New funding helps research well-being in schools

UBC Assistand Professor Sabre Cherkowski has been awarded an $185,000 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant to examine the organizational well-being of elementary and secondary schools.

Cherkowski’s research will look how do school settings influence the work of teaching, leading and learning, and why some schools—and individuals and groups within schoos—flourish.

Increasing compassion, hope, trust and happiness can improve organizational commitment

“There is evidence that increasing positive capacities such as compassion, hope, trust, resilience and happiness can lead to benefits in the workplaces such as improvements in organizational commitment,” Cherkowski says.The importance of well-being is garnering international attention as a way of marking the status of healthy organizations, says Cherkowski. While much research has been dedicated to paying attention to its role in workplace settings, there is little research carried out in educational organizations.

Her research will contribute to recent innovations by institutes and non-profits, such as the Canadian Institute for Well-Being and People for Education, which establish broader understandings of how to measure well-being.

The three-year project will take place in British Columbia and Saskatchewan, with Cherkowski’s co-investigator, Keith Walker from the University of Saskatchewan. Participants will be educators, administrators, and staff in elementary and secondary schools in the public and private systems.

“The vitality of educational organizations directly influences the well-being of society,” says Prof. Susan Crichton, director of the Faculty of Education. “Dr. Cherkowski’s research informs the development of approaches to foster, assess, and sustain well-being in educational and other organizational contexts.”