers through their own motivation and commitment.



Myllykoski-Laine, S., Postareff, L., Murtonen, M., Vilppu, H. 2022. Building a framework of a supportive pedagogical culture for teaching and pedagogical development in higher education. Saatavilla:

Yrttiaho, R., Posio, S. 2021. Opettajan hyvinvointikirja. PS-kustannus

Mäki, K., Vanhanen-Nuutinen, L., Nieminen, V-S., Mielityinen, S. & Ilves, V. 2021. Digiä ja keitaita - korkeakouluopettajat pandemian paineessa. Saatavilla:

Developing wellbeing through curricula development

Students in a lecture. Photo: Unto Rautio / Aalto University.

Designing an aligned curriculum

Designing an aligned curriculum means setting clear goals for teaching and ensuring that the contents and evaluation methods form a consistent whole.

Teaching Lab Design Kit / Hackathons

Design Kit

How to get started with experimenting and creating new forms of teaching and learning?


AllWell? - We care! – Study wellbeing questionnaire is open 16.2.-2.3.

Our students' well-being and ability to study are important for us. We research the state of study well-being by an annual questionnaire AllWell?. The questionnaire is open16.2.-2.3.2022 for our 1st year master's and 2nd year bachelor's students.


Courses and events

Students studying together. Photo by Aino Huovio

For teachers: ”Will it be on the Exam?” or, How to Motivate your Students for the Subject

In this training you will learn to design learning activities that stimulate and motivate students.

This service is provided by:

Learning Services

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