EARLI 2015


Tina Hascher Keynote

Well-being and academic learning

Tina Hascher

University of Bern, Switzerland

[Link to video]


In the last 20 years research on learning and instruction has increasingly integrated non-cognitive aspects such as learners’ emotions like test anxiety, learning enjoyment, and boredom in the classroom. Besides these discrete emotions more holistic affective experiences such as subjective well-being should deserve attention as it can be assumed that they foster successful learning and positive attitudes towards learning. Although it is evident that subjective well-being is relevant for learning in academic settings, empirical research is still rather small.

In my presentation I will address the role of subjective well-being in academic learning settings from school to university. In accordance with different sub-disciplines of psychology (general psychology, social psychology, health psychology) subjective well-being will be introduced as a key concept for human functioning that consists of cognitive, emotional, and physical components, i.e. a learner’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
My talk will be divided into three steps:
- First, based on theoretical considerations I will explain the concept of subjective well-being and argue that well-being serves three main functions: (a) it indicates if learners perceive the learning environment as positive, (b) it is conducive to the learning process, and (c) as a resource it helps learners to cope with negative influences on learning and individual development.
- Secondly, I will present a series of my empirical studies that investigate the correlates and predictors of subjective well-being and the importance of subjective well-being for academic settings. For example, it can be shown that subjective well-being in school is predicted by achievement as well as social aspects such as the interaction between teachers and learners.
- Thirdly, I will discuss how well-being research can contribute to a better understanding of academic learning and teaching and what can be learned from this for teacher education.