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Quantitative and qualitative research approaches to assess student well-being

International Journal of Educational Research Volume 47, Number 2, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Although there is dissimiliarity in theoretical research approaches to subjective well-being and to assessments of well-being, there is agreement regarding the value of well-being, especially among student populations. In the highly structured, achievement-oriented, non-optimal context of a classroom, individual well-being is a necessary pre-condition for learning. Among student populations well-being should not be construed as an achievement enhancer; but, rather, recognized and measured as an educational value of its own. However, it is necessary for the positive bias towards learning at least in highly structured, achievement-orientated, non-optional learning contexts like school [cf. Hascher, T. (2004). Wohlbefinden in der Schule. Münster: Waxmann]. How can it be measured?Since different research approaches lead to a variety of instruments, the following paper will focus on two ways of assessing well-being in school: a questionnaire on student well-being (N=2014)11Very special thanks to my colleagues Thea Peetsma (Netherlands), Ingrid Osten (Germany), Jarmila Antošová and Jitka Tomková (Czech Republic), and Karma Lobsang and Thomas Bieri (Switzerland) for their research cooperation! This project was granted by the Research Fonds of the University of Bern and by the Osthilfe of the Canton Bern. and a semi-structured daily diary about relevant emotional situations in school (N=58, period 3×2 weeks). Both methods are introduced and their methodological quality is discussed in terms of reliability, validity and in terms of their usefulness for improving school practice. Furthermore, the research potential of combining quantitative and qualitative data on students’ well-being is addressed.


Hascher, T. (2008). Quantitative and qualitative research approaches to assess student well-being. International Journal of Educational Research, 47(2), 84-96. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved October 23, 2019 from .

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