Towards the well-being of vocational teachers: the role of personality characteristics
Background: The success of teaching practices and teachers’ well-being largely depends not only on the curriculum, but also on the teachers’ personality characteristics. On the other hand, teachers’ perception about their own profession, themselves and others in the occupation leads to increased quality of education. Therefore, it can be assumed that teachers’ personality traits are among the most significant determinants of their professional identity that foster holistic psychological wellbeing. Purpose: The purpose of the study is to investigate the Big Five personality traits as predictors of professional identity of the vocational teachers in Lithuania. Method: The sample consisted of 346 teachers from the Lithuanian vocational training system. The Big Five inventory (BFI; Benet-Martinez & John, 1998; John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991; John, Naumann, & Soto, 2008) was used to measure the teachers’ personality traits. Vocational teachers’ professional identity was measured using the Teachers’ Professional Identity Questionnaire (Beijaard, Verloop, & Vermunt, 2000). Also, questions on demographic variables were used in the study. Results: Personality traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience were significant predictors of vocational teachers’ professional identity. Teachers’ professional identity, which consists of distinct aspects of expertise (subject matter experts, didactical experts, and pedagogical experts), is analyzed. Conclusion: The results support the importance of vocational teachers’ personality traits for their professional identity. The results can help the researchers deepen their understanding of the importance of the teachers’ personality for their well-being. The study results can also provide teachers with a more comprehensive awareness of their professional identity.
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